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Essentials for Planning a Party

It’s one thing to invite a few friends over for dinner and drinks. However, when it comes to planning a larger party—whether it’s a business occasion or one of life’s big events—you may want to invest a bit more time preparing. There are a variety of checklists available that can help you get started, but here are a few of the essentials.

The Guest List

Be Choosy. Whether it is a party for friends or strictly a business entertainment function, pick some guests that suits your space and your budget. Also, think about inviting people that will make an interesting mix. They will find plenty to talk about and ease the burden on you as host for making sure conversation doesn’t lag.

The Date

Choose a date several weeks ahead of time and get your invitations out three to four weeks in advance. For more formal occasions, you’ll want to send messages with even more lead time. Party planning experts say if your event is less formal, it is acceptable to handle invitations with phone calls. Any written invites should include an R.S.V.P.

The Location

Be realistic. If your home isn't large enough to handle the party you want, then think about a different venue. You might be able to find something free, or you might try using a venue location service to help you find the perfect space.

The Budget

When you think about how much you can afford to spend, don’t forget to include food, drinks, any equipment or venue rental, and extra help. You will also want to set aside some of your funds for activities or entertainment.

The Food

Remember that if you’re planning to serve dinner, you will need seating for all your guests. Food is another area where you can splurge or save depending on the menu you choose.

The Drinks

Experts suggest you budget generously here, especially if you’re serving alcohol. You don’t need to set up a bar worthy of a night club, but you should offer variety. Another option is to make one drink a centerpiece of your party planning. You might build a theme around a craft beer or a favorite mixed drink.

Music and Entertainment

If you plan to book music or entertainment, one place to look for help is using Special Guest App to help you locate just the right talent to make your party stand out. Without music, a lot of business entertainment can feel more like a meeting than a party.


It doesn’t need to be anything fancy, but some sort of fun entertainment—such as a photo booth for guests—can make your party stand out. You might consider a venue that offers entertainment such as a bowling alley or let the season set the tone by planning a summer pool party.

Getting organized and planning all the details ahead of time paves the way for you to be able to enjoy the party you’re throwing as much as your guests do.

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