Having been a caterer for a number of years I've learned the hard way, the secret to success when planning a dinner party is ...
ORGANIZATION and TIME MANAGEMENT.
You could make the most amazing food but without these two your party will be really hard work and not enjoyable.
Think about planning things for your party a week in advance, not the night before.
Write down the days of the week. Break down the jobs to be done into a couple each day.
Freezing prepared food is a good idea.
The night before the party should be tying up the final loose ends and relaxing.