I believe preparation is key. My sisters and I were fully able to enjoy the day and even spent the afternoon poolside – and not running around doing last minute errands (for the most part :)!
This is the first event where I delegated more tasks, and although financially it may not be the most sound choice, I HIGHLY recommend it for special events (ie. a cleaning lady, a caterer). But we did take on a lot of tasks ourselves, but with 3 helping hands and months to prep we were happy with the turnout.
Here was our checklist and preparation schedule:
I also created a binder for this event (surprise! surprise!) with tabs for the following:
- Menus (contained dinner menu, appetizer menu and grocery/shopping lists)
- Rentals (contained contracts, rental invoice for tables, flatware, linens, etc.)
- Invitations (contained invitation, guest/RSVP list)
- Timeline (contained to-do lists, timeline, schedules, checklists, etc.)
- Inspiration (contained Pintrested images of ideas we wanted to implement)
- Layout (contained backyard layout of stations, tables, etc. and seating chart options)
Having everything in one place (contracts, images, lists, etc.) is super helpful to me and something I REALLY recommend. Plus after your party is complete you have a guide on how to replicate your event!
I also wanted to share some little details that we were proud of!
Place Cards – we searched long and hard for a clever, fun idea on place cards and couldn’t find one we liked! I had read in Lisa Vanderpump’s entertaining book (don’t judge) that she uses little framed photos of her friends for place cards and I thought wouldn’t Polaroids be a fun, contemporary spin on this!? When each guest arrived we had them pose for a quick photo and then we added the image to their seat before dinner. It made for an amazing conversation starter and a great keepsake! (I recommend letting guests grab a cocktail or two before… makes for better pictures 🙂
Personalized Details – I love the idea of a few personalized details at an event and I felt for this party, a modern, metallic monogram would be just the thing. I found a website called Society Social which makes very high quality, custom items and we were excited to grab up the matchboxes and napkins for the party!
Menus: I’m also a huge fan of printed menus. Whether that is a large sign, or individual settings, it makes it much easier than explaining which each course is. I downloaded a fun font via DaFont.com and printed the menu on some gorgeous, heavy stock. I cut it down to plate size and used it as part of our table setting. Flowers: I will go to my grave repping Costco flowers… all it requires is a little planning and you will save oodles on gorgeous blooms! For the party I bought 200 white roses, 100 calla lillies and 100 hydrangeas for under $400! I mean you can easily spend $200 for a couple dozen roses at Valentine’s Day! Such a joke. Anyway… You have to order them precisely a week and a half before your event date, but you can pick which date you’d like them delivered in a two day window and once the blooms arrive channel your inner Martha and get to designing. I have been collecting glass vases the past few months, so I made sure to follow my flower prep guide and make arrangements accordingly!
With a little planning, some preparation and a few little details I believe you will have a slam dunk party every time! Entertaining is a love language, and what better way to share the love than going the extra mile? Happy planning!