Easter, Passover, and daylight savings time. Finally! We have something to celebrate while we wait for sunny days. Our 2010 Spring Tips to Plan a Memorable Party.
Use a countdown approach to build your to-do list. Group jobs according to how far in advance you can complete them. Your goal is to leave as little as possible for the day of the party. The last minute list should be really short.
- Invite guests and secure RSVPs.
- Plan your menu. Epicurious and Celebrations help you create a menu that suits the occasion and your level of expertise.
- Make your shopping list.
- Review your linens, dishes, flatware, serving platters, etc. to make sure you have what you need.
- Plan your table décor, flowers, and centerpieces.
3 Days in Advance
- Shop for food
- Buy beverages; wine, sodas, mixers, etc
- Clean the house or have it cleaned.
- Figure out what you’re wearing
- Prepare as many menu items in advance as possible.
The Day Before
- Buy the flowers and any last minute items
- Set the table, including the centerpiece (or pieces), candles, and flowers. This is a huge detail to check off the list. It seems to always take more time than you thought it would.
- Lay out the serving dishes, dessert and coffee dishes and supplies.
- Select the music. Try Swing Into Spring, Dean Martin, Billie Holiday, Guy Monk, etc., remixed for the modern world, or Vespers in the Lounge, James Bond themes remixed.
- Prepare any remaining food that doesn’t require last minute cooking.
- Give the house a once over.
- Lay out the bar.
- Do last minute cooking.
- Put out the pre-dinner appetizers.
Make seasonal sangria from 101 Sangrias, by Kim Haasarud.
Order Caroline’s 7 Layer Caramel Praline Cake or make your own Twinkies.
The menu and décor determine the theme, but the hostess creates the atmosphere. It’s hard to play the clown when you have to run the circus, so anything you can do in advance will reduce your stress and allow you to enjoy your party.