Weddings, birthday parties and other big events can be made much more frugal when held in the backyard. This also usually makes it possible for more guests to be invited and keep the inside of the home a little cleaner. These events can be casual or formal, but they will almost always be more relaxed than a stuffy inside affair. However, no matter how relaxed the party may be, planning any large gathering can be nerve-wracking. Staying organized and on schedule will make an enormous difference.
Six Months Before
- Decide on catering, music and entertainment. If these will be done personally or by family or friends, plan exactly what everyone will be doing or bringing.
- If professional assistance is needed, reserve these services to be certain they are available.
- Large equipment rentals like tents, dance floors or bounce houses should be reserved and a date established for their delivery and set up. Contact a local rental service, like City Rentals, to make reservations.
- Make out the guest list and fill out invitations.
Two Months Before
- Mail out invitations.
- Request time off from work for accepting rental item deliveries and if needed for the day of the party.
One Month Before
- Purchase decorations, non-perishable foods and beverages.
- Make any repairs to the backyard as needed. This could include filling in holes to reduce tripping hazards, removing swing sets or other items and planting flowers and trimming trees and hedges.
- Do the little repairs around the house that have been ignored. Paint the fence, fix the front step or replace the broken lock on the bathroom door, for example.
One Week Before
- Call to check on all services to be certain everything has been properly scheduled.
- Check to make certain all family and friends are still planning to bring the items they promised.
- Pick up any remaining decorations or supplies.
- Talk to all neighbors about the party, ask permission to use their yards for parking, if needed.
- Remove anything that could attract ants or mosquitoes to make the yard as pest-free as possible. This includes storing garbage cans away from the area, removing any standing water and using citronella candles or pest repellent torches regularly to reduce the insect population in the yard.
A Few Days Before
- Mow and trim the lawn.
- Have large rental items delivered and installed
- Begin preparing food if professional catering services are not being used.
- Clean out garage, living room or finished basement just in case the weather does not cooperate.
The Evening Before
- Put up all decorations and make certain all outside light bulbs are working.
- Clean the inside of the home, and stock the bathroom with all necessary supplies. Put up signs inside to direct guests to the bathroom.
- Place balloons or signs in front yard to make it easier for everyone to find.
- Take pets to a boarding facility for a couple of days.
Obviously every party will be a little different, but the schedule can be easily adjusted. What is important is breaking down the tasks into easy to handle chores that will take only a few minutes to attend to, rather than attempting to do everything in a 24-hour period. When the checklist is followed it will be much easier to relax prior to the event and when the party actually begins.