Summer Party Hosting Checklist and Prep Timeline

Summer Party Hosting Checklist and Prep Timeline

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Warm weather brings friends and family together! This summer, here's a way to make party hosting easy and unforgettable.

With my easy to follow checklist and timeline for both advance and short notice parties, you'll have hosting down to a science in no time.

Regardless of the preparation, remember to enjoy the time together!

Photo of people clinking glasses 

Summer Party Prep Timeline for Stress-Free Entertaining

Summer party hosting is an experience unlike any other time of year.

It's fun and easy to throw together a party that features outdoor fun, grill-cooked foods, easy decor and comfortable clothing!

The best way to enjoy summer parties all season is to create a formula for your own success.

You won't worry about planning and party details with an easy timeline that becomes automatic with a little practice.

Photo of lemonade being poured into a glass

Summer Party Preparation Timing

Summer party hosting can be spontaneous or planned out. Assuming a couple or few week window, here are the steps to take to make the most of your event.

Three weeks in advance

  • Set a date and time - determine what works best for you, your family and friends. Do consider your personal energy levels when determining what time of day and week you would like to host.
  • Select a venue - home, park, other public venue, private venue
  • Send invitations - evite, text, phone - skip the snail mail invitations for an easy summer party!

Two weeks in advance

  • Plan the menu for time of day - brunch, lunch, dinner, drinks+dessert
  • Plan the decor - determine what you'll need to create a special effect in your party space: twinkle lights, music, candles, tiki torches, scent, flowers, other
  • Plan the entertainment - as simple as a bluetooth speaker to as elaborate as your cousin's string trio!
  • Plan the fun - consider lawn games, outdoor movies playing for the kids + big kids, 

One week in advance

  • Shop for the food and beverages
  • Shop for decor and entertainment as needed

Photo of paper painted American flag in a flower pot on a glass table

Three days in advance

  • Clean and organize - get help as needed!
  • Gather decor, games, entertainment supplies and box in bins to easily be carted to the space(s) where they'll be enjoyed.

Two days in advance

  • Begin food prep
  • Set up bar(s)
  • Place decor
  • Place entertainment
  • Test AV equipment and other if hosting movies, etc.
  • Find a location for guests' gear - bedroom, coat rack, etc.

One day in advance

  • Prep powder room with ample supplies
  • Finish last minute details
  • Clean the BBQ

Photo of chicken and red peppers on a grill

More Party Planning Pro Tips

Here are some party planning ideas and tips to make your next gathering a success!

Back To School Party Plan

Retro Style Birthday Party Plan

Party Planning Toolkit

Day of the party!

  • Set out food
  • Bring ice to bar
  • Light candles
  • Turn on lights
  • Get the tunes pumping
  • Put on a smile and welcome your grateful guests!

Don't let short notice stop you from hosting friends and family.

I've also shared a short window timeline to create a festive and fuss-free party just a couple of days in advance. 

Two days in advance

  • Send out invitation via text - ad a fun gif!
  • Plan and purchase food and beverage - go simple with one main, two sides, a dessert and a custom cocktail!
  • Plan decor - quick and easy does it here! Twinkle lights, candles in mason jars, throw pillows, throw blankets for cooler hours, fire pit

One day in advance

  • Clean the BBQ
  • Prep the bar
  • Hang and place any decor
  • Clean the bathroom
  • Clean and prep the party space

Day of the party!

  • Set out food
  • Bring ice to bar
  • Light candles
  • Turn on lights
  • Get the tunes pumping
  • Put on a smile and welcome your grateful guests!

Let’s Be Social!

👉🔗 Follow me on Instagram for more intel or Pinterest where I share what's working for me in business and delighting my creative senses!

Photo of strung twinkle lights with copy overlay for summer party checklist

Summer Party Planning Checklist

For a little help in planning, print out my summer party checklist to make the most of your event.

My checklist puts the focus on welcoming guests with special touches that take their comfort front and center.

Summer Party Planning Checklist Printable (PNG)



Today is a gift. Let's put a bow on it!
Find creative and sustainable ways to make family life a delight! Sharing modern etiquette that kids will enjoy.
💕 jennifer

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