How wonderful of you to plan this fabulous event for your husband!
Although it seems stressful now, I am sure that it will all be worth
it, because it
sounds like you have done a an awesome job so far.
While there isn't going to be a list that will have all the specific
"things to do" that you require for your unique event,
I do believe we can come up with a few workable lists that you can
customize to suit your needs. I have compiled some links to a few
lists, and put a star
by the ones that I think will be particularly useful to you. I have
also included some decorating ideas, tablescape ideas, recipes, and
party tips. You
mentioned serving finger foods, so I have included some of my favorite
"tried and true" appetizer recipes. However, if you are planning on
substantial dishes other than appetizers and are in need of some
ideas, please let me know in a clarification request and I will list
some more recipes.
If there is anything I missed, please let me know in a "request
clarification" and I will do my best to find it for you.
I hope your party turns out beautifully!
Best of luck to you!
*A great list that lets you enter your own "things to do" in a
different box for each hour, and half past the hour. After your done
entering your text in the
different boxes, hit the "create to do list" then print it off, and
your done. This one is my all time favorite, because I can go through
each hour of the
day and type off what I need to do. The text is always clear and easy
to read (where my own handwriting isn't!)
Another printable to do list, this one you print off and then write
An appointment list, with areas available for entries for each hour,
and half past the hour. Print off and then write out items to be done
on the appropriate
Printable list of "calls to make", print off and write on. Has area to
check if you reached the person, or left a message. I have found this
type of list
very valuable when I have allot of calls to make before a big event!
A printable grocery list that has all the basic products already
listed, just check off the ones you need before you print, or leave
the boxes blank and
check the items off as you purchase them in the store.
Printable party budget list to keep track of costs.
Party Planner list
*Party day checklist. a good list, however it must be printed off and
then the information filled in by hand. Has areas for task, time, who
will take care of
task ect. Might be helpful if your having several people help, to
print off copies for each of them.
A more detailed grocery checklist. Might come in handy for shopping
for the event.
Another daily checklist with hourly entries.
Party supply checklist.
*Extra trash bags, paper towels, and misc. supplies for easy cleanup
during and after the party.
*Film, cameras, batteries.
*Candles for atmosphere and for the birthday cake (if there is to be
*If alcohol is to be served make sure you also have a variety of
non-alcoholic drinks for those who choose not to drink
*Diet drinks and bottled water for those who are watching their weight
*If coffee is to be served, make sure you have decaffeinated coffee as
Suggestions for making your party extra special:
*I find fresh flowers a must have when it comes to parties or special
occasions. I Buy in bulk, and I focus on quantity rather than variety.
Spread them about
the hall and on your buffet/tables in unusual containers, such as
clear water pitchers or old glass jars. To dress the jars up set the
jar on several layers
of tulle or a fabric of your choice and pull up to the neck of the jar
and tie some ribbon, raffia, or cord around the neck.
And you don't just have to decorate with flowers, you can also
decorate with greenery from your own yard, as well as fresh fruits and
Ornamental grasses in long rectangular planters can also add a nice
architectural element to
*Another must for entertaining is candles. Lots of them! Don't worry
about holders for them all. Try buying some large terra cotta planter
bottoms (the kind you set your terra cotta pots on to keep them from
leaking when you water your plants) they are usually very cheap ($2-$3
a piece) And set a variety of
votive and pillar candles on them, in varying heights. The same thing
can be done with old platters, plates, ceramic tiles or any flat
serving dish. Just
make sure you wont care about it if wax does drip on it.
*Another great way to make your table/buffet setting look really nice
is have different items on containers set at different heights, that
way not everything
is on the same level. This can be achieved with crates, sturdy boxes
or pots. Just drape fabric or a table cloth over them and place your
dishes on the
different objects. Another thing you can do is buy several different
sizes of terra cotta pots, which are usually very cheap ($1-$10) and
spray them with
craft adhesive, then cover them in moss that you can purchase at your
craft or garden store. If you have the time, you can also take a hot
glue gun and glue
some dried flowers here and there. You can also take a terra cotta
pot, cover it with moss, and place a food safe container inside and
fill with rolls,
*Can be used to hold utensils. I usually have a basket for each
different piece of silverware. The long flat box shaped baskets seem
to work best for this.
Round wicker baskets, as well as other shapes are perfect for holding
napkins. Just roll your napkins and insert them into a basket, fold
some of the tops
over so it looks almost like flower like.
*Line the bottom of a basket with plastic and place moistened rolled
up terry cloth face towels for the messier appetizers.
*Fill small wicker baskets with party favors and place in the center
*Buy a large metal wash tub from your local craft store, fill with
ice, and place your wine, champagne, beer, wine coolers, soda in the
tub. Much nicer than
the traditional ice bucket, and prettier than an ice chest.
Create a scrapbook:
*You could start a scrapbook and put pictures in it of him at various
stages in his life (baby photos, school pics, graduation, wedding day
ect) and then
allow guests to look at it. You could have each guest write something
in the book about your husband, or if you wanted them to e-mail it to
you, you could
print off the e-mails and add them. Be sure to add a list of those who
attended, gifts received, and what was served at the party.
*Another fun thing is to buy several disposable cameras (the kind with
the flash) and encourage guests to use them to snap pictures
throughout the evening.
Once developed, they would make a nice addition to your husbands
scrapbook. You could also have your local film developer put the
pictures on a disk so you
can share the pictures with the guests online later. I have done this
on several occasions, and it's very nice (not to mention fun!) to get
the guests perspective on film.
*You could also have a large piece of paper covering a table (the gift
table would be best since you wont have to worry about food spills)
and have several
jars of colored pencils, pens, crayons or markers. Encourage guests to
write their well-wishes, funny sayings, memories ect. You could even
have them try and
draw your husband.
Balloons, Decorations and lighting:
*If you are planning on having regular balloons (not helium) it would
be a good idea to use an air compressor or some other device to save
time blowing them
*Buy confetti and sprinkle here and there on your tables/buffet for a
*String Christmas lights as you would with ordinary crepe streamers
for a more exciting look.
*Take large glass vases, fish bowls, or other large clear containers,
layer inside the container with christmas lights, and potpourri, top
the container with some tulle and tie a ribbon or raffia around the
top and plug the lights in. These look great just sitting around in
various places as well on the
buffet/table. The warmth from the lights will make the potpourri scent
stronger as well.
Basil cherry tomatoes, can be prepared the day before.
Artichoke and Spinach dip
(I have made this the day before an event and then just reheated it
Raspberry dip, good for serving with a fruit platter. (I have
substituted the fresh berries with frozen raspberries)
Creamy Dill Cucumber Toasties
Creamy Vegetable Sandwich Spread
Easy Snack Wraps, this recipe calls for deli turkey, but I have also
used deli ham and chicken as well. You can also use different types of
plain iceberg lettuce to give the wraps a richer look when sliced. I
once tried these with sliced black olives with wonderful results.
Hoagie dip, I haven't ever used this recipe as a dip, however I have
used it spread on hoagie (sub) rolls, and then sliced the rolls into
pieces. It's a nice change on the traditional finger sandwiches.
Green Onion Wraps, fast and easy to prepare. Can be made the night
before. I have substituted the corned beef with ham, turkey, and
chicken breast, and all
were a hit!
Caramel Corn Snack Mix, a sweet version of the popular snack mix.
Other food ideas:
*Take large loaves of bread, cut in half and scoop out the center of
the loaf, making a bowl. This can be used to hold appetizers, and
fairly thick dips.
*Use different types of melons cut in half, with the insides scooped
out as bowls to hold fruits and veggies, dips or cold soups.
*Buy a variety of fresh herbs to use as garnish for your table or
*If the food will be served buffet style, a good tip is to put the
plates at the beginning of the line, and the silverware and napkins at
the end that way
guests are juggling their utensils and napkins while trying to get