How to host a successful party – without freaking out!
Don't freak out. Planning a party does not have to be an intimidating process, even if it seems big and scary. Here is a guide for planning a party stress-free so you can enjoy yourself.
Create a Concept
The first step of planning a party is establishing the basics. Will there be a theme? Is there a dress code?
What time should it start? Begin with the basics; once you have the general ideas down, you're ready to host a party.
When it comes to inviting guests, be mindful of how big you want the party to be. How many people can your home comfortably fit? Keep in mind if a space is too big, it will dampen the atmosphere. When you set the date of your party, make sure there are no big conflicts such as holidays or community events. Football grand finals are a good example! As for the invitations themselves, sending physical invites is not required for informal parties. Going digital is a hassle-free way to instantly let people know you are throwing a party. Send these digital invites a month or more in advance.
Figure Out the Food
Make sure you're aware of your guests' allergies or other dietary restrictions so nobody is left out.
Keep it simple with your food with well tested recipes. An easy way is to outsource some or all of the finger food to take the pressure off you.
While it’s important to provide a variety of flavours don't overdo the menu. You don't want to tackle more than you can handle. As a general guide allow between 8-14 pieces of finger food per person. So if there are 25 guests, 7 varieties of finger food then based on 8 pieces per person, you’d need 28.5 pieces of each item. So say 30 of each.
Most importantly determine who is heating and serving the food. Arrange staff if there are no family or friends willing.
Stock the Bar
Like the food, drinks are an important part of any party. It’s your choice to decide whether you are providing the alcohol or BYO or a combo of both. Keeping it simple with beer, wine and champagne makes it manageable. As a very general guide allow ½ bottle wine/champagne or ½ dozen beers per guest. Don’t forget to cater for the non-drinkers.
It’s a good idea to have plenty of ice on hand and someone always at the bar so your guests don't have to serve themselves.
Plan the Music
Every party needs some tunes. Simply hook up your iPod or iPhone to speakers and let the music play. Before the party, make sure to craft a careful playlist that will fit the tone and vibe of the event.
From conceptualisation to execution, it's vital that you stay organised. A good way to remain on target while planning your party is to make a comprehensive checklist of everything that needs to be done as well as a budget. Some things to consider for your party planning checklist include:
- One week before the party, deep clean your house or the space the party will take place in. Then tidy up again the day before the event.
- If there's a chance your party might disrupt your neighbours, like if you live in an apartment or townhouse with thin walls, give them notice that you will be having guests over within a week of the party
- Make sure you have all the necessary materials for serving and entertaining
- Specify a place for coats/handbags
- Plan how you're going to decorate the space that's in tune with the party's theme and mood
- By creating a checklist and budget, you are managing your tasks in an organised, stress-free way and it a great position to have fun!