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Be organized by planning ahead for your special event.  For event planning first do the party guest list.  Next, think of a fun theme like western BBQ, fiesta, luau or Mardi Gras.  Then, plan menu taking into account any special food requirements that your guests might require.  Think of foods lower in carbs and fats.  Place any salad dressings on the side.  Create a shopping list from the menu or hire a caterer.  When shopping, look at the price per ounce to get the best priced items; Items in bulk do not always have the lowest prices.  Also, make a decoration and party favor list.  Plan party games, activities, and crafts.  Decide on the music and any addition entertainment.

Purchase party supplies online to save time and gas (and sometimes tax)!  Shop for the food and any remaining needed party decorations.  Buy party games and supplies for the crafts and activities.  Rent necessary tables, chairs, etc.  Get music or hire musicians.  For pool parties, hire certified lifeguards.  If having entertainment, disc-jockeys and bouncy bouncers, hire them.  Organize the seating arrangement.  For sit down dinners, place-cards are a nice touch.

Do as much of the setting up in advance as possible.  For large events and big holiday parties, make a courtesy call to the guests 6 -8 weeks prior to the event.  Then mail the invitations out 4 - 6 weeks prior to the celebration.  Don't plan on any store runs the day of the event.  Create checklists at the start of the event planning process.  Review the checklists periodically throughout the event planning process.  Make sure your camera has memory (or film) and batteries.  Have fun at your party and so will your guest!

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