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Party Planning Tips

Friday, April 22, 2011

{Amy Atlas Design}

Planning the perfect event doesn't have to be stressful. You can have as much fun as your guests! Follow these steps and enjoy the process.


Before the party
Initial Idea: 
Determine a date, time, location and guest list. This will be crucial for organizing your event including invites and securing a location.

Create A Timeline:
It's important to set firm deadlines for planning your event such as reserving a space, ordering food, buying decorations, and mailing invitations.

Create a Budget:
Include all expenses: deposits, entertainment, decorations, rentals, food and beverage, invitations, postage, and  photography.

Create a Theme:
This helps you determine the types of music, food, games, activities and beverages you will have.

Decorations should reflect your theme and can be tied in with your invitations, flowers, linens, paper goods, favors and entertainment. Themes are great for children's birthday parties, not necessarily for weddings. However, it is important to have an overall "feel" at a wedding or function without making it too kitschy.

Day of your event 

Your event itinerary plays an important role in smooth entertaining. {Set up should be done the day before if possible}.


______ Guests Arrive - Cocktails/hors d'oeuvres

______ Guest of Honor Arrives

______ Food is served

______ Entertainment

______ Dessert is served


The term RSVP stands for répondez s'il vous plaît and means "Please reply."

When do I Reply?
As soon as possible, ideally within two days of receiving an invitation. If it is a formal response card don't forget a simple "congratulations" or "how can I help" note written on the front  of the card.

Why Reply?
Hosts need an exact headcount so they can make sure they have enough food, drink and space for you.


Not sure what to wear to an event or what to specify on your invitation? These guidelines, listed in order of formality, will help you determine the dress code. And remember, it’s never inappropriate to ask the host or other guests what’s acceptable.

White tie/ultra-formal:
Men: Tailcoat and white vest, shirt and bow tie. Women: Long gown.

Black tie/formal:
Men: Tuxedos. Women: Dress (knee-length or long).

Men: Dark suit, tie. Women: Knee-length dress.

Men: Dark suit. Women: Knee-length dress or skirt.

Dressy casual:
Men: Sports jacket or collared shirt, pants. Women: Skirt or dressy pants.

Business casual:
Men: Collared shirt, khakis. Women: Dressy pants or skirt.

Anything goes! Please remember though this is still an event someone has invited you to. Be appropriate.

More Rules to Dress By
  • If an invitation indicates that a certain dress style is “optional” or “preferred,” you can dress slightly less formal.
  • Informal means semi-formal, not casual.
  • Hosts-  If you include a creative dress code, like beach formal or urban casual, be sure you give examples of what is, and is not, okay.