Basic Event Planning Checklist

Three to Four Weeks Out
  • Set the date.
  • Decide on a theme. Think about what food, music and decorations you might need.
  • Figure out a budget. The second part of this task -- sticking to that budget -- will probably be harder.
  • Nail down a venue if you're not hosting at home.
  • Hire a caterer and/or a bartender, if you're using them. Enlist help, if needed, for party setup, passing appetizers and cleaning up.
  • Rent any equipment you might need.
  • Finalize the guest list and send invitations. Depending on the formality of your party, you might have the invitations professionally printed, or you could go the handwritten or e-mail route. All are perfectly acceptable.
  • Plan the menu -- start making a grocery list and figuring out a timeline for when all the dishes will be prepared. Don't forget to consider any of your guests' food allergies or sensitivities.