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How to plan an event (Handy checklist of to-dos)

When planning a formal event or a party, you want to make sure you have everything prepared at the proper times along the way. Here are some steps you can take when making an event planning checklist.

ONE MONTH BEFOREHAND: The Basics
-Pick the date and time of the party, as well as the location you’d like and the theme.
-Decide on your budget so you can determine the appropriate costs for the various aspects of the event
-Wanting a celebrity appearance? Planning on some delicious Indian food catering? Thinking about going all out on the decor? Determine what you want to make this party pop.

3 WEEKS BEFOREHAND: Invites and Orders
-Prepare the guestlist, and then get those invites out!
-Take stock of your dishes, silverware, linens and chairs, and then make sure that you purchase or rent any extra that you will need
-Don’t forget to order your choices of party favors and flowers

2 WEEKS BEFOREHAND: All About the Food
-Whether you plan on cooking yourself or catering, you’ll want to get your menu prepared. So plan out each course, create the master shopping list and categorize the dishes according to a timeline.
-Prepare foods that can be frozen beforehand
-Make sure to create your place settings to help visualize that dining area

ONE WEEK BEFOREHAND: A Little Here, A Little There
-Finalize who’s coming by contacting anyone who hasn’t RSVP’d already
-Do It Yourself and create your best iPod playlist for dance and mood music
-Use this week to stock up on any wine or alcohol you will need

2 DAYS BEFOREHAND: Final Shopping and Such
-Go through your shopping checklist and make sure to pick up any final ingredients or bar items
-Get all of your dinnerware washed and set aside for use
-Make the place cards for the seating at the table

THE DAY BEFOREHAND:
-Prepare the vegetables, salad, sauces and any other foods that can be refrigerated
-Get the atmosphere right by arranging the flowers and ironing all of your linens
-Don’t forget to let the neighbors know if cars will be parked in front of their house!

THE DAY OF: Sprucing Up the Setting
-Set up the table and bar
-Marinate the meat, chill your wine and prepare your garnishes
-Be sure the guest bathroom has clean towels, empty garbage, and nice touches like scented soaps or flowers

2 HOURS BEFOREHAND: Taking Care of the Little Things
-Set up the dishes for the buffet, and get your favors placed
-Finish preparing or setting up any food that can be done early
-Make sure you have extra garbage bags, and set aside a place for all the dirty dishes to go

1 HOUR BEFOREHAND: Last Minute Details
-Arrange the lights by using soft-lighted lamps, and light scented candles in the bathroom and elsewhere
-Arrange your snacks and turn on the music to set the mood
-Finally, get yourself dressed up and ready to party!

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