Cocktails + Desserts // Party Prep

I love planning parties. The month-long process is part of the fun for me. Here’s how I concocted our Cocktails + Desserts bash.

One Month Prior:

  • Decide on a party theme {Cocktails + Desserts}
  • Gather ideas for the menu {sweet treats and a craft-your-own-cocktail bar}
  • Send out letters requesting donations for food {Michael’s Cookie Jar and Ooh La La were happy to donate, but everyone else I asked completely ignored me} – this of course would be skipped if you’re throwing a personal party

Three Weeks Prior:

  • Send out invitations {I designed mine, made it a PDF and emailed}


  • Decide on decorations {basically, I used a lot of wedding decorations that I hadn’t packed away yet. that became the basis for our colors – gold + black with some magenta and purple thrown in. even though the party was ultimately for a Halloween bash, it was too soon to go full-blown Halloween with my decorations.} 
  • Buy materials for DIY decorations {because you can’t go to Hobby Lobby in a hurry}
  • Buy/borrow serving pieces you may need {I needed a cake stand and some platters, and I bought plates + napkins to go with the theme}

Two Weeks Prior:

  • Begin DIY projects {I made the yarn tassel garlands and the menu board. both very enjoyable projects – especially if you aren’t rushed!}


  • Set up the food table, if you can {we don’t have kids or cats, so it was safe to set up the platters and stands on the table for a couple weeks}


  • Draw a blueprint of where you want each dessert to go {this was important for me because I wanted to make sure I had enough serving pieces – it will also be important later on!}

One Week Prior:

  • Get in touch with guests who haven’t RSVP’d
  • Place decorations where you want them {set up the candles, frames, all that jazz}


  • Buy last-minute decorations if they fit your theme perfectly {I could not resist these Poison cups from Target}


  • Confirm food orders and pick up day/time
  • Buy last-minute food items {limes!}
  • Clean house {if your housekeeper didn’t just retire, you get to skip this step. and I’m jealous.}

Three Days Prior:

  • Get excited!
  • Purchase flowers + arrange in vases {never do this the day of! it always takes way more time than i think it will/should. it also gives the buds a couple days to open up.}
  • Get a mani/pedi: in a fun color {this gives it time to dry and set before you’re busy setting up}

One Day Prior:

  • Enlist some help {Michael’s Cookie Jar is nowhere near work or home, so my sweet mom offered to pick up our cookies for us, and E picked up extra bottles of wine. it’s best not to overextend yourself at this point because you want to be able to enjoy the party!}
  • Wash the food platters {since I’d left the food platters out on the table for quite some time, I felt like they needed a good washing right before their debut – this is where your table blueprint comes in handy – so you don’t forget your perfect set up.}
  • Set up the bar {take out all of your alcohol + mixers and get the ice bucket ready}


  • Clean (again!) {you can probably skip if you’re not a dog owner, but our wood floors seem to need a  sweeping every few days}

Day of the Party:

  • Pick up food {Ooh La La is on my way home from work, so I figured picking up the goodies the day of would be easy enough, and they would be fresher}
  • Pick up ice {or ask your amazing husband to do this}
  • Arrange food on platters // Pour yourself a cocktail // Light the candles // Take a few photos // Enjoy!

I know one month is a long time to prep, but I’ve found I enjoy the process so much more when I’m not rushed and I have time to be creative. How do you prep for a party?




all images original to KiKiMac


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