Step 2

Timelines & Checklists

When planning a party most details can wait until 3-6 months before your event but key venues and professionals should be reserved as early as possible, even up to two years in advance.  If you are planning a celebration for December or June or a date over a holiday weekend, book especially early to avoid holiday party and wedding conflicts.  Also, if your town hosts many conventions and special events, many locations and professionals are booked by corporate planners years in advance. Click here to read Party Idea Pros simple guides to venue and lodging and booking professionals.

Party planning is not difficult, it simply requires the ability to juggle lots of balls at once and detailed planning.  Party Idea Pros generally uses its budget as a check list to keep track of details, however, many expert planners prefer detailed checklists and binders.  There are many sites offering free event planning checklists.  Even if you are not planning a wedding, those created for weddings are appropriate for planning any party — just substitute party clothing for wedding gowns and ignore all the bridesmaid and groomsmen line items.

Perfect planning checklist

EZ Planner

This site is free with registration whereas their sister site dedicated to all other events only has a free trial period. 

Show Day Folder

Party Idea Pros always, always creates a “show day” folder.  We take a simple, brightly colored pocket folder and in large letters, with a bold sharpie write “[Your Name] Important Papers” on the cover.  This way if you set it down amidst all the party chaos, it will not be lost forever.

Pocket Folders


Page 1 – Right Pocket

Contact List (always on the top!)

All vendors’ names, job, and contact numbers are listed.  Yes, everyone working on the event — from your sister to the piano tuner to the caterer and entertainers.

Page 1 – Left Pocket

Event schedule

Begin with move-in times, end with clean-up. Every aspect of the party should be timed to the minute.  Don’t just write “speeches,” instead your schedule should read  “John’s speech 8:15, Josie’s speech 8:19, Susies’s speech 8: 24”  and so.


Page 2 – Right Pocket


Since we use a detailed budget outlining every aspect of the party, we always include a copy in the folder.  This way we can also use it as a checklist to confirm each line item has been completed and to make notes if anything is missing.

Page 2 – Left Pocket

Copies of any Signed Contracts, Important Correspondence, and Insurance Forms

If any questions or disputes arise, you will be prepared.

Page 3 – Right Pocket

Guest lIsts and Seating Plans

Don’t rely on our memory alone.  Inevitably a chair will be forgotten or even a place card.


Page 3 – Left Pocket

Extra Blank Checks and a Bit of Cash

Just in case!

Page 4 – Right Pocket

All Else and Extras

Anything else you could possibly need goes here.  Also, if you created table menus or thank you cards or anything else printed specifically for the party, always bring a few extras!

Remember the party is in the details so keep organized!!!!!

Step 3

Venues & Lodging

Venues and Lodging


Start planning your celebration now!

Just point and click your way to a meaningful, beautiful, festive celebration.

Identify your event ………… Party Theme Ideas



Identify your event ……… Party Theme Ideas


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