One to Two Weeks Out
- Buy wine and liquor. As a rule of thumb, you should have three bottles of wine for every four guests and plan on people having three to four drinks over the course of a two- to three-hour party.
- Take an inventory of your dishes, platters, utensils, glasses, serving pieces and table linens. Do you have enough or will you have to buy more, rent or borrow anything? Actually setting the table might help you figure it out. Use Post-Its to label things so you'll remember what you intended to use them for.
- Make a music playlist. Keep a close eye on running time -- you don't want to have to repeat any tunes.
- Order a cake if you need one.
- Buy nonperishable foods and drinks.
- Do a major cleaning (or hire professional cleaners) closer to the one-week mark. That way, you'll just have to keep things tidy in the final days instead of scrambling to vacuum the living room or scrub the powder-room sink.
- About a week beforehand, call or e-mail anyone on the invite list who hasn't RSVP'd yet.
- If you'll be serving anything that can be frozen, make it around a week ahead of time.