A friend of mine, Jill, came to me a couple of weeks ago to ask me for help. She was in the midst of planning her parents' 50th wedding anniversary. This is an event that should have been a joy to plan; her parents have been together for 50 years, and from what I can tell, they are still very much in love. It doesn't get much better than that. Anyway, Jill was in a harried state because the party was less than two weeks away and she felt like she didn't have a good enough handle on the party. I sat her down and asked her explain to me what she had accomplished so far. She proceeded to pull out a handful of Post_It Notes from her purse, and she dumped the wad on the table we were sitting at. "What is this," I asked her. "These notes have the stuff I've been working on for the party," she replied. I remember looking at Jill, then looking at the pile of scrap paper that was her parents' 50th anniversary party plan, and then shaking my head. This is an extreme case, but you'd be surprised how unorganized people can be when it comes to preparing for important events.
The guest list is a driving factor in deciding such things as the menu and style of meal you will be having. If you have more than ten people on your list, you can probably rule out a five course sit_down meal, especially if you're preparing the meal yourself. You have a pretty good idea how many people can fit in your house, so the guest list can also tell you if you can have the party at your house, or not. The budget and the guest list are two essential items to include on your party planning checklist. These two should be the first two items you add because they both can narrow down the focus of your party. The order of what you accomplish on your list isn't as important as making sure you have one. Keeping track of what you need to do versus what's been done already will help you plan a successful party that everyone will enjoy.