When you decide to throw a party at your house, it might sometimes feel overwhelming to know where to start. The key is always to plan and then everything will slowly fall into place! Start either by doing a brainstorm of all the things you’re looking to include, then ordering the steps later, or use this handy guide and fill in any blanks as you go through the steps.
Pick a Theme
The greatest party always have a theme. This doesn’t need to be elaborate, like “Circus” asking everyone to dress up and making you redecorate your whole house. However, just a central idea will be great to create a common thread that all your party elements will follow.
Send invites well ahead of time
People’s schedules book up and, if you want to have a good atmosphere, you need to make sure everyone can make it. Either drop some informal hints at when the party would take place a few weeks before, then send a clearer invite closer to the time, or just send one invite firmly 3-4 weeks before. The invite is also when you can tell people if there’s a theme and whether they need to dress up or bring anything.
Keep it simple
Don’t turn it into a monster dinner party that puts you off cooking for people, or into a sophisticated over-the-top affair. Friends just want to relax and enjoy each other’s company. So, if cooking is not for you, order some take-away. Keep the decorations minimal. Remember to also enjoy yourself!
Always add food
Everyone loves a snack and it’s great to break up the party with the arrival of some nice tapas on a serving plate or – even simpler – crisps and nibbles. Maybe order pizzas later in the evening… guaranteed to please everyone!
Don’t use your “good” dinnerware
Have a set of dishes, glasses etc. just for the party. It’s great to have a matching set with stylish accents like bamboo, for example. Keep this for the party so you are not worrying about whether someone accidentally breaks a glass.
Background music will give your party a nice and relaxed vibe from the start, even when there are fewer guests present. Put a couple of Bluetooth speakers around your house and put on low-volume, relaxed tunes that encourage conversation.
Later on, if everyone’s up for it, turn up the volume and start dancing!
Focus on a few small details
You don’t have to spend a fortune for your house to look ready for a party. Some nice tea lights or a set of colourful balloons brighten up the place and will make a difference to your guests right away.
Make sure everyone is at ease, so – if anyone is new to the group or some people don’t know each other – introduce them to the rest. Your role as a host is to get people talking, so you’ll need to mingle and make sure everyone is accompanied and having a good time.
Put the food where you want people to spend time
This is true of all parties: if you put food in one room, that’s where the crowd will gather. So, make sure you’re either spreading your platters around the house, or create a central space big enough for everyone to gather in.
Don’t be afraid to be original
For your theme, you can always be original and come up with some ideas that will get people thinking… but also anticipating your party. Ugly Christmas jumpers make a great theme, but you don’t have to follow what’s been done before. Think of something all your friends can relate to, like a neighbourhood joke or a favourite past-time or just a type of food.
Watch the alcohol
Alcohol monitoring is a difficult task, especially when you’re the host and don’t want to put anyone off having a good time. If someone seems to be over-indulging or not feeling so well, be subtle in pulling them aside and seeing how you can help them.
It’s also a good idea not to put too much out from the start, this way you’ll be more in control of consumption.
Don’t forget that you’re throwing this party to have fun, too! So, relax, have a good time, and don’t fret over small details like what people might think of your bathroom tiling. If you’re relaxed and cheerful, you’ll lead others to be that way, too, and make your party a success.
These simple steps will ensure you’re the life of your own party and make you a grade A host. Next time you’re inviting people over, remember to smile and follow these quick tips for stress-free party planning!