Once the date and theme have been set and a budget has been created, it is time to put plans into action. Create a time line of activities that will need to be completed prior to the Big Day. Use as much detail as possible so as not to leave out important details, and allow some “fudge room” for days when plans simply don’t go as they should.
Invitations should be the first order of business. Be sure to consult with the guest of honor on this matter, as he or she will probably have a better idea of who to invite. With younger children, it is usually best to invite the entire class as children of a young age do not understand if they are left out. Invitations may be formal, pre-printed embossed invitations, or the invitation may tie in with the theme of the party. Consider trying some non-traditional ideas as well, such as rolled and tied scrolls to look like diplomas or invitations in a bottle for a beach themed party. Whatever idea works for the party, also consider ordering or making thank you cards for the honoree. Thank you cards are good to have handy so responses may be written and delivered in a timely manner.
Consider the food that will be served. If a caterer is to be used, then meet with the caterer early on to create a menu. Caterers need several weeks to prepare for events. Preparation of the food by the hostess requires careful menu planning and a detailed time line to ensure that enough food is adequately prepared in time for the party. Finger foods are usually a good choice for a casual or come-and-go affair; more formal gatherings may require formal servings of food, such as a glazed chicken, bean medley and a fruit salad cup. Consider the dietary needs or restrictions of any guests as well. If the event is not being served by a caterer, set up and clean up will need to be factored in to the time line as well.
Once food and invitations have been set, the fun part begins. Decorating and creating a special event for the honoree will be what makes the party special.