Birthday Party Checklist

Three to four weeks in advance

  • Write down your guestlist.
  • Create your spending plan. Be realistic, but leave flexibility for last-minute problems or ideas.
  • If you want to have a theme birthday, choose it now. It'll impact the decorations, invitations and the cake.
  • If you need to rent anything that you don't own, go to your party store and make the reservations now.
  • Write down a tentative menu, and include beverages.
  • From the menu, write a grocery shopping list for the weeks to come. You can buy any non-perishables at this point.
  • Choose the games and activities for the guests. If children are involved, make two sets of activities: one for the kids and one for the adults.
  • Write down and send your invitations. Mailing invitations is very formal; nowadays an email is often sufficient. You can even use Facebook and other social networks to manage your guestlist, but don't neglect those who are not on these websites.
  • Look up local entertainers if you plan on hiring one for a few hours. Internet business databases are good for reviews of such services. Book one that has a good reputation.

Two to three weeks in advance

One week in advance

Two days in advance

One day in advance:

Day of the party

There is an important birthday coming up, and you want to throw a party. Whether it is for yourself or a loved one, this checklist will help you keep track of all the things you need to do to plan a memorable birthday celebration. This checklist includes tasks for birthday parties for all ages, so feel free to add or remove any tasks you think necessary. Some tasks obviously apply to children's parties, so if planning for an adult, you can do away with them. We hope that this list will help you plan the perfect birthday party, and don't forget to have fun, even if you are planning somebody else's birthday party!

Tips

You will have to start planning three or four weeks in advance, especially if you are sending invitations by mail. Otherwise, two to three weeks are enough to notify your guests and plan properly. Also plan for more time if the birthday falls on or around a major holiday, as people tend to book these days quickly. Since the biggest part of the party preparation work involves food and cooking, the biggest days will be those closer to the date. If you decide to order a cake, go to your bakery at least a week before the date, otherwise they might not be able to fill your order. If this is a birthday party for children, don't forget to plan activities for the adults, too; if you are hiring an entertainer for the kids, do so at least three weeks in advance. Clowns and other entertainers for children are very busy, especially in the summer.