Throwing a great party is definitely beyond the capacity of any instructional article, as a great party can only be defined as such after it is over. It is the product of a combination of great planning and a great deal of good luck regarding uncontrollable factors such as the weather, the moods of your guests and their interactions. But with wikiHow, you'll have more than “good luck”!
Part 1 of 3: Plan the logistics
Step 1. Set the time, date and place
You will need to announce the event two weeks in advance, so plan for it in a few weeks. Thus, your guests will be aware in time and you will have time to plan the party of the year. You will have to take into account the following:
- Pick a date where there is no other event, at least one that you know of. If another large community event has been organized or if you know that some friends always get together for wine on Wednesdays, for example, avoid those dates. You're supposed to want guests to attend, right?
- The party will not necessarily have to be at night, although it is the most common. How about a lunchtime party? Everyone wants an excuse to have pancakes and mimosas on the weekend, right?
- The easiest thing will be to organize the party at home, although it can also be in a public place. Restaurants and bars are good options, but if you want to impress your guests, you could also look for premises for rent (community centers, parks, historical areas, recreational and sports centers, etc.).
Step 2. Make your guest list
As a general rule, the more the better. However, we do not recommend that the guests be like sardines, so take into account the area you have and how many people you will have to feed!
Always remember that people tend to be late or sometimes not at all. So we recommend you include more people than scheduled. If you do, make sure you know if they will bring friends or not or things could get out of hand. In the invitation, indicate if they can bring friends with them or not
Step 3. Pick a theme
If you can, try to avoid the themes of the 80s or costumes, because your guests may have already gone to those types of parties the week before. How about a cartoon theme? Or from your favorite TV show or movie? A location, specific food (like the 24-story sandwiches in cartoons), a concept, or a station will also come in handy.
- The theme could be something as simple as a color! Think how easy it would be to decorate and choose food and drinks.
- Regarding the "concept", the party could be an event in itself. A beer or wine tasting? A tasting of macaroni and cheese? A holiday, an important day in history (for example, the arrival of man on the moon), a mystery party or even an unusual superhero party. All guests must wear their own costume to the tune of their theme song!
Step 4. Spread the word
You will not have to send paper invitations, better create a page on Facebook. Then make sure to text those close to you (we'll tell you how they can help you later) and send them a reminder a few days before the party, especially if you ask them to bring dishes or other items. Make sure to discuss it with the people around you. You have to excite them!
Do you want the guests to RSVP? Bring a saucer or a drink? Make sure to include it on your page, text message or in the conversation, you could end up with 50 people at your door empty-handed. What a tight spot
Step 5. If necessary, create a budget
Hosting a party could be extremely expensive (seriously). Between all the food, drinks, and decorations, the expense could be enormous. If you want the party to be full throttle, consider budgeting. The amount of money X for food, X for drinks, etc. Then, you will have to discard what exceeds your limit. The party won't be fun if you empty your bank account.
That is why the buffet-style party where everyone contributes something is excellent. Delegating tasks to your guests will take a load off your shoulders when it comes to time, presentation, and money. So if you're thrifty, don't let a lack of money stop you from having a party, just get the guests to help you out
Part 2 of 3: Planning Food, Entertainment, and More
Step 1. Decide what to serve as food
No party will be complete without food. What's more, if you don't want your guests to leave, you will have to serve them food, although you don't want to spend three days locked in the kitchen, so what can you do? The host is supposed to have fun too.
- You could serve food that the guests have to prepare themselves. Put the ingredients to make tacos, ice cream cups, breakfasts or whatever you can think of. In this way they will also be entertained, because by feeling active, they will be able to have a topic of conversation and enjoy it.
- Have appetizers ready for when your guests arrive. Something that can be served in the blink of an eye. That way, they will be happy from the start! It could be vegetables, chips, fruits, cheeses, desserts. Plus, the appetizers are quick and easy to prepare.
Step 2. Plan the drinks you will serve
It should also be something they drink as soon as they arrive. As with food, the ideal is that your guests are satisfied as soon as possible. Having something prepared from the start will give you the freedom not to worry about having to serve, in addition to all your other responsibilities as the guests arrive.
- You could offer a signature drink throughout the night (to match the theme color?); We also recommend a bowl of punch, because it is tasty and simple. However, you can also put the ingredients for the guests to prepare their own cocktails (for example, put all the ingredients for a martini and the instruction sheet in the corner). You could also put a simple bowl of liquor and soda.
- Don't forget the people who will be the drivers that night, if any. Don't limit them to drinking water or diet cola. Add flavored syrups to make homemade sodas, or add fruit juice and garnishes to tonic water.
Step 3. Plan the music you will play
You should organize it in such a way that it does not distract you from your work as a good host by having to worry about the music. We do not recommend shuffling your iPod, because the Casablanca soundtrack could play or someone could steal it (the iPod, not the Casablanca soundtrack). So put on music that keeps your spirits high and no one can steal.
Wireless speakers are a good investment, if you don't already have them. Make a playlist of all the ideal songs for your party. Make sure the list is long enough so that nothing repeats itself. And when the party starts, all you have to do is press the "Play" button and your DJ job is done
Step 4. Get or make decorations
Choosing the theme of the party will greatly facilitate this task, since you will be able to know your specific needs. Even if you don't want to put traditional decorations, we recommend putting tablecloths, placemats or things like that to make it easier to clean at the end. Here's an essential list of what you might need:
- Tablecloth or individual.
- Matching plates, cutlery, napkins.
- Table center (s).
- If you want it to be more personalized: souvenirs, labels for seats and drinks, etc.
Step 5. Organize the venue
Your home (or where you live) may not have the ideal layout for your party. There should be an orderly line to go to the bathroom, easy access to food and drinks from anywhere in the room, and plenty of room for guests. Where will you put everything? Do you have the necessary number of chairs? And music?
If the location is your home or someone else's, also make sure to safeguard anything you don't want to spoil. All fragile items, antiques, or valuables should not be in the party area. Designate a space that your guests cannot access where you can put all those objects
Step 6. Consider customizing certain items
If your guest list is small and you know exactly who is coming, consider putting in a few personalized items to make them feel special and remind you of the party. It could be something as simple as a specially decorated cupcake, your favorite dish, or a glass of your own.
If you are using the same glasses and cups, put a marker that identifies the guest's drink with a simple, personalized touch. With all the labels and other details that you can print from the Internet, there is no excuse
Step 7. Prepare yourself in case people get drunk
It's that simple: If you're throwing a booze party, be prepared to deal with those who are intoxicated. You will regret not doing it before morning breaks. So keep pillows, ibuprofen, and carpet cleaner on hand. Do you want to do more things in the morning?
Since this party is your idea, you will be responsible for the guests. If it's a problem, ask them for their keys as soon as they arrive. Save them and give them only when you know they are sober enough to drive. Not that you are self-righteous, you are being cautious in case something goes wrong
Step 8. Don't forget to plan the cleaning
Is there anything worse than having a fabulous party and a monumental disaster afterward? Yes, having to clean up a fabulous party and a monumental mess without cleaning supplies. So when you go shopping for cream cheese and vodka, take a look at the cleaning section. You will need paper towels, garbage bags, sponges, and a spray cleaner, of course, if you don't already have them.
Ideally, you should convince a few friends to help you clean up or make them feel bad about not helping you before they leave. After all, you are a good guest every time you go to their houses, right?
Part 3 of 3: Host Your Party
Step 1. Delegate responsibilities
The moment has come: your party will start very soon. Delegate some tasks to your closest friends. While it might sound a bit overbearing, you could actually make them part of the organization, sure, as long as you don't ask them to clean the bathroom! Ask someone to set the table, someone else to assemble the decoration and you will see that time will fly by.
Consider delegating tasks to your guests. By entrusting them with a task, in addition to making them feel part of the magic of the party, they will also feel an obligation to attend! Someone could bring a dessert, another ice, etc. Only as a team can you organize a party, you will also have much less responsibilities
Step 2. Make sure the place is clean and functional
People will need to be able to move freely, sit when necessary, use the bathroom and other facilities. Change the order of the furniture as needed and according to the order of your plan. Store all your supplies for the night in an easily accessible place. So if you run out of something, you will be prepared. That place also has to be functional for you.
Anyway, everything is going to get dirty. While the floor, bathroom, and table will need to be clean, you don't need to clean years of grime with a toothbrush. You can do it after the party, while you are in the middle of a cleaning task trying to remove stains of sticky and mysterious substances
Step 3. Decorate
It doesn't matter if you just put a tablecloth on the table and wait for the guests to come with their respective dishes or opt for the extravagance of covering the entire room in frosted snowflakes, making artificial snow and turning up the air conditioning. Fortunately, all decorations are valid.
- The only thing you should not forget are the lights. People like shiny things, especially if the party is outdoors. So look for torches, candles, Christmas lights (or variants), and glow decorations for the finishing touch.
- If your party venue is difficult to get to, put up signs! Going to a new place can be stressful, especially with how difficult it is to park. Putting up a few posters will ease your guests.
Step 4. Make sure your guests are entertained and socialized
This task should be partly yours, because you are also supposed to have fun. Of course, keep up with the atmosphere of the place: does the music have to be changed? Is something over? Do people socialize properly? If you have to, get people together and get them talking. People who don't know anyone might need a nudge in the right direction.
- You will be able to suggest games and activities, too. Turn the ice cream table into a competition table or your cartoon sandwich into a photoshoot. It's normal for guests to want to follow the host's directions, so show them the kind of party you want to have!
- If there are different groups of friends, you will be the link between all of them. So come out of your shell, be social, and find ways to talk to everyone. Parties are so much more fun when everyone has new experiences and new relationships are formed.
Step 5. You should know when to end the party
While it may last for many hours, you will need to know when to start "asking them out." If it's 2 a.m. and you have to clean up a huge pile of disposable cups, don't be embarrassed to start firing them. Yeah it was fun and all, but party's over, guys. Time to go home.
To make them understand, start cleaning. Guests will get the hint and hopefully help you out! Tell them that you are very happy for their visit and that you will see them soon. The next party will be their turn and you will bring your famous enchiladas
- If your party guests are not part of the same group of friends, propose games to break the ice.
- Do your best not to change the date of the party, otherwise you will interfere with their schedule and they might not attend, things that will ruin everything.
Music: put on some great dance music, but also one that you can mostly ignore when you're socializing with your guests (or hosts) and other attendees, passionately debating, etc. It's a good idea to use instrumental music like chill lounge, acid jazz, dub, tribal, or jazz.
We recommend African music, because it has a happy rhythm, but its lyrics are practically impossible to understand for most Westerners, so it will be an excellent background music. If you're playing songs with lyrics, stick to extremely popular rock or pop songs with a strong beat that will get people dancing or singing
Make sure the games are appropriate for all ages.
We recommend putting video games at your party, especially if they are easy to understand like Guitar Hero or Wii Party. Make sure that the atmosphere is not so competitive and the spectators can joke about the skills of the player on duty
You always need to have good food and drinks. Even if the guests bring food, you must also offer a wide variety of dishes and drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
The snacks that are always popular are: vegetable chips, including potato products, but also alternative vegetables such as yucca, taro, and green plantain; the raw sandwiches (raw carrot sticks, cauliflower, etc.) with sauce; quiches; cold cuts and a wide variety of cheeses, such as blue cheese, manchego and mozzarella with toasts or rolls with butter; pickles and more. Use your imagination and local information
When it comes to drinks, be sure to provide options for those who don't drink alcohol and don't want to drink sugary tonic water. You could put natural fruit juices, vegetable or tomato juice, which will not always have to be used to make a Bloody Mary. Of course, never underestimate the power of water, especially natural mineral water combined perhaps with a dash of lemon.
For those who do drink liquor, you should have at least: whiskey, vodka, white and golden rum and, if possible, gin, in addition to mixed drinks such as cola, ginger ale, sparkling water and tonic water. If you want to show off, make martinis (you'll need dry vermouth, gin, green olives, and a shaker to make them). Everything else will be a waste of time - nobody cares if you can make a margarita or a tequila sunrise
- It is essential to have enough food, otherwise the party will not be so fun.
- Be careful not to invite people who get along, as it could ruin the party. If you do, try to keep her away or promise to be civil during the party.
- Invite people you know who have common interests and who get along.
You should not have a party in the following situations:
- A recent natural disaster.
- A situation of national upheaval or calamity (for example, a war or curfew)
- In situations of national mourning.
- If in your family or near your home you are mourning a recently deceased person.