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If you are looking for party planning guides, the experts are there for you.
There are many online that are designed to help you through each stage of the party planning process. Do an online search of party Web sites and you'll find guides for budget, guest list, decorations, seating, beverages and even sample timelines for event happenings to keep you on schedule.
There are also books dedicated to perfecting the perfect party, books such as "Clever Party Planning" by Suzeanne Singleton and "Diane Warner's Big Book of Parties: Creative Party Planning for Every Occasion" by, you guessed it, Diane Warner. Check your local book store or online retailer to buy one that you can refer to throughout your entire planning process and then lend to a friend in need when it's her turn.