Party planning timeline
It's time to usher in the new year with a fun bash for family and friends. Here's what you need to know leading up to your New Year's Eve party.
3 weeks ahead
- Send out the invitations -- use Evite or the "plan an event" option in Facebook. Don't rely on snail mail or word-of-mouth.
- Make a guest list so you can keep track of how many people you'll have to serve.
- Plan your menu, recipes and purchases. That way, you can budget, too.
- Make sure you have all of the cooking equipment and serving dishes you'll need to fulfill your menu.
2 weeks ahead
- Hit the party supply store for all of the decorations.
- Clean your place thoroughly, iron the linens and make sure everything is in the right place.
- Order a centerpiece if you plan to have one (such as flowers or a fruit basket).
1 week ahead
- Order any food that needs ordering, such as special cakes, platters and dishes that you're not planning to cook.
- Buy non-perishable items, such as liquor, juices, sodas and chips.
- If you want, create mini menus of all of the food and cocktails you'll be serving.
- Finalize the guest list.
2 days ahead
- Create a playlist on your iPod for the night of the party.
- Send a reminder email or mass text to all of your friends who are coming and to all of those who haven't RSVPd.
- Rearrange furniture as necessary to complement the party's overall ambiance. Group seating together and have a number of open areas to maximize your space.
- Start prepping recipes that you can prepare in advance. For instance, if you have to marinate ham in honey, do so two days ahead so the flavor really soaks in.
1 day ahead
- Buy all the perishable items on your list.
- Prepare and cook everything that doesn't have to be made the day of.
- Do some last-minute cleaning, vacuuming and dusting.
- Pick up platters and any food you've ordered.
Day of the party
- Cook the dishes that have to be cooked the day of the party.
- Arrange the food.
- Arrange the bar area.
- Set up all decorations and centerpieces.
- Have loads of fun!