It’s party time! Execute a flawless party with pro planning tips from people who are paid to party. Two Top Pros on Thumbtack, Event caterer Nicole Mar and DJ Maasha (aka Masha Evans), bring delicious rhythm to the Los Angeles party scene. Steal their timeline tips and step into the limelight this season with this no-stress plan for party success.
Pick a Date and Location
Choose a date your friends have available! Then, don’t hire anyone until the space is locked down, recommends Masha. Backyard, restaurant, an art gallery…know it’s yours for the night before taking next steps.
Decide Your Vibe to Create Your Budget
Dessert party? Saucy cocktail soiree? Seated gourmet dinner? The party vibe you choose determines your budget, says Nicole. Budgets costs to consider can include: vendors, alcohol, food, and location.
Hire Some Pros to Help
Pick what stresses you out the most (Do you hate to cook? Can’t handle music to save your life?) and hire a pro to handle that aspect, suggests Nicole. Don’t want to deal at all? Hire a party planner to handle everything, top to bottom. Masha recommends booking a caterer, DJ, photographer, and bartender as soon as you have a date. Don’t forget a photobooth if you’re going big, or face painters if there will be kiddos!
Make Master Lists
Masha’s a huge fan of organization lists. She recommends at four to six weeks out making:
- A big picture to-do list
- A cost sheet/budget list
- A master shopping list you can add on to as you go
- A list for any equipment that’s needed
- An easy-reference vendor contact list.
Keep it all in one place and appreciate your stellar planning process skills.
Order customized invites for a special touch or send no-fuss e-vites.
Ask Friends for Help
To save on budget, ask a drinks-savvy friend to cover bartending duties or a crafty friend to decorate, suggests Nicole. At very least, Masha recommends at least 1-2 assistants—whether hired or volunteer friends—to help with clearing plates and refilling ice. Hosting is a big job, she says, make sure you’ve got back up.
Buy Non-perishables & Order Rentals
For DIY hosts, purchase bulk booze, dry foods, and decorations now. Do test runs of new dishes, centerpieces, or specialty drinks during this time. If you need chairs, linens, or china, now’s the time to lock it down. Always remember to provide non-alcoholic drinks as well, suggests Masha.
Make a Day-of Party Timeline
Timeline your party day: 12pm hair and makeup, 2pm caterers arrive, 4pm DJ arrives, 5pm guests, etc. Keep your peace of mind intact with a day-of plan.
- Schedule a house cleaning, then decorate with (fire safe) LED candles, plants, and pinecones
- Alert neighbors of party hours and provide them a contact number
- Get extra ice and paper towels
- Clear space on your phone for photos!
- Plan a mani-pedi, pick out a fabulous outfit, and get ready to have fun
Remember not to stress, urges Nicole. Ask for help, relax, and have a good time. If you appreciate your vendors, Masha says, a tip is always appreciated as well as a great Thumbtack review. You’re all set for party success!
Want more party tips? Check out the Thumbtack 2017 Holiday Party Trends Guide.
[Top photo via Nicole Mar]