If there is one thing I’ve picked up on throughout my years of being an eligible party-goer, it is that a lot of people have no clue when it comes to how to throw a party – myself included. So to make sure you learn from my mistakes I’ve lined up the most important dos and don’ts of party planning.
-Invites are obviously essential, because you know, without guests there won’t be a party. We live in a digital age but regardless of how you send out your invitations, make sure they reach your guests within a decent timeframe.
-Be selective and careful. Guest list decisions always have consequences, so this is like walking in a mine field – be cautious. Are you going just friends, just family or a combination of the two?
-You don’t always need a fancy location, but enough space is key! No one enjoys being on the 8.15am train when you have to literally breathe into someone’s armpit because it’s so crammed – the same goes for parties.
-Do you want to have a theme? To put together a decent theme-party you need to have an eye for details, and be sure you have enough money to go through with it. Don’t skimp on creating the right environment for your guests.
-Be clear on what kind of party it is. Is it just for a couple of hours? Is it going to be a quiet get-together? Or will it be a wild one? People need to know.
-Food and drinks makes a party. Especially enough alcohol. I repeat. ENOUGH ALCOHOL. You don’t want people leaving your party because they can’t get lit. And alcohol and food go hand in hand. Keep it easy, if you want to order pizza – go for it!
-You don’t need to entertain your guests, but you need to at least make sure there is a decent speaker and a Spotify list available – it honestly goes a long way. Make a list fitting the party and the crowd, with a bit of everything to make everyone happy. As a back-up you can mix in some of the classic party hits that always make people dance (especially when intoxicated). Always keep a deck of card available. No further directions needed.
-There is nothing worse than awkward silence at parties where people don’t know each other. So definitely bring out you inner social butterfly (or fake it till you make it).
-There are a couple of make sures: Make sure people can get to and fro. Especially because you don’t want to be left with unwanted guests ’till the morning hours. Also make sure all your guests are on good terms. If not, this can quickly turn into dramas and be the end of the party. Seriously, this is like one of the ten commandments.
-I’m guessing you want to take photos to brag to everyone on social media. But remember not to be annoying. Plus you don’t want to experience a party through the lens of a camera. Be present!
-It’s your party, meaning you’re the one who has to clean up everything the next day. Don’t hesitate to use plastic everything to make life easier for yourself. Also, try not to be the drunkest person there as you’re the host and have responsibilities in terms of not getting the place trashed.
-Planning is important, but don’t let it ruin the whole night if things don’t go as planned. As long as the guests are happy, just go with the flow. A wise man once said that “a party hardly ever goes the way it is planned or intended”. So try to relax, enjoy your own party, and put the fate of your party in the hands of the higher powers.
- Make a guest list
- Choose and book a venue
- If you want a theme, decide on what
- Send out invitations around three weeks ahead (more for weddings)
Decide catering options (check guests’ dietary requirements)
Book a photographer
- Make a playlist
- Decide and book your entertainment
Arrange transport for guests
Arrange accommodation for guests (if required)
- Make a shopping list
- Get adequate seating
Written by Nilo Danai