The Ultimate Party Planning Checklist

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So, you want to plan the party of the year but don’t know where to start?

Planning any event can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve created the ultimate checklist to make sure you know everything you need to know about party planning to keep the process completely stress-free. 

This list suits pretty much every party and is a great place to start for a range of events including:

  • 18th Birthdays
  • 21st Birthdays
  • 40th Birthdays
  • 50th Birthdays
  • Children’s parties
  • Teenage Birthday Parties
  • Christmas party
  • Baby shower
  • Anniversary and engagement party

And don’t forget to use our free printable party planning checklist to keep you on track.

The Essentials

Tick these party planning essentials off your list first to stay organised. Ideally you should plan the budget, guest list, theme and venue at least a month in advance. But don’t worry if you’ve left it a little late, there’s still time to get organised!


It’s good to plan a rough figure from the start. Think about how many people are coming? Will you be hiring a venue? What food will you be serving? Will there be a DJ? Any entertainment? It’s really up to you how much you are looking to spend, there are plenty of options to suit every budget. But make sure you keep an eye on how much you’re spending, it’s easy to get carried away! Have a look at our quick tips to stay on budget

Guest list

Remember to ask your essential guests what time and date suits them first. The size of the guest list will depend largely on your budget, so it’s important to decide from the get go who’s made the cut. Check out our guide to help you decide how many people to invite to your party


Let your imagination run wild! There are so many great themes to choose from. First things first, decide if you want to go all out or just keep it casual. Stuck for ideas? Check out our list of 20 party themes that your guests will love.


Do you want your party to be inside or outside? Will you be hiring a venue? If you’re keeping to a strict budget, having your party at home might be the best option. But if you’ve got a big guest list hiring a venue could be a better idea. 


One of the best ways to track your guest list is to make a Facebook event. Set the date, time and venue and put it all one the event page and then you can get a great estimate of how many people will be attending. You can also update your guests all at once if there are any last minute changes to your plan. If you or your guests don’t have Facebook, make sure you still keep track of how many are attending!

Food and Drink

If the budget is tight, getting friends and family to help out with making the food can be a good way to save money. Hiring a caterer is a great idea to save tonnes of time and hassle of preparing all the food yourself. And don’t forget the cake! A personalised cake can make a fantastic addition to the party that your guests will love.

Most venues will have a bar to keep things simple. But if you’re hosting at home you have plenty of choices. Keep things cheap by buying everything from the supermarket or go all out and hire a mobile bar! Either way, make sure to give plenty of choices to keep everyone happy.

For more ideas, have a look at the 10 best party drinks and ultimate party food guide!


There are so many entertainment options to keep your guests entertained. But one thing you can’t forget is the music! Fancy yourself a bit of a DJ? Plug your AUX in and get the party started. Or you can go all out and hire a professional DJ. Have a look at our party music guide to help you decide the best option for you. 

Apple Music is the perfect way to create a party playlist. It’s intelligent recommendation feature makes it really quick to add songs to create the perfect track list and it’s cross fade feature makes seamless song transitions. It’s only $9.99/ £9.99 per month and you can get a free 3 month trial to check it out. And don’t worry, you can use it on Android devices too!

Join over 50 million subscribers and sign up for your 3 month free trial today! 


If you’re hiring out a venue, make sure to check if they provide decorations as some often do. If not, there are loads of ideas online, so hop on Amazon or Ebay to find some inspiration. 

Shindigz is a great online party supply store that you can use to find great decoration ideas with over 34,000 party supplies for every occasion and next day delivery!  

Stumps Party is another awesome party supply store offering custom event supplies and regular deals and discounts. 


Hiring a professional photographer is the best way to make sure you capture all the snaps from the event of the year and there are loads of photographers in your area who can help!

So that’s it! Now you’re all ready to go and plan your event using our simple step by step guide. Remember to track your spending and stay organised, but most importantly, have fun! And don’t forget to use our free printable party planning checklist to keep you on track.Like our Facebook Page and follow us on Pinterest!

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