Note: I originally wrote this for Mother-Daughter Banquets but it's also a great checklist to adjust for any type of women's event...Julia
Last Minute Mother - Daughter Banquet Planning
Okay, the time is short and you still feel like you have a million things to do? It's okay! Just take a deep breath and exhale s-l-o-w-l-y!!
Here are some things to check and double-check.
- Check List
It may be a little late to start a list now but if you haven't, jot down all the plans you've already made. Double check on all the details. Is there anything you overlooked?
Newspaper ads and most advertising should have already been done, but if you've still got a couple weeks, is it down to be in the bulletin, etc.? Does everyone know when and where? If it's to be held at a restaurant or away from the church, make sure everyone has directions.
Do you have reservations for facilities or at a restaurant? Double-check and make sure you they have you down for the correct time, correct amount of guests, etc.
Are all the decorations made, bought, gathered up and ready for set up?
Are your favors made? Ordered and received? Prepared? Did you remember to make a hang tag with your event information? (Name of Banquet/event, church name, date, theme verse if room, etc.)
Still have time to decide on a favor? You'll find some information on the Crafts and Favor Page.
If not and you feel you have to have something, check your local Christian bookstore for novelty items such as book marks, key chains, decorative note pads. The simpler, the better. If you are down to the wire, Dove® mints and other chocolate candies come beautifully wrapped and it may be all you need.
- Doorr Prizes
Are you using door prizes? Are they already purchased? Do you need to wrap or tie anything up with ribbon? Do you know what you are giving the door prizes for? Do you need tickets for door prizes? Are you giving prizes to special mothers?
Click here for door prize suggestions. Make sure you have a few extra gifts in case you end up with a tie on anything.
Are all the arrangements made for the food? If you've arranged with a caterer, do you have every detail ironed out? If it's being prepared by church members did you remember every "extra" item such as bread, salad, ice, butter or margarine, salt and pepper shakers, and any condiments that will enhance the food you are serving? Sweetener, sugar, creamer for coffee?
Are there going to be any little ones at your banquet? Make sure there is food for the younger ones such as toasted cheese sandwiches, crackers, etc. to keep them occupied too.
If you are preparing your own banquet, do you have all the supplies for the banquet? Plates, cups, napkins, silverware, table cloths, etc.
- Food Serving Containers/Utensils
Sometimes the biggest thing overlooked at church functions prepared within the church are serving utensils and containers. Make sure there is something to serve each item with. You don't want one pie server to be bounced back and forth between 10 different types of pies and cakes (and let me say, that is happens.)
If your church holds regular fellowships you might want to invest in some serving utensils from Costco or Sams, but if you are in a pinch and want everything uniform, try checking out your local Dollar Store or Dollar Tree or Everything's $1.00, whatever it's called in your area.
Make sure if you need large serving bowls that you have them on hand. Punch bowls make great salad containers. If you are not placing your eating utensils on your tables, placing them in baskets looks a lot nicer than throwing them in a box on your serving tables.
- Skits & Drama
Are you having a skit or some type of drama? Is it ready to be performed? Does everybody know their lines? Does everyone have their props?
Are you including ice-breakers or games? Does anything need printed up such as game sheets? Do you need pens and paper for the ladies to use in relation to games? Nobody likes scrounging through their purses at the dinner table for pens so have some handy.
You'll find games and ice-breaker ideas here.
Are you having special music? Double check on details. If you are having a theme chorus or singing anything as a group, make sure it's something everyone knows or have the words typed out or on a board for everyone to read. Do you have someone to lead the music for the evening?
Are there any "extras" you want to include? If you want to make a memory of your event such as a scrapbook for your ladies, make sure you have a camera on hand or someone to take pictures. Do you need to set up a backdrop for photos? Having a guest book for them to sign in when they arrive also makes a nice statement and you can keep the sign in pages for your scrapbook.
Do you need a microphone for your event? Make sure the details are in place with your church sound man ahead of time.
- Set Up
Do you have enough people to set up before the banquet? If tables need set up, is there someone to lift and move them? If you need the help of the men of your church for this, make sure you get some help after the service nearest your banquet or sometime when the men are there to do any heavy lifting.
Are you having a special speaker? Are the details ironed out? If they are from out of the area, are arrangements made to pick them up at the airport? Have hotel reservations been made if needed? Do they have a map with directions if they are driving? Make sure your speaker knows how much time is allotted for them to speak.
- That Good Ole' Thing called Money
Do you have your check ready for your speaker? Caterer? Restaraunt? Clean Up Crew? Any Rentals? Are banquet dinner fees from your guests taken care of? Do you need to request checks ahead of time from your church office or pastor? Smoothing out the details ahead of time will alleviate problems.
- Clean Up
Don't forget clean up. If you have a scheduled clean up crew or family that cleans your church, be courteous and check with them ahead of time to make sure they intend on cleaning up after your function. Make sure you have enough help. Don't forget to put everything back where you got it and have things looking like before your event.
Is there anything that needs printed up before the banquet such as bulletins, booklets, song sheets, game sheets, hang tags, reserved signs for the speakers tables, etc.?
- That Most Used Room---The Restroom!
Are the bathrooms clean and neat? It will be the most used room as at any ladies function! Make sure it is well stocked with toilet paper. A nice touch is to set out a basket of hand creams and hair sprays for your ladies.
Make sure you have your agenda for the evening written out. Even if you have a bulletin or booklet to pass out with the general schedule on it for everyone, make sure you have a detailed agenda for yourself and for the leaders for the evening, such as the pianist, speaker, music director.
Write down exactly how the evening will go such as when prayer will be, the special music, games, doorprizes, speaker, etc. and how much time is allotted for each item. This will help to keep you rolling and on time. Don't forget to include a few minutes to recognize your banquet helpers and workers.
- Little Things That Mean A Lot!
Are there ladies within your church that are coming alone? Make sure they are seated with someone who can "adopt" them for the evening. Don't let anyone feel left out.
Remember everyone doesn't have a loving and wonderful relationship with their mother/daughter so be sensitive to this fact. Also many have mothers/daughters who have passed on or who live away at long distances.
- Post Banquet
Don't forget to write personal "thank yous" to everyone involved in planning and preparation no matter how small or big of a help. Don't forget to follow up with a "thank you" to your speaker.
- Okay...another deep breath, say a prayer, and exhale s-l-o-w-l-y again!!
Copyright ©2001 Julia Bettencourt
Scripture References are from the King James Version.
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