Birthday Party Planning Timeline


I’m an event planner at heart and I love the thrill of details, but planning a birthday party can get very stressful, very quickly. It’s easy to let life pass us by and then realize the night before the big birthday bash that you forgot to get napkins, drinks, and what about the candles!?! A to-do list can be a life saver when you have some planning to do for a special someone in your life. Here’s the plan that I try to stick to:BEST

(At least) 6 weeks prior to birthday party:
-Pick a date, location, time, and a theme. I prefer to get this stuff done plenty in advance so that I can be on the lookout for things to have at the party (including decorations, paper goods, games). If your party will be at a venue other than your home, you’ll most likely need to reserve and make a deposit at least this early in advance to hold the space.

3 weeks prior to birthday party
-Gather up your guest list and start sending out invitations. Make sure you include a date that you’d like guests to RSVP by (I usually do 3 days before the party). This is very helpful to know the right number for cake, and some venues even require a number in advance.
-Ordering a cake? Go ahead and cross that off of your list. If you are planning to make it from scratch, I applaud you. Baking is not my forte. I know it’s early, but go ahead and purchase or order all the items that you need. (Don’t forget to grab the candles and a working lighter to set aside!)

1 week prior to birthday party

-Gather up any decor items and put them in a crate or plastic tub. Some of our past birthday parties don’t have much decor because of location, but if I’ll be hanging a banner, streamers, or anything else fun and festive, I get those together a week before the party. I also put a roll of scotch tape in the tub so that I’m not hunting for it the day of the party.
-If you are making your own cake, go ahead and bake it and stick it in the freezer. I’ve heard that it’s so much easier to frost a frozen cake!

3 days prior to birthday party

-Get your plates, cups, napkins, etc now that you should have a pretty good idea on how many guests are coming. Add these to your birthday tub. (It’s so helpful to have all party items in one central place and that is easy to transport!)Don't forget the lighter!

Day before the birthday party

-If I host a party at my house, I like to get it decorated the day before. It always gives me a better night’s rest knowing that I don’t have to scramble the next day to get it all picture perfect before our guests arrive.
-Get your camera ready. How many times have you turned on your camera to find the memory card full? Or that the battery light is flashing at you? I’m guilty of both of those. Kids aren’t so patient on waiting for us to fix those things when all they want to do is celebrate!

Day of birthday party

-2 hours before your party, frost the birthday cake (if you made your own).
-Grab your party tub and enjoy the day!


What are MUST HAVE items that you need to check off of your to-do list before having a party?


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