The Ultimate Free Birthday Party Checklist

Last Updated on December 9, 2022 by Project Party

A birthday party is a special event that only comes around once a year. Whether you’re planning a child’s birthday party or your own, there are certain things that need to be taken into consideration to make sure the day is perfect.

This comprehensive checklist will help you plan and execute the perfect birthday party, ensuring that everything is taken care of, down to the smallest detail. So, get your party planning pen out and get ready to create your birthday bash!
Before the Big Day

Step 1: Set the Date and Time for the Birthday Bash

There are a few things to consider when choosing a date and time for your party. You’ll want to make sure that the date works for everyone on your guest list, as well as the birthday person. The most popular days for parties are weekends, but you may need to consider any commitments people have. evenings are also popular times for parties, but again, you’ll need to check schedules. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what day and time work best. Just make sure to give your guests plenty of notice by planning your event at least a month in advance. This will give you more time to book vendors, send out invites, and shop for decorations and birthday gifts.

Birthday party checklist date

Step 2: Choose Your Party Venue

Once the date and time are set, you need to decide where your birthday party will take place. For children, birthday parties can be held at the home, at a local park, or at an indoor venue such as a play centre. For older people, a birthday celebration can be held at a restaurant, bar, or adult entertainment venue. If the party will be held at a venue other than your home, book and confirm the location and assume an RSVP rate of at least 75%. That way, you can be sure that everyone who RSVPs can actually fit in the venue and that you can confirm minimum numbers with the venue.

Step 3: Create Your Guest List

Now it’s time to create your birthday party guest list. First, decide who should be invited. Depending on the birthday person and their preferences, you may need to consider a range of family members, friends, colleagues, school-mates etc. Once you’ve decided who should be invited, draw up your guest list and ensure that all invitations are sent out in plenty of time before the birthday bash. You’ll want to send out invitations at least four weeks before the birthday party. And, have the RSVP date a week before the birthday party.

Step 4: Choose a Theme for the Party (e.g., Pirate, Princess, Etc.)

Choosing a birthday party theme is an important part of the birthday bash. It will help to bring your birthday party ideas to life and give your guests something fun and exciting to look forward to. You can choose from a range of themed birthday parties, from classic pirate or superhero themes for children to music-themed birthday bashes for adults. A theme will be helpful in selecting decorations and vendors too.

Birthday party checklist unicorn

Step 5: Book Your Vendors

This could include vendors for:

  • birthday cakes,
  • catering
  • entertainment, and
  • photography.

Popular vendors can get booked up so it’s best to book your birthday party vendors at least six weeks in advance. Don’t forget to also look for special birthday deals that can help you save money. And, select age-appropriate entertainment for the guests (e.g., clowns, face painters, entertainers).

Speciality cakes and cupcakes can also take a vendor’s time to make, so you should also plan ahead with the birthday cake and dessert order. A professionally made birthday cake could take as long as two to three weeks to make and deliver, so you should plan your birthday cake order in advance.

Step 6: Plan the Decorations

Start planning the birthday party decorations as early as possible. This will give you plenty of time to find all the necessary birthday party supplies, such as themed birthday banners, balloons, streamers and candles (if allowed). You’ll also want to make sure that your birthday decorations complement each other and the birthday theme.

You’ll want to give consideration to any planned activities or games for the birthday bash too. This will help you to decide how much space you’ll need for decorations and set-up activities at the birthday party venue. Plus any toys/trinkets or accessories (think pinatas) you’ll need to buy.

Step 7: Create a Menu and Shopping List

Create a birthday party menu and shopping list for the birthday bash. Consider any specific dietary requirements and do your best to accommodate those attending the birthday party. Make sure you have enough food on the menu so that everyone attending the birthday bash is adequately fed. It’s also a good idea to ask attendees to bring their favourite drink or dish as this helps to reduce the cost of hosting a birthday party.

Step 8: Set up Decorations According to the Theme

Make sure all birthday party decorations are set up according to the birthday theme and that you have enough birthday supplies for your guests. This includes any birthday games or activities planned, such as a piñata or birthday gifts.

Step 9: Prepare Food and Drinks

Prepare the birthday food and drinks in advance so they are ready to serve when the birthday guests arrive. You can also ask a family member or friend to help out with food preparation on the day of the birthday bash. Make sure all birthday guests are served food and drinks in a timely manner so that everyone enjoys their birthday treat!

Step 10: Arrange Furniture to Accommodate Activities and Games

Arrange birthday party furniture such as chairs and tables to accommodate birthday activities and games. This will help ensure everyone has enough space to enjoy the birthday celebrations.

Step 11: Clean Up

Clean up any mess left behind and return rented items if applicable. Cleaning as you go helps you to keep your birthday mess to a minimum and will also save you from having to clean up all the mess yourself later.

Birthday party checklist clean up

Step 12: Share Photos and Videos

Upload photos from the day onto social media or an online album so birthday guests can relive the birthday bash. You can also share them with everyone who attended the birthday party.

Step 11: Thank the Guests

Thank your friends and family for coming with personalised thank you cards or gifts if desired. This is a nice way to let birthday guests know that you appreciate their attendance.

Birthday party checklist thank you

Following this birthday party checklist will help ensure your birthday bash is organized, memorable and enjoyable for everyone who attends! With the right birthday party planning, you can make sure everyone at the birthday celebration has an unforgettable experience. So get started on your birthday planning today!