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30 Oct 2020 | By Nicole Catatao

Planning a Birthday Party: Birthday Party Checklist #1

Out of all the parties to plan, most people would agree that planning their birthday party is the most fun. But while there is nothing wrong with wanting to celebrate yourself, there is a lot of preparation involved, and without the proper checklist, the actual birthday party can be extremely stressful. Start the planning process anywhere between two months to two weeks ahead of time, depending on how large your party will be. Here is a birthday party checklist to assist you when planning your next birthday party bash!

Decide on Your Event Theme

Arguably, the most important planning decision of any party is the overall theme of the party. The theme you decide on influences all other planning decisions from the event space, the food you serve, any activities that are planned, and even the dress code. With a theme, there are varying degrees to which you can incorporate it throughout the party. Having a few friends join you for a bowling night is a subtle theme, but still, the theme of your party since it will influence the location (bowling alley) and attire (socks). Or you can go all-out with a 1920’s era inspired dress up cocktail night at a rented mansion complete with champagne and a band. Whichever end of the spectrum you fall on - the theme sets the stage for the entire party. Decide on a theme that you are obviously fond of, but can turn it into fun for all.

Choose Event Location

Once you decide on the overall theme of your birthday party, you can start narrowing down the event locations. If you are looking to have your party at a bar, you should make a list of potential bars and then call them to see if they have private rooms or tables. Check out some of our very own restaurants with party rooms to get started in your search. Sometimes, if you have a big enough party, bars will reserve a table for you for free. Other times, there is a small fee. It is important to have a table booked because you don't want any of your guests being turned away at the door. If you prefer your birthday to be more intimate and not at a crowded bar, you can also look into booking a restaurant with a private room or renting a house for a night. EventUp has a multitude of event spaces to choose from that will fit all of your needs!

Guest List

The next step is making the guest list. This is when you need to decide if you want your party to be close friends and family or if you want to extend it to coworkers, friends of friends, and more. Just be sure to remember that if your guest list is large and your guests bring guests, you will need to accommodate them at your event location and with refreshments.

Send Invitations 

Once you have perfected your guest list, it's time to send out invitations. The type of event invitation you send will depend on how formal or how casual your party is. If your birthday party will be a formal affair, send out physical invitations. If you are just having a casual gathering at a bar or restaurant, you can send out an e-mail, Facebook invitation, or even just a phone call or mass text. The most important thing to remember is that if you need to give the restaurant a headcount for your reservation, then you will need to be specific with your guests on whether or not they can bring someone and when they will need to RSVP.

Make Reservations

If you are hosting a party that requires reservations, make them early on in advance, once you know how many people have confirmed their attendance. This will ensure that your birthday party will go exactly as planned and no one will be seatless!

Buy Decorations

No matter where you decide to host your birthday party, at your house, or a venue, decorations are a must. Decorations will always make the party more enjoyable. Cater your décor to match the theme, or just simply go with basics like streamers, balloons, hats, and a big sign that says, "Happy Birthday!".

Perfect the Playlist

It's not a party without music, and if you're having your birthday party in an event venue, then you should definitely start building a party playlist. Be sure to add some of your favorites, top hits, classic oldies, and any other songs that you and your guests will enjoy. It's your birthday party, so feel free to add any and every song that you love!

Order Food and Drinks

Lastly, if your event location does not accommodate food and drinks, make arrangements for them. Whether you order food or prepare it yourself, it's important to keep your guests satiated throughout the evening. Don't have time to prepare food and on a budget? Order take-out! Ordering something like pizza delivery is a great crowd-pleaser, easy cleanup, and can also accommodate both vegetarians and meat-eaters!


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