This one step is the key to planning a party like a professional

Event by Poshed & Peachy. Photo by Freckled Fox Photography

Some of us are blessed with the party-planning gene, while others do better just showing up for a good time. No shame in your game! But every once in a while, you might be expected to host a small get-together, whether a dinner party for your work friends or a two-hour shindig for your child’s 5th birthday. Lucky for you, the rules are actually quite similar no matter the size of your gathering, and they begin with three simple steps: plan, plan, plan.

Michelle B. Charlot. Photo courtesy Poshed and Peachy.

Party planning begins by conceptualizing the idea and planning extremely far in advance, advises event planner Michelle B. Charlot of Poshed and Peachy. Giving yourself enough time to make decisions, change decisions and then piece them all together is imperative. According to her, a good timeframe for a smaller event is approximately four months.

“I always tell people that you have to start with the venue. You don’t have a date until you have a venue,” Charlot says.

The golden rule all seasoned party planners follow is having a plan, a backup plan and then a backup to your backup plan, especially amidst Louisiana’s constantly changing weather patterns. Always consider the possibility of having to move an outside event inside another venue, putting up a few tents, or figuring out a plan B for location.

“Things change so much—things you can’t even plan for most of the time,” says Charlot. “It seems like you are constantly making adjustments, so I would even go as far as to say that you are adapting constantly.”

Photo by Silver Loop Studios.

Keep in mind, too, that nothing will leave a bad taste in your guests’ mouths more than, well … a bad taste in their mouths. Many of us have left weddings, dinner parties or cocktail hours wishing there was more food available—or at least more delicious food. In order to find the right caterer and avoid that problem, Charlot has to spend a lot of time sampling food, but she considers that time well spent. 

“Entertainment and food options are the top things that people enjoy,” she says, “so having really good options will keep your party moving and flowing.”

Lastly, you may feel like the party is winding down as your guests leave, but the hosting doesn’t end until the last guest leaves. Party favors are always a nice touch, says Charlot, but you may need to think outside of the box to prevent basic favors from appearing redundant or tired. Think about the reason for the event and the theme, and then go from there. 

“To get the best results from the beginning of the planning process to the end-of-the-night party favors, you need to consider your guests,” she says.“By considering what they like and what their expectations are, you will leave a lasting impression.”


To see more of Charlot’s work, visit her website at poshedandpeachy.com. And don’t forget to tag us on Instagram @inregister in all of your spring and summer parties.