If you’ve never hosted a party before, you may be very nervous for the first few events. Here are some party tips to give you the courage to get started.
The first step is to decide what kind of party it will be. Will it be formal or informal? Big or small? If you don’t have experience hosting social events, a small party can seem less intimidating. Will you be hosting the party indoors or outdoors? Who do you want to invite – people you already know well? Friends from work? Family? Do you want everyone to know each other or do you want to mix a lot of people who would normally never meet?
Will you be serving food and alcohol? Want people to bring their own? Would you like your party to have a theme? Are you celebrating a special occasion? Do you have a lot of money to spend or very little? Do you have a lot of space? Need to reduce noise? These are just a few of the decisions you need to explore before you begin issuing your invitations.
Once you’ve decided on these matters, choose a date, time and place, and make a list of people you want to invite. Depending on the customs of your social circle, you can issue formal written invitations, invite guests by phone, or ask them in person. Whichever method you choose, it’s a good idea to issue party invitations at least two or three weeks in advance.
One of the most important aspects of throwing a party is making sure that all of your guests understand exactly what kind of party it will be and what is expected of them. Be very clear about the exact time, date and location of the party. Here’s a checklist to help you make sure your guests know what to expect:
You want to throw a party that everyone will remember, but you don’t want to spend a fortune doing it. Here are some tips on how to throw a successful party on a budget. From decorations to food to entertainment, we’ve got you covered. Read more for some great party-planning tips.
– Is the party formal or informal?
– Is it a costume party?
– Does the party have a theme? Is there any special clothing required?
– Do you deliver food? Will you provide a full meal or just snacks and appetisers? What time will the food be served? Will it be a formal meal? Or a buffet?
– Do you supply alcoholic beverages? Do you want people to bring their own drinks?
– Do you want guests to bring something, such as food, appetisers, party favours, or liquor?
– If you have any unique requirements, make them very explicit. For example, you may want no one to consume alcohol or smoke on the premises.
– Do you want people to bring their children or leave them at home?
– Does the party start at a specific time or is the start time approximate?
– Is attendance “come and go”?
It is very important that your guests know exactly what to expect. For example, if you’re serving a full-course, sit-down meal and don’t tell your guests ahead of time, they’re likely to eat at home before they come to your party. If you want everyone to wear casual clothes, those guests who choose to dress up a lot will be embarrassed. Relationships have sometimes broken down because the party guest didn’t understand exactly what was going to happen at the party, so be very clear in your communication.
A few days before the party, call everyone on your list to remind them of the party again and have them confirm definitively whether or not they will be attending.
Many parties are very simple and largely unplanned. The host just invites a number of people and supplies a lot of food and alcohol. But parties can also be quite elaborate affairs. You might want to throw a party that’s a step or two more sophisticated than just a gathering of lots of people with lots of noise and lots of food and wine. With a little creativity, you can create an unforgettable splash without spending a lot of money.
Use your imagination and turn your party into a unique event. You can get lots of great creative ideas from magazines, TV programs and books to help you plan interesting activities, food and decorations. Don’t get too carried away – your focus should always be on creating a warm and welcoming experience for your guests. You are not creating a theme park. One of the easiest types of parties to host is a potluck party. At this type of party, you don’t have to worry about the overwhelming task of preparing all the food yourself.
You simply ask each person or couple to bring some food for everyone to share. You can be very organised in your requests and give each person specific instructions on what to bring. Or you can just let people bring whatever they want and hope you don’t end up with ten jello salads. To ensure a hearty main course, prepare it yourself. You can also ask one or two people to bring dishes that you think would be particularly popular.
Even if you are a very good cook and prefer to do all the food preparation yourself, it probably still helps if you ask a friend to help you prepare everything. You may want to start all the preparations a day or two in advance.
Before the party starts, make sure the house is reasonably clean and that you have enough chairs, plates, cups and glasses for everyone. Make sure you have enough garbage containers available. Choose a selection of music that your guests will enjoy.
If you have never thrown a party before, you may be quite nervous and worried about whether the party will be a success.
You’ll have a lot more fun at your own party if you let go of the idea that everything has to be perfect. Parties aren’t about perfection, they’re about fun. Things that go wrong may seem catastrophic at the time, but they can seem very funny later.
Try to be at the door to greet each of your guests as they arrive and thank them for coming. Let them know where to put their coats. Tell them when and where food will be served and show them the location of the bathroom. Introduce all new arrivals to people already present.
As you get to know each other, briefly mention some interesting facts about each person so they have something to talk about. For example, you might say, “Fred, this is Ron Stevens, who is my boss at the bank where I work. Ron, I’d like to introduce my neighbour Fred Lahrmann. Fred just finished building an ultralight aeroplane in his backyard.”
If someone at your party seems particularly shy, be sure to introduce them to others who will talk to them. If you notice someone who seems to be alone a lot throughout the evening, you can ask them if they have been introduced to everyone at the party.
Sometimes people who are socially awkward will take the opportunity to help you with some parties. You can politely ask them if they would be willing to take the appetiser tray from the guests or help collect the empty glasses. Don’t force these duties on them. Give people a choice.
Try to reach each guest several times during the evening and do not play favourites, ignore some and monopolise the time of others. If at all possible, try to talk to your guest