Party Guide | Celebration Stylist | Popular Party Planning Blog

Party Guide

I'm so excited to share my new Party Guide with you! I've been working so hard on it to create the most comprehensive, DIY party guide I could with easy to follow instructions. I've been styling and planning parties since 2005 so I have lots of party tips to share with you. Join our Facebook Group to see some great parties ideas, ask for help, and share your parties too.

Plan Your Party - The Ultimate Party Guide

how to set up a cake table for a party

How To Plan Your Own Party Step By Step:

1. First you need a Location, Date, and Time.

Figure out where you'd like to host your event, keeping in mind, your budget and estimated number of guests. The time of your party will determine the food you serve which will also reflect on your budget. Plan on providing more food if your event falls during a mealtime. 

2. Pick a Party Theme

Start looking for party inspiration and create a Pinterest board to help define your theme and any ideas you love. Once you have chosen a theme for your party, you will be able to pick out your invitations.

3. Send out Invitations 

Decide on electronic invites or traditional printed invitations. My favorites places to get electronic invitations are Evite and Pingg. For printed invites, I love Swoozie's and Minted. Usually about a month in advance is the best time to send out party invitations. 

4. Plan and Order Your Food, Drinks, and Dessert

Based on the time of your event, figure out your menu {don't forget drinks & dessert} and determine where you will be catering from or if you will be cooking. Unless it's a small dinner party, I usually recommend catering to avoid getting overwhelmed on a day that should otherwise be fun. 

5. Plan Your Activities

What will you do at your party? You'll want to plan out any activities and make a list of supplies that you'll need. If you are having a cocktail party, for example, you may not need any activities at all. If you are hosting a kids birthday party or maybe a baby shower, try to imagine what your guests will do while they are there. I usually recommend self serve activities for parties. Whatever you decide, be sure to make a music playlist to play in the background too, every party should have music. 

6. Time Line

Certainly, not every party needs a scheduled time line. If you are hosting a dinner party or a cocktail party for example, you probably don't need to plan that out so specifically. However if you are hosting a birthday party or bridal shower, for example, you will need to have a basic idea of when you'll be playing games, serving food, and cutting cake. For parties like this, as a general rule, they are usually 2 hours long.

7. Layout

While you're planning, try to come up with a basic idea of how you want the layout of the party. Some of it, you will just figure out as you set up but having somewhat of a plan will save you time on the day of the party.  Decide in advance where you will put the cake table, seated tables, gift tables, food and drink tables, and any activities too.

8. Party Decorations

Your party decor will depend on the theme your chose, of course. Take a good look at the pictures you saved for inspiration. What do you love the most in each one? Do they have anything in common?

Don’t feel the need to decorate every inch of your party space. Try to focus your efforts in just a few areas like a cake table or a bar cart. I usually recommend a welcome sign at the entrance, a party focal point, like the cake table, and centerpieces for the seated tables. 

For cake tables, I always recommend cake stands as part of the decor for cakes, desserts, drinks, props, almost anything! Also, consider what’s behind your party focal point. You will probably need a backdrop of some kind.

Some of my favorite places to buy party supplies from are Amazon and Target
Beau-coup and Etsy are my favorite sources for favors too. 

Pro Tip: Try to imagine walking through your party as a guest. What will they see and do from the moment they walk in? Consider serving drinks on a bar cart by the door for guests to grab on their way in or have a clear route to an activity or food so they aren't standing around.

Party Guide - What You'll Need for the Perfect Cake Table:

how to create a cake table or dessert table for a party
Place food, other drinks, and activities on separate tables. 

Use our FREE Party Guide checklist to make sure you have everything. Just enter your email below and it will immediately be sent to your email for download.