|Label Your Serving Dishes|
2. Recipes and ingredients: Print out all recipes (even if you know one by heart, write it down and dedicate a page to it) and sort them in order of the preparation schedule you determined above. Check your kitchen to see what ingredients you already have, highlight those you need to purchase, and decide when you will do so. Try to leave only the most perishable items for the day before your dinner. This will free up as much time possible on the day of, so you can spend that time picking up flowers or attending to any unforeseen issues.
|Which would you choose??|
4. Gather glassware, dinnerware, and silverware: Clean anything that is dusty, and polish your silverware if necessary. To decide on a napkin fold, don't just test the same napkin on the same plate - place several sets next to each other (as pictured above) so you can compare them and decide which you like best. Then press your linens accordingly.
5. Decorations: Arrange your centerpieces and other decorative table items as much as you can. If you're buying flowers, go to the flower shop a few days in advance to see what is seasonal, and pre-order what you want to make sure it's available to be picked up or delivered on the day of your dinner. Gather candlesticks and votives, making sure you have fresh candles for them. Set your table the day before.
I promise this isn't as much work as it sounds. And if you follow these steps, I guarantee you will be a lot less frantic and better able to enjoy your celebration!