Dinner Party Checklist

Table linens: tablecloth, napkins
Serving platters
Serving utensils
Dinner, salad and dessert plates/bowls
Bread basket
2 or more glasses per person for water and wine
Coffee cups and saucer for each person
Coffee pot, sugar and cream
Hot water and an assortment of tea
Salt and pepper shakers
Carafe or pitcher for water
Wine chiller/corkscrew
Bottle cap remover
Condiments: soy sauce, hot sauce, mustard, catsup, freshly grated parmesan
Butter: Soften by taking out of refrigerator up to 3 hours before serving
Cocktail napkins
Birthday candles (Always handy – you never know when you will need them!)
Camera and/or video camera
Candles, votive candles

One Month Before Event

Decide on the occasion, theme, date, time and place
Plan Guest List
Decide on dress (casual, dressy, formal)
Plan decorations
Prepare menu/grocery list
Select caterer/serving help (if needed)
Designate items you need guest to bring, if any

Three Weeks Before Event

Mail, phone or email invitations
Begin shopping for decorations

Two Weeks Before Event

Rent or buy equipment (tables, chairs, linens, serving pieces etc.)

One Week Before Event

Buy beverages except fresh juices
Order specialty food items and finalize menu
Consider necessary cooking utensils and appliances and purchase if necessary
Plan for any guests with special considerations (i.e. vegitarians, kosher) and offer an alternative if necessary

Two to Four Days Before Event

Follow up with guests who haven’t rsvp’d
Buy non perishable food items
Buy fresh juices if necessary
Clean the house!
Order cake, prepared appetizers, flowers etc.
Defrost frozen meats/poultry in refrigerator

Day Before Event

Set up and arrange furniture
Arrange serving pieces
Coordinate last minute detail with caterer, servers
Buy groceries and fresh foods needed
Season/marinate meats
Prepare foods that can easily be prepared ahead of time or re-heated

Day Of Event

Decorate house
Pick up balloons, perishables and any items ordered
Put away/hide breakable items
Prepare food items
Chill drinks
Prepare any other food items
Set up food area with serving pieces, glasses and dishes
Give yourself plenty of time to shower and get dressed!

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