Basic Event Planning Checklist

One to Three Days Out
  • Finalize the party setup. Keep crowd flow in mind when you're arranging furniture, and remove anything that clutters a room or might get broken. Have a decent amount of seating available, but not so much that everyone will sit down and forget to mingle.
  • Stock the bar and refrigerate drinks.
  • Wash glasses, dishes, serving pieces and flatware.
  • Iron table linens and napkins.
  • Buy perishable food except meat and seafood two days ahead. Get meat and seafood one day ahead.
  • Do a quick (but thorough!) once-over of the house. Tidy up and make sure you have enough toilet paper and hand towels.
  • The day before, prepare any foods that can be refrigerated. Do as much prep work as you can for anything that you'll have to make the day of.
  • Decorate and figure out lighting. You might need to change bulbs if certain rooms seem like they'll be too light or dark during the party.