9 key elements to throwing a great party!
The following is a list of key elements of how to throw a successful fun party that everyone will be taking about. Our theme is 4th of July with the upcoming holiday but these aspects can be applied to your parties all-year-round.
An enticing invitation
One party planning ingredient that is often overlooked, but shouldn’t be, is the invite. Why? Because the invitation sets the tone for the event. Upon opening a thoughtful and enticing invitation, your guests will immediately feel excited for the party to come. An alluring invite comes in all shapes and sizes. A beautiful, thick calligraphy masterpiece is lovely, but so is a heartfelt and hysterical email. Include all the pertinent information (the time, location, occasion, dress code, etc.) and any other fun tidbits—the more personal the better. As the 4th is fast approaching take advantage of online invitations or creating a Facebook event, just make sure to extend and additional invite to the people that don’t have Facebook.
An interesting group of guests
There should be a bit of exclusivity to your event. You don’t want to invite everyone you know; instead come up with a number of guests, say 10 for a dinner party in honor of your half-birthday or 50 for your parents’ 40th-anniversary celebration, and curate an interesting group of people. Keep it as close to an even mixture of males and females as possible. Pull people from all aspects of your life. Think your new office mate would hit it off with your high school buddy? Invite them both to the dinner and make sure to seat them next to each other. Consider your guests’ individual personalities. The best crowd will include introverts and extroverts, great conversationalists and excellent listeners, and people of all ages.
Your event doesn’t have to be this over-the-top, but you should transform your space—even if it’s a studio apartment!—with fresh flowers, twinkling candles, and a pretty tablecloth. Streamers and balloons are also welcome. Colorful throw pillows and blankets and a hanging sign that says “Happy Birthday, Trish” in glittery letters are other awesome ideas.
A lively playlist
Without music, a party can feel like a meeting, so turn up the tunes and set the mood with a lively playlist. If you make a playlist on iTunes, be sure to have several hours of music and choose songs that will move along the event. The music that plays during dinner should be different from the songs that play afterward. Keep things chill and mellow during the meal, and then bring out the dance tunes to get the crowd moving. Another idea? Set Spotify to a favorite channel. If it’s a bigger party, like a wedding or anniversary, consider live musical talent. A band or DJ will take the pressure off of the hostess. If for some reason the music stops midway through the party, be sure to reset it immediately!
Group bonding activities
Games are good; basically, you want to get everyone to do something together that will make them more relaxed and friendly. They don’t have to be cheesy, but adding an element of competition to your soirée will liven things up. Trivia and charades are classic, timeless party games—they never get old, because they are fun! Want something more modern? Cards Against Humanity is an awesome way to get people chatting, and Table Topics are good for a more subdued dinner party. Other ideas: Corn hole, batchi ball, ladder ball, bingo or scavenger hunt.
An element of surprise
Luckily, with the 4th of July ending every year with fireworks, this task is already handled for you. However, there are other ways so add surprise to your party. Whether it’s a photo booth where guests can snap funny pictures, a party favor, or an entire table covered in delectable desserts, there should be an element of surprise to your event. It doesn’t have to be crazy, just something nobody was expecting. Consider buying inexpensive but holiday appropriate blankets for your guests to sit on as they watch the fireworks, or sparklers and poppers packets for each guest (even if your guest list doesn’t include kids, these are always fun to play with)
Be mindful that your party guests might be drinking all day, due to the 4th typically involving day-time Bar-B-Q’s; so make sure to have non-alcoholic refreshing beverages available as well as drinks not including You don’t want to play bartender all night, so if you can make a cocktail in a big batch before the party, do so. Make a big pitcher of margaritas or a punch bowl of sangria, and then as your guests arrive, offer them a beverage.
It’s not a party without a delicious spread of food, so don’t overlook the menu. It doesn’t matter if the party takes place during odd hours, such as a bridal shower that begins after lunch at 1:30 p.m.; you still have to have some sort of snacks for your guests to nibble on. You don’t have to be a crazy cook to set up a gorgeous cheese platter.. It’s also perfectly acceptable to serve platters of crudité from Costco or fried chicken wings from your favorite Korean joint, as long as you take everything out of the package. Plate on elegant serving platters or chafing dishes to keep the food warm. If you want to make a menu of homemade dips and dainty finger foods, do as much as you can in advance. You don’t want to be slaving away in the kitchen while your guests are enjoying themselves in the living room!
The best hostesses are thoughtful and will cater the little details of their event to delight the guests. She’ll serve a menu of the guest of honor’s favorite foods and decorate with his favorite color. A seating chart with place cards, a chalkboard with the evening’s menu, a favor that guests will actually enjoy later—all of these little things, when added up, make for a memorable event. Don’t overlook the little details!