Planning a party can be a daunting prospect especially if it’s something that haven’t done before or in a while. There is quite a lot of pressure for things to go smoothly and be a success and many things to remember for the big day. Here’s a handy checklist to make sure that you have everything covered and can be the host or hostess with the most:

Don’t plan too early or people will forget the date. About three weeks before the party, send out the invitations. But start with the below steps as soon as you like:

  • Make list of people to invite.
  • Mark the date on your calendar.
  • Plan the menu, including the beverages. Remember that you can get great deals online too. For an Online wine merchants in Northern Ireland, visit
  • Make shopping list for food and decorations.
  • Plan cooking schedule: Determine what can be made ahead and frozen, day before, and that day, and what you are buying already prepared. Research local catering firms if you don’t want to do the cooking.
  • Make list of equipment needed such as rental chairs and table unless you hire a venue and all that is included.
  • Plan the layout of the rooms and what kind of decorations will be most suitable and where they will be positioned.
  • Plan music or research hiring a local band or DJ.
  • Plan lighting.
  • Buy or make a centerpiece or other decorations.
  • Check your stock of cleaning supplies for before and after the party, you won’t need to worry about this if you hire a venue.
  • Make sure you have all the platters and serving pieces you’ll need or check with the caterers.

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If the party is at your home then here are some things to consider for during the party:

  • Coat rack or somewhere for all the coats to be stored which can easily be overlooked.
  • A place to put boots or umbrellas.
  • Ice, ice bucket and tongs.
  • Napkins
  • Paper towels
  • Extra toilet paper
  • Enough plates for appetizers, salads, dinners and dessert
  • Glasses (water, wine, mixed drink, beer, soda, coffee)
  • Cutlery
  • Coffee and tea bags
  • Milk and sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Wine and bottle opener
  • Garnishes such as lime and lemon
  • Charged camera battery
  • Garbage bags
  • Space to chill beverages. It takes beer, wine, and soda 20 minutes to chill on ice. A large tub or cooler can be used in a back room.

Take party notes

After any party, it’s a good idea to record in a journal how much was left over and what people liked and didn’t like. This information will be a big help when you plan your next gathering. Think of your party journal as a reference to look back on when you are trying to remember your boss’s favorite drink. That way you can have it at the next event.

Now that you’ve got the party basics down, plan for your Christmas party with HEB’s holiday party tips ‑ explore everything from holiday appetizers to cocktails.