Throwing the ultimate birthday party is no easy feat. But the good news is that, when you have the right game plan in place, you can keep yourself organized and on the ball. To help make planning easier, we’ve assembled a very handy birthday party planning checklist just for you.
Here’s an ultimate checklist for a birthday party planning you need to throw an incredible party no one will forget.
How to Plan a Birthday Party Like a Pro
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Complete Birthday Party Checklist
You need to start preparing the event on time, and it’s best if you start thinking about your birthday several months in advance. Check the timeline with the details on what to do as your party draws near!
One to Three Months Before
It’s vital to cover the basics well ahead of your birthday. Here are the things to determine as soon as possible!
- Choose a Theme
Is your birthday on or close to a holiday like Halloween? If yes, you can think about a costume party. You could pick a theme from any era, ranging from the wild west to the future. If you don’t want a specific theme, consider how formal the dress code should be.
- Determine Your Budget
Special birthdays, such as the 18th, 21st, or 50th, might require a bigger budget than usual. Then again, any b-day is special, especially if you decide it to be. You don’t need the fortune to organize a beautiful event where you’ll have a good time with friends.
However, analyze your party plans and consider the fund you’ll need to cover the expenses. That way, you’ll minimize unpredictable costs down the road.
- Choosing a Date
Choosing a date too far in advance can be a problem because you might not have a good idea of what the weather will be like for your party.
You might also not be able to get reservations for party rentals or rooms that far in advance. That’s why the sweet spot is best two to three months before you plan to have your party.
- Pick a Venue
If you don’t plan to have the birthday party at your house or the home of a friend, you’ll want to take a look at different venue options in your area. It’s important to book your venue in advance to make sure you’re able to get your spot.
- Create Your Guest List
It’s especially important to create your guest list two to three months in advance of your party if you plan to send your invites via mail. This is because it takes anywhere from one to two weeks for your invitations to arrive.
If you plan to invite guests over Facebook, you can typically send an invite out between one to two months in advance. However, it’s still a good idea to create your guest list ahead of time.
- Order Supplies
If you’re planning on DIYing your decorations or decorating custom t-shirts, now is the time to start ordering supplies. You want to be sure you have plenty of time available to make decorations, centerpieces, and more.
- Line Up any Entertainment You May Want
For a home party, you could rent a PlayStation or some board games. Even playing music on speakers guarantees a great time with the right crowd. But if you are celebrating in a restaurant, consider securing a music band or other performers on time.
Four Weeks Before
There’s less than a month before your birthday, so here are the steps to take during this week!
- Send Invitations
You should inform people about the event on time. That’ll give them enough time to organize, especially if they are coming from other cities. You can create physical invitations or go digital – the important thing the party info on the invitations is accurate.
- Make a Schedule of Activities for the Party
A wide range of activities is suitable for birthday parties, from playing pinatas to relaxing by the pool. Your checklist for birthday party planning must contain a list of activities. Try not to pack the schedule too much since your priority is having fun.
Three Weeks Before
This is where the excitement starts growing, so don’t forget to add these things to your birthday party checklist!
- Plan the Menu
How will your guests consume food? Will there be a self-service station, or you’d like them to sit at the tables and be served by waiters? While planning the menu, ask your guests about potential allergies and diets. Everyone will appreciate your effort to fit the menu to their food preferences.
Determine what kind of platters you need for your party and budget for beverages like soda or alcohol. Consider which local stores in your area would be the most budget-friendly option to get everything from.
- Make a Grocery List
If you need to go grocery shopping, it’s time to make a list now. Try to be as thorough as possible since you don’t want to miss a single important item. The list should cover everything from appetizers to desserts.
One Week Before
At this point, only small details are left uncovered. Here are the final items in your birthday party planning checklist!
- Order the Cake
A cake is integral to any birthday, so you must ensure it’s great. The dessert could resemble your favorite superhero or movie or be in any shape you want. Just make sure the cake is big enough for everyone to have at least a slice.
Determine whether you’ll be buying the cake, making the cake yourself, or if you’ll be designating the cake-buying duties to someone on your planning team. It’s also good to consider whether you need a birthday cake alternative like a cookie cake, ice cream cake, or a pie.
- Order Balloons and Custom Birthday Banners
Decorations are what’ll make the venue even more special. You could get balloons with the numbers portraying which birthday you are celebrating. And custom birthday banners are an excellent way to personalize the venue and the party!
When you’re thinking about decorations, make sure the type of theme you want. If you don’t have a theme in mind, you opt for a specific color palette to help you narrow down the different color decorations you’ll be getting.
- Custom birthday t-shirts
Up to 91% of Americans have a favorite t-shirt, which makes custom t-shirts a great way to separate the person you’re celebrating from the crowd. Custom t-shirts are especially great for kids who like to feel in the spotlight on their special day.
One Week After
Finally, once everything finishes, don’t forget to thank your guests. Sending short notes in digital or physical form will show you really care they visited. As a bonus, that’ll strengthen your mutual bond!