2–3 days before the party
• Clean out your refrigerator.
• Buy remaining shopping items.
• Set out decorations and candles.
• Thaw any frozen meat.
• Bake any desserts or breads that will keep well.
• Make ice for drinks.
1 day before the party
• Make any dishes that will hold and can be heated the next day.
• Pre-cut vegetables for recipes. Measure and place in containers.
• Wash and dry greens for salads. Make salad dressing.
• Make a list of last-minute tasks for the day of the party.
• Have bathrooms well stocked with towels, toilet paper and tissues.
• Prepare a cooking timeline for the next day. Decide what time you’d like to serve dinner and work backwards to determine when to begin cooking the food.
• Set the table.
• Assemble the floral centrepiece if you’re using one.
The Big Day
• In the morning, make any appetisers.
• Prepare and have garnishes ready for desserts or other dishes.
• Plan on being ready for guests 1 hour before they’re scheduled to arrive. This cushion helps if unforeseen problems arise.
• Cook according to your cooking timeline.
• Take one more walk around the house and straighten up. If needed, put hard-to-hide clutter in a large laundry basket and stow it away in an unused room.
• Start the music and light the candles 30 minutes before your guests arrive.
Start planning your party well in advance and you won’t overlook any aspect. For a list of things to do a month before the event click here