The ultimate party checklist for the perfect party with everything you need to think about

14. September 2019 - Anika Semmer

Ultimate Party Checklist – Party Planning Made Easy




The atmosphere is great, the location is simply beautiful and everyone agrees: there’s a lot of planning involved in this party. This party checklist will help you save time and set up the perfect party!

What do I absolutely need, what should I think about and when should I take care of it? With this party checklist, you can keep track of the important steps of party planning right from the start. The key to organising a great party with as little time and stress as possible is to work with lists and preferably with a schedule.

With this party checklist, you can save yourself a lot of work right from the start and spend time preparing games for the children’s birthday party, special activities for the birthday party or make your own beautiful party decorations for New Year’s Eve, Halloween or a theme party.

Abenteuer Freundschaft has even more ideas for celebrating together and instructions for saving time! From ideas for special themed parties and party games to ideas for special activities. You can browse the Leisure Ideas Finder for ideas to suit your mood!

The Ultimate Party Checklist

Just hang this party checklist on the fridge and tick off what you’ve done. With the right preparation, anyone can pull off a perfect party!

3-4 Weeks Before the Party

  • Start planning the party!
  • Should there be a theme? Highly recommended for children’s birthday parties and parties for milestone birthdays!
  • Search online for ideas, party decorations, games, outfits and recipes matching the occasion / party theme
  • Create a guest list – mark vegetarians and vegans in colour, are there children?
  • Choose a location and book it if necessary: take into account the number of guests or adapt your guest list.
  • Determine the date and time
  • How much budget do I have available?
  • Design invitations to suit the occasion and theme
  • Write and send out invitations: place, date, time, occasion, dress code and, if applicable, motto and don’t forget to ask for acceptance or cancellation at least 2 weeks before the party!
  • Music: Is there live music or a playlist? If you would like to book a band or a DJ, you should book now!
  • Order / get party decorations and party accessories you have decided on
  • Do you need a pavilion or beer tent, beer benches and bar tables? Research a rental company and reserve what you need or ask friends and make a note of who you borrow what from
  • If necessary, make the party decorations yourself
  • Should there be a programme? If necessary, book activities or entertainment, research party games and get everything you need. Very important: draw up a rough schedule right away
  • You are planning a big party? Ask 3-4 friends to help you with shopping, setting up and cleaning up after the party.
  • ask guests to contribute food and snacks to the buffet – highly recommended!

2 Weeks Before the Party

  • Go through acceptances and cancellations and note the number of guests as a benchmark for culinary planning
  • Do guests stay overnight? Where are they staying?
  • What will be served for dinner? Finger food, buffet or catering? Print out recipes and make a shopping list. Book a catering service if necessary. Think about a midnight snack.
  • What is there to drink? Make a list of drinks.
  • Add to the shopping list if necessary: Bin liners, toilet paper, kitchen roll, disposable gloves, dishcloths, washing-up liquid, sharpie to label the disposable cups with the name
  • Party games: Should there be any and what do you need for them? Getting-to-know-you games and party games help the guests to talk to each other, keep the kids busy and lighten the mood
  • Are children coming? Add age-appropriate painting, handicrafts and toys to the shopping list or prepare them and offer children’s games if necessary.
  • You play music yourself? Create a playlist.
  • Procure / order any missing party decorations and party accessories

1 Week Before the Party

  • Personally visit neighbours and tenants who live directly above or below you and let them know when you are having the party and that it might be noisy. Invite them to come over if necessary and ask them to let you know if it gets too loud.
  • Post a notice and inform everyone in the house that you are having a party with a mobile phone number and a request to contact you if there are any complaints. Hang it on the front door or the information board in the entrance to the house.
  • Go shopping: Get everything on your shopping lists for drinks, food and party supplies e.g. disposable tablecloths, tea lights, table flowers, lanterns, garlands, first aid kit.
  • Do you have enough crockery, glasses and cutlery? If necessary, borrow from friends or use disposable tableware.
  • Check the power supply and think about where you will play the DJ / band / music and where you need electricity. Get extension cables etc. if necessary.
  • Decide on a party outfit (note: when buying outfits for theme parties, check the delivery times of online shops so that your outfit arrives on time). If something is missing or you want to change something, you still have enough time to do so.

1 Day Before the Party

  • Chill the drinks
  • Get crushed ice or prepare ice cubes
  • Buy the last items from the shopping list: perishable food such as fruit, ice etc.
  • Prepare tables / chairs etc. in advance
  • Prepare sleeping places for guests
  • Check that the wifi is working
  • Charge the camera, empty the memory card and consider who you might ask to take photos with it.

Day of the Party

  • If necessary, place markers such as balloons if guests are travelling to a remote party location.
  • Prepare food, finger food, etc. in the morning.
  • Set up a buffet table – preferably with folded cards indicating vegetarian and vegan dishes.
  • Provide glasses / cups, crockery, cutlery and napkins – ideally right next to the buffet.
  • Prepare the space for the music system and speakers / the DJ / the band and do a sound check.
  • Decorate the party location (together with the helpers) and prepare everything for the planned games.
  • Set the table if necessary
  • If necessary, set up the music system and test whether everything is working properly.
  • Prepare a first aid kit (especially plasters are important).

2 Hours Before the Party – Final Preparations

  • Get ready for the party
  • Turn on the music and enjoy the calm before the storm
  • After the party
  • Clean up: rented rooms usually have to be returned by a certain time
  • Clean up if necessary
  • Return rented items
  • Upload the photos online, e.g. at Wetransfer, and send the download link to the party guests.

There are lots of ideas for gifts and special activities to discover with friends, family and partner on our ideas portal for leisure activities. We appreciate your Like on Facebook and Instagram and your recommendation!


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