Birthday Party Checklist: Countdown to a Fabulous Party

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Birthday Party Checklist: Fabulous Party Planning Guide

Birthday Party Checklist: Countdown to a fabulous birthday party! Complete party planning guide |

Planning a birthday party can be half stress, half fun. To lower the stress portion of party planning, I’m sharing a helpful birthday party checklist. This is exactly how I organize big birthday parties while maintaining my sanity. I hope you’ll be delighted to find helpful tips within this birthday party checklist.

Birthday Party Countdown: 1 MONTH BEFORE PARTY

  • Set a budget
  • Select a date and time
  • Develop a guest list
  • Reserve a party venue
  • Choose a birthday party theme
  • Order birthday party invitations
  • Order thank you notes
  • Order party supplies and decorations
  • Reserve entertainment (photo booth, face painter, magician, clown, etc.)
  • Reserve party rental items: tables, chairs, and linens

Birthday Party Countdown: 3 WEEKS BEFORE PARTY

  • Mail birthday party invites
  • Plan a menu and price shop the items
  • Decide on birthday party games and crafts
  • Purchase all items needed for games and crafts

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Birthday Party Countdown: 2 WEEKS BEFORE PARTY

  • Purchase additional birthday party decorations
  • Make a decision about table centerpieces
  • Order the birthday cake
  • Order balloons
  • Confirm booking for entertainment (better safe than sorry!)
  • Confirm party rental items (especially important around holiday periods)
  • Make arrangements for extra help at the party
  • Make arrangements for music at the party – sound system, speakers, etc.

sweet shoppe candy party supplies
Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links for beautiful party supplies that can make your next event awesome. If you make a purchase using a link on this page, I may earn a small commission (your cost will not be affected). Thank you! I’m so grateful for your support of this site.

Birthday Party Countdown: 1 WEEK BEFORE PARTY

  • Purchase beverages & non-perishable food items
  • Create table centerpieces
  • Assemble party favors
  • Decide on a music playlist
  • Contact guests who did not RSVP
  • Borrow any items needed: cake stands, platters, chafing dishes, serving utensils
  • Create a detailed schematic of the party set-up: Location of food tables, cake tables, present table, dining tables, areas for activities and crafts, placement of balloons and decorations

Birthday Party Countdown: 2 DAYS BEFORE PARTY

  • Purchase all remaining food and beverage items
  • Charge batteries for camera and/or video camera
  • Confirm additional help
  • Decide which food items can be made ahead
  • Double check that you have all items: ice chests, beverage containers, propane for BBQ, etc.
  • Confirm order for balloons (better safe than sorry!)
  • Ask a reliable friend or relative to be in charge of taking specific photos during the party

sweet shoppe candy party supplies

Birthday Party Countdown: DAY OF THE PARTY

  • Finish food preparations
  • Meet the party rental company for table and chair delivery
  • Ice down drinks 3 hours before the party
  • Pick up the balloons
  • Pick up the birthday cake
  • Set up the music and put on some great tunes
  • Prep the food station and dessert table
  • Decorate the party area and set up the table centerpieces
  • Set up the activity stations and craft tables
  • Display the party favors in a stylish way (or store them where they won’t be forgotten)
  • Stop for 10 minutes and take beautiful photos of the dessert table and party decor
  • Take 20 minutes to freshen up and wind down a bit before party guests arrive
  • Hand off your camera to your friend who agreed to take photos during the party
  • Mingle with guests, and run the activity and craft areas with your helpers
  • Keep an eye on the food and beverage tables to restock as needed


  • Write thank you notes for birthday gifts
  • Return all borrowed items
  • Write a few notes about what things went well and what can be improved for next year
  • Treat yourself to a mani/pedi to celebrate a job well done!

Tiny Prints Three Free Samples

If you liked this birthday party checklist, you’ll love these posts too:

How to Plan a Party: Awesome Birthday Bash
Party Planning: Birthday Party Themes
Thank You Note Wording Examples: Birthday Gift Thanks

Another excellent birthday party resource:

Do you have a favorite birthday party planning tip? Please share it in the comment section.

Pink Heart from confettiandbliss.comPS: Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  1. I guess David is right. The checklist is very long and yes the one whoever is planning for the party will not forget anything. As I am planning to celebrate soon, so I feel these are more helpful to me. I am saving all the list. Thanks to saving my time.

  2. I like that checklist, pretty long, but I am sure this way one can’t miss out on anything. Really a challenge to make sure that you got all the ticks before the big day. Thanks for sharing this vital information.

  3. Awesome article!
    It’s my sister’s birthday next week.
    She’s 42 years old, a horse lover, and also likes designer gear.
    Does anyone have any good birthday gift suggestions please?
    and keep those great blogs coming!!!

  4. Woww, the party checklist is just appropriate. The post is just what I was looking for my birthday bash. Thank you so much for sharing this fabulous party ideas. Looking forward for the next share. Keep blogging and rocking.

  5. I had been still looking for a proper checklist and ideas which would let me search for the perfect birthday party. Thanks a lot! this blog is a great source for me now to refer for entertaining my guests at home and arrange for gatherings and occasions!

  6. Bookmarking this one for sure! I somehow always end up having my day of look crazy long so this would help a ton! In fact, I should start now for my next party. Thanks Denay!

    1. Yay! Mitzi, I’m so glad you loved this birthday party checklist. It’s a fantastic way to stay organized and on track. There are always a zillion details to remember when party planning.

  7. What a great to-do list! I am so bad about intending to plan ahead but then the day slips up on me and I am left to scramble! Thanks for the schedule!

  8. This is a wonderful list! I really need to save this for all the upcoming birthdays I have. There is so much to do and so much planning it can be overwhelming, but really fun too. There are a bunch I didn’t even think of. Thank you!

  9. This is great and so helpful, especially for moms like myself! It’s so hard to remember all of the things that you want to get done in order to have a successful birthday party:)

  10. Great List! Great Post! There is some much that goes into planning a party, but I love it. I always start my planning 3-6 months before that party date. I have to in order to have enough time to plan, and put things together. It’s a lot of work, but the end result is always worth it for me :)

    1. Kesha, I love how organized you are! Planning so far ahead ensures you have all the little details carefully thought out. Your parties must be absolutely fabulous. :-)

  11. My husband’s 30th birthday and my son’s 2nd birthday is coming up in October! We will be throwing parties like crazy that month! haha I am starting to get organized and really plan now. Thank you for this great checklist! It will really be handy!

    1. Hello Logan. I’m so happy you love this birthday party checklist. Many good wishes to both your husband and son for very happy birthdays! :-)

    1. Oh my goodness, Chrissa! Birthdays are so sneaky sometimes. They tend to slowly creep up on us when we’re not paying attention. But I know you can quickly kick start some plans and have a enjoyable, fabulous celebration. :-)