I don’t like to brag, but I think I was blessed with the gift of throwing great parties. At least when it comes to decorations, food, drinks, and many other treats. I've been organizing events for my family, some friends, and myself, of course, for a few years now. Among my repertoire I have a couple of parties worth mentioning, not only because they ended up being quite fun, but also because people still talk about them.
Now, both of them were theme parties. The first one was my birthday. I decided to throw a Tarantino bash: I asked my guests to come dressed as their favorite character and, surprisingly, they all did. However, I really wanted to show the essence of his film universe and devoted a lot of time to adding that vibe into every single detail. Not only were my guests amazed and entertained with recreating their favorite scenes, but they also loved interacting with all the props and details I placed. That for me was the success of the party. At the end of the day, these were the usual guests who come to my parties, and in some way, we always have a blast. But this party was special because it was different than just a regular gathering at someone’s place with music and booze.
The next year, still savoring the success of the Tarantino party, I organized a surprise How I Met Your Mother gathering for my sister’s birthday. Again, I put a lot of effort in the decorations and treats, and again, it was a huge success. Since, then I’ve organized some other small events with themes like Pokemon, Game of Thrones, Frozen, and even Hercules. I’m not an expert yet, but somehow I’ve managed to see what works and what doesn’t in a determined type of party or gathering, how to leave a good impression in your guests, and more importantly, to make everyone (especially the protagonist of the party) happy. So, I’ll give you some tips and ideas you can follow the next time you host a party.
Decide what type of event you want to host
This is the most important thing to bear in mind before organizing anything. See if it’s going to be a birthday celebration, just a party to get in touch with your friends, a small gathering, or maybe you’re just celebrating a success in your life. It could also happen that you want to host a party for someone else, so you must think of that person’s likes and preferences when it comes to celebrating. Here would be the time for you to decide if you want to set a theme. It doesn’t have to be a costume party or a themed celebration based on a cartoon, movie, or series. It could just be a matter of color palettes or decorative style. Personally, I always opt for this, since it can create a nice atmosphere in the place and people will definitely notice it.
Find the perfect venue
Once you've decided the type of party, you must find a venue. It could be someone’s place or a rented space. But always make sure to ask the owner about what limits or rules they have, so there won't be any surprises. That goes for time limits, noise, and use of substances (some people don’t really like people getting drunk in their places, nor will they allow guests to smoke on their premises). You also have to be clear on what you want your guests to do on the party. So, for instance, if the owner of the venue won’t let people smoke cigarettes and you know most of your guests do smoke, you'll probably want to look for another place. Another important thing to bear in mind when looking for a place is the location and how easy or hard will it be for your guests to arrive. Finally, if you’re doing it at your own place, you must foresee that you’ll have to clean the next day and that accidents do happen at these events, so take the needed measures to avoid them.
Think thoroughly on the guest list
This is also a very important thing you must take into account. It’s very easy, especially when it's a celebration for yourself, to be selective with the guest list, but sometimes, it’s necessary to leave some people out. If you’re organizing a party for someone else, make a list of the people that person would love to see there, not those you like the most. I know, sometimes we can be really selfish and think about who we’d love to hang out, but maybe that person prefers seeing someone else. Also, think of the venue you chose and its capacity. Nowadays is quite common that guests bring people with them, so if you don’t want random people showing up, be very clear in the invitation that this is a private event.
Set a budget
Many would think that this is the most important rule when throwing a party, but if you’re very clear and organized on what you want to offer, it’s not that necessary. For instance, in my Tarantino party, I didn't spend too much, since I only bought snacks and drinks. I did all the decorations with things I had at home, so it was a memorable party with a very low budget. Now, if you really want many expensive things, you should really make a budget plan so you won't end up spending more than expected. I strongly believe you don’t need tons of money to throw a really great party. It’s just a matter of creativity.
Decide on what kind of food you’ll offer
My mom always says that if you’re offering alcohol, you must offer food as well. So, we basically grew up with that idea, although many don’t really put a lot of effort on that. My advice would be that, unless you’re throwing a dinner party, don’t offer complex and elaborate dishes. You can put together a table of snacks and candies (which are so fashionable and entertaining, to be honest). Plus, this can also give you a great spot to place decorations and make them the center of your party.
The same with drinks
This depends a lot on the type of party and if you have a theme planned. You can go for the basic drinks, so you won’t have to be there serving refreshments, but if you’re into a cocktail centered event, you’ll want someone tending that stand. Otherwise you’ll spend the evening there, instead of partying with your friends.
Create some smashing playlists
This is a tip you’ll want to follow at least for the first hours of the party. There’s nothing more bumming than people messing with the music. Decide what you want to listen to and don’t let anyone touch the console. For that reason, the best thing is to create playlists so you can just let the songs slide.
Be prepared for any mishaps
Things happen at parties, no matter how much you plan every single detail. So be prepared to solve them or to just let them go. Don’t get stressed.
This is my golden rule for hosting parties, and that’s why I always organize them thoroughly beforehand. It’s your party and you’re throwing it to have a nice time and have fun, so just enjoy it. Don’t mind about what might happen or if something didn’t go according to the plan.
Some people always tell me that I put a lot of effort in the parties I organize. But aside from thinking what my guests would enjoy, I always think on what I or the person to whom I'm organizing the party wants. If they're happy, the rest will flow, believe me.