Birthday Party Checklist

Everyone celebrates their birthday differently. You don’t have to be an extroverted person to throw a party and enjoy it. It is your day, the party is in your control. With this simple birthday party checklist (and these birthday party ideas), you’ll be ready to start planning in no time!

The hardest decision is where to begin. Follow this simple birthday party checklist to keep you on track of planning your event.

The Basics

These first few details of the checklist will be the foundation of your party. Figuring out the basics are fundamental and will help you the most when you begin planning.

▢ Date and Time

You will need to decide on a date and time first. Are you celebrating the weekend before the actual birthday, day-of, or after? Of course your birthday is all about you, but give some thought to who you will be inviting and their general availability.

Pro Tip: If you have a venue already in mind, such as a specific restaurant or bar, check their availability. This may determine the date of your party.

▢ Guest List

Who do you want to be at your party? Send invitations to the friends and family who will turn a good party into a great one. Once your guest list is in order, you will have a better idea of what the cost of the party may look like.

▢ Budget

What are your must-haves for this party? How much are you willing to spend? If you love good food, maybe a caterer is most important. If you are going to book something like a rooftop bar, then that may take up more of your budget.

Determine the most important aspects of the event within your price range that will allow you to achieve your birthday party vision without breaking the bank.


It is your party so it should feel like you. When planning the aesthetic make sure the vibe and mood of the party is one you are suitable with.


There are pros and cons to renting a venue vs hosting at home.

Renting a venue

Pro: Hosting at a venue outside of your home will make set-up, clean-up, and hosting easier.

Con: Hosting at a venue outside of your home is going to be more costly

Hosting at home

Pro: Hosting at home is cost effective.

Con: Hosting at home will call for more clean up, set up, potential pressure for hosting.

▢ Theme/Vibe

Creative decisions come from the theme. Choose a theme and start planning decorations, menu, outfit and entertainment ideas so they all coordinate.

The ‘vibe’ is the energy of the party, and can be any adjective that describes the mood of your event. The energy of the party will guide your decisions. Whether you’re thinking of a whimsical, boho, vibrant, upbeat, or chill vibe, it’s all about you and how you feel.

▢ Color Scheme

It will be great if you are able to match the color scheme with your theme. The color scheme will be used for dish-ware, balloons, party favors, and any other decorations.

▢ Entertainment

Party entertainment will add a memorable experience to the event. The entertainment should match your theme if possible. Entertainment could be anything from a DJ, photo booth, musician, karaoke machine, or dancer.


▢ Menu

Guest may be expecting food of some sort. Depending on your event determine what the menu may look like.

Prepare and serve food yourself, hire a cater, or you can also opt for a potluck style where guests bring appetizers and desserts. If you want to provide alcoholic drinks, consider hiring a bartender to craft cocktails and mock-tails throughout the night.

▢ Itinerary

Have an outline for your party. It does not have to be set to the exact minute, but it is good to have an idea of time frames to stay on track of things you want to happen at your event. For example 6pm guest arrive, 7pm serve dinner, 9pm performance, etc. This will allow a little structure for your party to run smoothly.

▢ Decorate

It is smart to have an idea of what you want your venue to look like before hand. Gather some friends and family to help you set up your decorations. Make sure you have all of the necessities near by for setting up decorations.

▢ Celebrate

The day of your party can be stressful, but in the end it will be worth it. We hope that this birthday party checklist has helped.

What matters the most is that you have a good time! For more event and planning ideas check out the below links.

Event Checklists

Event Ideas

Birthday Party Events

Atiya Cheung