Everyone knows that parties are an amazing way to bring people together and create lasting memories. But sometimes it can be tricky to get everything running smoothly. Before you send out the invites, check out these tips for throwing a party your friends will remember.
Create a killer guest list
Afterall, the people make the party. Shake up the guest list by inviting people from a variety of backgrounds, with different beliefs and perspectives to really get the party started.
Sounds counterintuitive and maybe even a little scary but Priya Parker, the author of the Art of Gathering and Ted Speaker, says that creating “Pop Up Rules” allows guests to connect on a more meaningful level. Require parents to take a shot if they talk about their kids, don’t allow guests to reveal what they do for work, or every time you refill your drink you have to get one for someone else. “Pop up rules allow us to gather across difference, to connect, and to make meaning together, without having to be the same”
Focus on the First 5 Minutes
People tend to remember their first impression of a party more than almost any other part of the night. So make your venue easy to find, and make sure guests understand logistics like where to put their coat and shoes. Welcome each person with a personal greeting rather than letting them wander into the room unacknowledged.
Don’t Leave Guests Adrift
If you book too large a venue, you risk sending people drifting on their own through an enormous space, like lonely planets. A smaller, more contained area will force people to intermingle. If you’re hosting the party in your house, gather most of the party atmosphere — the candles, banners, or snacks — in one or two rooms. This will create more density, and help everything feel cozy and communal.
Serve a signature drink
You don’t want to play bartender all night so whip up a signature big batch cocktail. It adds a little pizzazz to the evening and allows guests to serve themselves. Click here for our favorite big batch recipes!
Have a Theme
Creating an overarching theme for your party, such as hats, the Seven Deadly Sins, or the Roaring 20s, gives people an immediate conversation starter, as well as an opportunity to show off their own interpretation of the theme. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate costume party, either — just getting creative by making the decor, food, and drinks fit into the theme will ensure that your party stands out.
Play Friend Matchmaker
Sometimes your guests are just too shy to do their own introductions. That’s okay! Your duty as a host is to bring people together. Plus, if your guests end up making lasting friendships, they’ll always remember you as the one who introduced them.
Keep the menu simple and do as much in advance as you can
Simple but delicious and carefully-chosen food can go a long way toward ensuring your friends have a great time. Unless you’re a 3 star Chef, you don’t need to take on an Osso Buco. Spaghetti with a yummy sauce, chicken with grilled vegetables or even a DIY taco bar are wonderful options that your guests will love.
Prepare as much as you can in advance so you don’t have to relegate yourself to the kitchen when your guests arrive!
Create a Killer Playlist
Know your crowd and curate the music for them. Remember, if your playlist is boring, your party has a good chance of following suit. So make sure you provide a background of tracks that will keep the party fun, high-energy, and lighthearted.
Plan an Exit Strategy
It’s always awkward when guests stay a little later than you’d want. Instead of walking around in your pajamas and hoping they get the hint, use subtle strategies to nudge them out the door: Start cleaning up the tables, and switch the playlist to slow songs. The last stragglers should begin filing out promptly.
With these tips in mind, your next party is sure to be a success!