6 Tips to Throwing a Successful Party

March 19, 2009 at 2:52 am Leave a comment

Upcoming birthday? Moving away? Really want to celebrate Tuesday?

Then chances are you’re staring a party in the face. If you’re lucky.

Before I get into any specific tips about the shindig itself, let’s get one thing out of the way. There are two types of party people, guests and hosts. While the difference between the two may seem small to you, rest assured, it’s the most important thing you need to know going into the event.

Are you a control freak? Do you love planning things? Are you prepared to let a group of people rip through your humble abode and risk destruction of property? Well, you might be a hostess.

If you’re more the type to show up when things are already looking nice and leave before the puking sets in, you’re more of a guest. Which isn’t to say that you can’t throw a party, just that you might not be as thrilled about the whole ordeal once it really gets going.

On to the advice.

1.) Themes are Therrific!

As I’ve said before, I’m a gal who loves a good theme.  And a party is really just an excuse to get a bunch of your friends to agree to go along with any crazy idea you have.  The example I’m going to go with for this whole post is my most recent party: The Holiday Party.  Starting with the idea that there is a very depressing time of year where there’s no good excuse to gather, I decided to throw a party where everyone could come as a specific holiday.  Dress as your holiday. Bring a dish from your holiday.  The whole nine yards.  Let me tell ya, nothing unifies people who don’t know each other too well like a theme.  Well, a theme and some liquor.

2.) Food, Food, Food

Food is really important.  I mean, without it, we die, right?  But more importantly, food can be one of the most memorable parts of your party.  Once you’ve decided on when to have your get together and landed on a theme, the next big step is planning a menu.  And trust me, you NEED to plan it.  You can’t wait until the day before the party to decide what you want to serve.  You will get overwhelmed and nothing will make sense together.  Not to mention that some foods take time to prepare.  Consider having a few staples that you can be known for as far as your go to party food.  Pigs in a Blanket (lil smokies wrapped in crescent rolls) are usually a big hit that requires minimal effort.  I prefer to have a bunch of little finger foods to munch on rather than trying to cook a huge meal.  Part of this is because I love baking and want to focus on how many desserts I can put on the table.  Anyway, just be sure to plan for enough food for all of your guests.  Nothing’s sadder than an empty plate. (Except orphans, they trump most sadness.)

3.) Don’t be a Debbie Downer

Okay, so you’ve decided to host a party. Well, with great power comes great responsibility, remember? So, you’re going to need to be able to suck it up and expect for something bad to happen.  There’s a good chance that someone will do something stupid and break something or make a huge mess.  Case in point: I stupidly told my brother to come to my recent part as April Fool’s Day and he showed up with a few surprises.  Namely, a 2 liter of soda with a mentos inside that proceeded to cover my entire kitchen with sticky grossness.  Well, guess what…the party still had to go on.  The point is, you just have to take your licks and keep on kicking.  If you let it get you down and pout for 4 hours, no one will remember the mess, just that you are a sucky hostess.

4.) Make a List

I’m a huge advocate of list making in everyday life but when it comes to throwing a party, I double my normal list making efforts.  Make a list of what food you’re making.  Make a list of who’s coming.  Make a list of what you need to do the days leading up to the party.  Make a list of reasons you don’t want to do this again.  It doesn’t matter how crazy the list is, it’s going to help you focus on the little things.  Lists make sure you don’t leave out important things like restocking the toilet paper or prepping the overnight gear.  And they make you feel more prepared and calm.  A calm hostess is a pretty hostess.

5.) You can never have too much rum.

Liquor disappears like crazy at a party.  And if you didn’t plan ahead, you will look like an idiot when you’re already drunk and insist that you’re positive there’s more rum.  Trust me.  You can never buy too much liquor if your friends are drinkers.  Even if their mild drinkers.   And if you have some left over, that’s no problem.  You can use it to forget the things you remember the next morning.

6.) Guests are great!

A party is nothing without guests.  Without party goers it’s just you sitting alone in an indian costume, drinking vodka, and eating cake balls.  That’s just pathetic.  So invite people to your party.  Duh.  Invite people you love, but more importantly people who will probably get along for a few hours.  Don’t invite polar opposites and expect everyone to sit around and braid each other’s hair.  Unless it’s a hair braiding theme, this probably won’t work out well.  Make sure you have a good balance of loud people vs. quiet people.  Drunk people vs. drunker people.  Family vs. non family.  It’ll be good for them to mix it up and will help future endeavors.

Okay, that’s it.  I’m done with tips.  I can’t divulge all of my secrets you know.  Then no one would come to my parties ever again.  But trust me, if you follow these guidelines, maybe one day someone will dub you “Themed party Super-Hostess”.

Probably not though. That’s my title.

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