How to throw the perfect party
Hosting a party this summer? Not sure where to start? Me too. It’s easy to get caught up in the big ideas, themes or whatever but the little details are where you can really stand out.
Don’t get overwhelmed with everything; relax and have some fun. When stuck on how to host the perfect party, follow these simple instructions to throw the bash that all your friends and family will talk about for years to come.
First, the most important thing about a party is the atmosphere (or the "vibe" as they say). It doesn’t matter how much food you have, how much money you spent, or how many people you invite if the atmosphere isn’t fun, inviting, and memorable. But what makes an atmosphere fun?
By far and away the easiest, most reliable, and timeless way to “set the mood” is through music. Ever been in a situation where the awkwardness is literally coating the walls and you don’t know how to fix it? Awkward silences, unconvincing handshakes, desperate attempts at small talk - sound familiar?
Your best weapon of defense against these party plagues is music. The best part is, it is sooooo easy to say “Alexa, play coffeehouse radio” and there you go, you have an endless playlist at your disposal that you don’t have to worry about for the rest of the night.
A personal DJ will keep the party going and the silences away. Also, Alexa has pretty high-volume potential, however, don’t be afraid to commit to a legit speaker. It’s always better to be at half volume on a good speaker than maxing out your portable Bluetooth.
An underrated factor at parties is the lighting. Like a living room with an LED lightbulb burning your corneas, lighting is something you don’t notice when it’s right, but it is something you can’t ignore when it’s wrong.
The appropriate lighting depends on your specific party (i.e. if you are having a neon party, get a black light and some glow sticks). However, for the most part, you will want soft, forgiving lighting. Bright, uber-illuminating lights remind people of their 9-5 and is exactly the opposite of what we are trying to do!
The reason you host a party, and the reason people go to parties, is to forget about the everyday hustle and bustle. They don’t want to think about that Tuesday deadline. They don’t want to think about that project they haven’t started. They just want to relax. And the best way to do this is with great music and soft lighting.
After you nail your music and lighting, it’s time for a little bit of logistics. At its core, the logistics of a party simply are in place to make people feel comfortable. No one wants to be stuck with a half-eaten plate of macaroni salad and an empty red party cup in their hands all night because they can’t find a garbage can.
As a rule of thumb, have at least two trash cans, both in very visible, natural places. The best place is a corner, or close to where the food and drinks are (or both). But just remember, at the very least, have two options for guests to dispose of their waste.
You don’t have to completely helicopter the bathroom, but periodically check in to make sure supplies are all stocked and general upkeep looks good. Try adding this toilet paper reserve and storage shelf to keep extras at your guests’ disposal.
Lastly, most people like to keep their purses on them but have a designated area for coats and other personal items that your guests might not want to carry around. A coat rack, closet, bedroom, or even a designated corner will work just fine. Remember, the logistics of a party are all about making people feel comfortable and welcome, so don’t stress out if something isn’t going according to plan. Just adjust and overcome. You got this.
Not every party needs food, but everyone at a party wants food. Adding to the comfortable and welcoming spirit that you are trying to create, food will prevent “hangry” guests, which is just about the worst-case scenario for everyone involved.
Whether you choose to cater or cook everything is totally up to you, but we have just a few pointers. Obviously, place plates and silverware at the beginning of the line. Use this cutlery caddy to keep your utensils organized.
If your food is supposed to be served warm, keep it warm. If it’s supposed to be chilled, get some ice. Also, keep food and drinks in the same area. You want to make it as easy on your guests as possible. Use trays like these marble or slate ones to designate different types of food. You can also label with chalk right on the slate trays – killing two birds with one stone.
Remember that vibe that we talked about earlier? The only thing better than music at setting the mood is alcohol. If you can, hire a bartender to really ‘wow’ your guests. A simple bar will also do the trick just fine.
You can set up a quick bar with a few easy items. Use this beverage tub to keep your drinks cool. A designated area for all your alcoholic options, away from the water and other non-alcoholic drinks, is all you need to provide your guests with some spirits.
Notice we used “options” in that last sentence? Make sure you have more than just beer available. Some spiked seltzer, wine coolers, even some liquor choices will give the power to your guests and make them feel comfortable, which is what it’s all about.
Hopefully, your guests will entertain themselves through “remember when” and “what about that time” stories, but it’s always good to have some other activities to get things going. The most important thing about your entertainment is that it’s not too much.
If people wanted extremely loud music, they would go to a concert. If they wanted to work up a sweat, they would go to the gym. You don’t have to get a live band to keep your guests occupied and no one at your party will want to play a full game of flag football.
We already discussed music, but for more entertainment options, think leisure sports. Cornhole, frisbee and bocce are perfect examples of lawn games that will keep your guests entertained while also keeping their cool. If you have a pool, perfect. Just make sure you notify guests beforehand to bring their swimming trunks!
Lastly, board games are a great way to lighten the mood while entertaining. We recommend branching out to some lesser known games. There are so many! Boardgames like Spyfall, Coup, and Codenames are great alternatives to your basic Monopoly and Sorry. Give them a try!
Hosting a party can be stressful, we know. But just remember to make your guests feel comfortable through great music, appropriate lighting, and enough food and entertainment options to satisfy their needs (and don't forget the logistics). We promise they’ll be asking about the next get together. Keep these simple tips in mind and there’s no doubt you’ll be the Hostess with the Mostest.
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