Easy Divorce Party Plan

3 Easy Steps

Step 1.    4 weeks away

Start thinking about an invitation list  Consider what kind of party you want: a small elegant social gathering or a rock-it out of the house blast.  Invite approximately 20% more people than you're expecting to get the right pulse for the night.   This is especially important when the gatherings are smaller.  It'll also help with planning for food, drinks, party helpers and venue.

Send invites via text, social media, e-mail, phone or mail.  Just know that it's best to send something to guarantee the best turn-out (people sometimes forget calls but sending an invitation by e-mail or mail with a text reminder will keep your party top-of-mind).

Pick a theme  Consider ordering the DMK Boxed Party (available March 2021) designed to make your party super fun and easy. Order 4 weeks or more before the party.  Otherwise, pick something positive and fun to celebrate your new single life or housewarming.  Start selecting your music playlist and decide if you're hiring a DJ.

Pick a venue  If you aren't having the party at your place, you'll need to locate a venue asap.  Some venues can have a 6-month waiting list, so you may need to try a few places before you find one that accommodates your guests and theme.  A subdivision clubhouse, neighborhood pool, medium sized hotel with banquet rooms or banquet center are all great venues.  We have more party ideas for venues in our popular 2020 DMK article Fund Your Divorce.

Plan the menu  Keep your menu simple if you don't have a lot of help.  The party isn't about entertaining, it's about celebrating.  So, keep your "hostess with the mostest" to a minimum (especially if you're a guy)laughing.  Stick with frozen foods that require limited prep time or prepared foods from local grocers, restaurants or bakeries that can be delivered, if possible.  Otherwise, hire a caterer.

Step 2.     3 weeks away

Purchase themed decorations for your party a minimum of 2 to 3 weeks away.  Try party center outlets like Party City® for the big stuff, but you can also make center pieces and decorations with materials from the local craft stores or places like Target® or Walmart®.

Purchase paper products  Depending on the type of party you're having, you'll need paper cups, plates, napkins, table clothes.  You may also find some discounted items that can be reused such as stainless silverware and glasses instead of plastic.  So, shop wisely.

Rent party items  Sometimes it may be necessary to rent tables, chairs, silverware and cloth tablecloths and napkins.  Restaurant supply houses, rental centers and party center outlets may be able to help you with this.  The sooner you can arrange these rentals, the better.  Make sure you have a way to have them delivered and picked up also.  Enlist a friend to help you on party day to receive deliveries.  It's important to have a system of organization to make sure you don't get your items mixed up with rentals.

Prepare the bar  Blush, Chardonnay, Riesling are popular wines.  Purchase wine, some local brew and some liquors with mixes for mixed drinks.  Figure about 3 bottles of wine for every 4 people or a few cocktails per guest for every 2 hours.  A keg may not be a bad idea if many are expected to drink.  If you're on a limited budget, stick with only beer or beer and wine.  Plenty of soda and water are also very important, especially if you don't have a lot of alcohol.  If your party has more than 50 people attending, it's a good idea to have a bartender.  Usually, you can advertise on Craigslist® a few weeks out.  Search under local gigs.  Pay a fair wage and allow them to put out a tip jar.   

Buy food  Purchase food that can be frozen or stocked weeks before the party and revisit your anticipated number of guests before ordering fresh food to be prepared or delivered the day of the party.  Have another friend help with food deliveries and food presentation.

Step 3     Party Countdown

Invite neighbors  If you are having the party at home let your neighbors know the party details.  Invite them if possible or let them know to contact you if the party gets too loud to avoid problems with the law.

Decorate  If possible, start decorating days before the bash.  Also, contact any planned deliveries to make sure everything is on schedule.  Finish last minute shopping.  Set-up tables, food stations and bar two days before.  Arrange furniture and do any needed cleaning one day before the party.  Consider cleaning at offsite venues too, they may be clean, but not to you and your guests standards, so be warned.

Prepare for guests and guest problems Have your Uber® account ready to go for guests who had too much to drink.  Most guest will order their own ride home in these cases, but for those who don't, be prepared.  The cost is insignificant to an accident and subsequent lawsuit for a friend who drove after having too much to drink at your party.  Also, prepare your home for overnight guests, if applicable. 

Remove personal items, medications, pictures or valuables at home if the party is at your residence.  You may trust friends and family, but if there are many "plus ones", you may not know everyone in attendance.  Also, set up easy clean-up stations for trash, spills and minor accidents.  Have a place for coats that makes it easy for your guests to find their items without bothering you when they are leaving.

Complete decorating the day before Pick-up flowers or fresh foods the afternoon before or morning of-  Finish party prep the day before and review your party venue to make sure you aren't missing any last-minute items.  Set up the bar the day before with paper products and stuff, but don't stock it until right before guests arrive (if venue is open for deliveries and staff).  Make sure to have plenty of napkins, cups and condiments.   Keep club soda, extra towels and first aid items in a spill station that you can get to easily.

Party day Be available or have a friend responsible for deliveries.  Don't worry so much about seating, most guests will be standing anyway.  Other than food, try to have the party completely set up by early afternoon to give you time to get ready for the party.  Set tightly covered fresh foods out no earlier than 1 hour before guests are due to arrive.  Have a friend manage the food displays and tables for guests to help themselves unless servers have been hired.  Greet your guests and make the night about having fun and celebrating a new happier life ahead!



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