Party Planner
How to get started with your party Q&A

Q. How far in advance should I send out invitations?

A.You should plan on sending your invitations at three to four weeks prior to your event. This gives your guests plenty of time to arrange their schedules, and in the case of guests arriving from out of town it gives them time to make arrangements for travel and lodgings. For guests with tight schedules or who have to travel especially far, you might consider notifying them in advance of actually sending out the invitations so that they have extra time to make necessary arrangements.

Q. How do I let my guests know not to bring gifts?

A.The simplest way is to just include "No gifts please" in a smaller font than the rest of your invitation. Optimal placement would be either the lower left or right hand corner. A more elegant way would be to indicate "Your presence is the only gift we desire."

Q. Can I serve hot food on plastic plates?

A.You can, however, it is not recommended. Plastic plates can melt if the food is too hot and you can feel the heat through the plate. We recommend a laminated Styrofoam plate or a paper plate. You can cut on a laminated Styrofoam plate also

Q. How long will helium balloons last?

A.11" helium balloons will last approximately 12 hours. A substance called hi-float will allow your helium balloons to fly longer. If applied correctly, your latex balloons will fly for several days. Always remember, the atmosphere plays a large part in flying time of balloons.

Q. How many cups should I plan on for a party of 50 people?

A.You should plan on 3 to 4 cups per person when planning a party where beverages will be served.

Q. How many tables can I cover with a 100' roll of table cover?

A.A 100' roll of table cover will cover ten 9' tables with overhang, or nine 10' tables with overhang.

Q. Should I purchase extra cutlery for my party?

A.When planning a party, remember to plan on extra forks when serving a dessert. Guests tend to dispose of their cutlery then realize they need a fork for dessert.

Q. Is okay to ask people to bring something to serve?

A.It would be preferable for the invitations to say potluck (i.e. Potluck Bridal Shower for Renee). If you are having snacks you should put: "please bring a side dish or snack" at the bottom.

Party Planning

Are you looking to throw a party but don't know where to start? Maybe you are feeling overwhelmed by the enormous selection of decorations and themes available to you? Don't worry, by following a few simple steps and taking things one step at a time anyone can throw a successful party. Whether you are having a small family get together, a formal affair or a theme party, we can help you with all of your planning needs.

Party Basics

The first thing you need to do before doing anything else is to answer a few basic questions about the event you're planning. The way you answer these questions will help you focus on your party and get started in the right direction. Planning for a successful party doesn't just happen, you should have these questions answered at least a few weeks prior to the date the party is scheduled for.

1. How formal is your party going to be? Is it a formal black-tie event, a dressy affair or a casual gathering?

2. What type of theme do you want to center the party around? Hawaiian Luau, Rock & Roll, Tiki, Mardi Gras?

3. How many people do you plan on inviting?

4. How much money do you have budgeted for the party?

5. Will you be hosting the party at your home or an outside location?

6. Do you need to arrange for entertainment at the party?

Party Invitations

Once you have answered the basic questions you need to create a list of guests and purchase your invitations. It is good practice to send your invitations out three to four weeks before your party, even sooner during the holiday season. You can usually count on getting some of your invitations back as regrets.

Party Supplies

Every party requires a few basic elements regardless of the theme of the party. All of these items will work whether you are throwing a birthday party for a child or a formal dinner party for business associates. The quantity you need of each item depends on your budget and the number of guests expected.

Balloons - Latex and Mylar, Centerpieces, Confetti, Curling Ribbon, Drinks, Party Favors, Flowers, Food, Appetizers, Main Course, Desserts, Cake, Glassware, Invitations, Mood Lighting, Candles, Tiki Torches, Luminaries, Twinkle Lights, Mirror Ball, Music - background or dancing, Napkins, Place-cards, Plates, Punch Bowl or pitchers, Serving Trays, Silverware or , Plastic-ware, Streamers, Table Covers and Skirting, Tables and Chairs, Party Planning Timetable.

Planning Timetable

3-4 Weeks Before The Party

Set your budget

Rent tables and chairs

Arrange for any special help

Make a list of your basic supplies and needs

Send out invitations

Decide on and order decorations

2-3 Weeks Before The Party

Plan Your Menu

Prepare food ahead of time, if possible and freeze.

Purchase favors and tableware

Choose music

Order any flowers

Determine your event schedule for activities (games, mingling, food)

1 Week Before The Party

Finalize the headcount, be flexible it may change

Purchase beverages

Check camera equipment and assign a person take the pictures.

2-3 Days Before The Party

Confirm all arrangements

Purchase any fresh food

Give helpers a specific task from your list

Arrange your serving trays and dishes

Arrange favors

Decide on what you will wear!

1 Day Before The Party


Complete food preparation and pick up ordered food items

Set tables

Make room for coats and purses

Purchase ice

The Day Of The Party

Put out any outdoor decorations

Set out bowls of candy and nuts

Give last-minute instructions to helpers

Set up the bar

Prepare any last-minute food

Put your camera out so you are sure to capture the memories

Start the music, light candles, set the mood

Get ready for the event – a bath, glass of wine, exercise – whatever gets you in the mood

Relax and enjoy the party!