stress free planning

Don’t be Stressed at your own Party

How to NOT be Stressed at your own Party.

Tips from the Pros how to do event planning.

exclusive banquet table

If you can do it ahead of time – DO IT!

There are a lot of steps to social event planning you can do a day before or two days before. Don’t wait. If it can be done then do it.

If something is new and has plastic wrap – take off the plastic wrap.

If the napkins can be pre-folded then fold them.

If it can be pre-measured, pre-mixed, pre-poured, then do it.

Don’t think” Oh, I’ll have time to pick that up on my way…” because you never do.

What’s Your ‘Game Plan’

Create a “game plan” or event planning timeline. I like to keep everything on one piece of paper. Divide the page into four quadrants: Shopping list, Menu dishes, Décor, that extra touch (candles, flowers, a bowl of lemons, chilled plates…)  Some top Portland event planners prefer to work backwards starting with the last thing that will happen and list to do items in that order. Write your list in the manner most comfortable for you.

Create A Menu

When creating the menu and theme focus on a “remembered flavor“.  Serve one dish you want your guests to walk out the door saying, “Wow, I really loved that herb crusted____ or that hint of almond in the ____ was just the best!” Here’s the trick – the simpler the better. Honest!

After the menu is determined, follow one stress reliever tip: Take one thing off the menu. Something you don’t need or that is dispensable. Don’t over complicate.

Create a Time Buffer

Give yourself 1-2 hours more to prepare than you think you need.  Take the stress off yourself by building in a nice little buffer between your first guest arriving and your final preparations. If you seem relaxed and together when the guests arrive, they’ll be relaxed too.

However you do it, stay organized.

“Mise en place” is a French term for “putting in place” and having the required set up before you start cooking. It entails having all the ingredients measured, cut, chopped, peeled, sliced, grated, etc. prior to cooking. Pans are prepared. Tools, bowls, and all equipment is set out. It is the technique French chefs use to prepare meals quickly and effortlessly. Hospitals use it and so does the top Portland event planner too. Think about it, you probably see it in more places than you realize.

No Cell Phones

Put down the cellphone. Our connected world has created a new level of stress. Insisting on knowing what is going on every minute clutters our minds and our souls with unnecessary angst.  Check your messages and then turn it off until tomorrow.

Always build room in the schedule to sit and enjoy your efforts before the doors open. Have a glass of wine, or sip and toast yourself, “I did it!” Maybe it’s only 15 minutes maybe it’s an hour. There is comfort knowing you have extra time just in case it’s needed. If the guests see you are stressed they will “feel” your stress then fun fades.

You Can Do It

Make another list – the party night list. Keep an index card in your pocket. That way you can know at a glance when it’s time to bring out the warm appetizers. And remember, at the top of all your lists, write “Be calm.” You’ve got great event planning skills.


Extra Touch Events – Your event management solution.


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