Updated: Dec 5, 2019
Plan, plan, plan - we cannot stress this enough. There will always be something that comes up last minute, but if you leave everything to the last minute you will just stress yourself out. Plan out what you will make, and what you need to buy. Make a plan of when to shop, and when to prep leading up to the party. Also plan out what needs to be done in your home - cleaning, table setting, and other elements from our Day Four blog post.
In your plans, make a point of doing at least one thing for the party, every day for about a week leading up to it. Finally, enlist help from these valuable sources to save yourself some time and stress, both before and after your party:
Rent necessary dishes and glassware. This is a huge time saver for the post-party cleanup as you can rent everything you could possibly need, and you don’t need to wash them before sending them back! A variety of items can be rented for far less than you may think - $4.85 for a dozen wine glasses and $4.30 for a dozen side plates. Locally, in the Region of Waterloo, ABC Party Time Rentals have a great selection. For a little extra, they’ll even deliver right to your door.
Take advantage of local experts. Pick up pre-made or catered appetizers, main course, or desserts from a trusted local provider. Locally, in the Kitchener-Waterloo area these retailers are great for anything you may need - The Culinary Studio, Dana Shortt Gourmet, or Vincenzo’s. To add to those, the Ambrosia Corner Bakery, Crumb Bakehouse, and Norris Bakery are fantastic options for desserts. If you want something specific, from what they're offering, be sure to place and order in advance to avoid disappointment.
Take friends up on their offers and prepare whatever you can in advance, so you aren’t going crazy the day of your party. Determine if anything could be made early and put in the freezer. Consider things that freeze well such as soup, pasta sauce, homemade meatballs, casseroles, baking etc. Also, determine what can be made a night or two ahead of time.
Use existing playlists from tools such as Spotify, Google Play, or another music source. Be sure to listen to it while you’re prepping or cleaning, to ensure that it suits the vibe you’re going for at your party. Another idea is to set up a collaborative playlist on Spotify so your guests can add their own song selections based on the vibe you want.
Hire a cleaning person for a quick clean before and/or after the party. Depending on the size of your space and what you want done, this could be about $75 to $100. However, the time it saves you for doing other tasks will be well worth it! They will never fully clean the way you would, but at least it takes the pressure off for the main areas that your guests will see - bathrooms, kitchen, general dusting, and floors.
Are you prepared for an unexpected guest? Check back tomorrow on what you should have available just in case someone needs to spend the night.