Throwing a party at your home is a daunting prospect. While some relish the idea of becoming the party host for the evening, others aren’t so naturally inclined.
It’s no easy task, curating the perfect night, keeping guests happy and feeding everyone! That’s before you’ve figured out how to keep your home in order and thought about the guest list.
Get it right, however, and you’ll create a night that everyone remembers. Your guests will talk about it for years to come and you’ll be remembered as the perfect host!
The first consideration is what type of party you’re throwing. Is it a sophisticated dinner party, a casual get-together or a raging house party? Is it somewhere in between?
Whatever you decide, the following rules apply. The basic principles of hosting a party are always the same. Choose the right guests, create the perfect ambience and send everyone home happy!
If you’re a newbie to party hosting, follow this guide and you’ll soon have everyone dancing.
The guest list is the single most important aspect of your party. There is nothing worse than a dinner party with couples who clash. Arguments will ensue and you’ll kill the mood in an instant.
The same goes for any other type of party. How often has a great house party been ruined by uninvited guests taking over? Make sure this doesn’t happen by using a carefully selected guest list.
Make sure your invitees share something in common and are likely to click. Choose a stable group of friends that you know will enjoy themselves. Get the guest list right, and the fun will make itself!
Understand your crowd
The best way to ensure your guests have a fantastic time is to understand what they like. We’ve seen parties ruined by hosts forcing their guests into organised entertainment.
Forcing games like charades or required entertainment can often kill the mood fast. You know your guests better than anyone; what would they enjoy most?
It’s also crucial to consider any special requirements such as vegetarian guests.
Choose a theme
There doesn’t have to be a theme, but it can be a brilliant way to inject personality and character into the event. It’s an especially good idea around the holidays.
Guests could turn up in Halloween fancy dress or bring roses to a Valentine’s party. It’s a fantastic excuse for everyone to let loose with fun costumes and party tricks.
You can decorate the house in keeping with the theme and provide relevant food. It’s an extra touch that will help people remember the night with fondness.
Your guests have got to eat! If you’re throwing a dinner party, the food is a core part of the evening and you should put plenty of thought into it.
However, we do advise choosing something fairly simple that you have experience cooking. As a host, you don’t want to spend the evening tinkering away in the kitchen.
Instead, you want to be leading the conversation, greeting guests, and generally playing host! Try to cook as much as possible before the party and simply heat it up on the evening.
Music and playlists
Music is essential to any party and choosing the right playlist is crucial. You’re looking to provide the right ambience for the party, almost like soundtracking a movie. Select a playlist that will complement the theme and concept of the party.
If it’s a dinner party, choose soft, instrumental music that will provide a light musical background. If you’re hosting a cocktail party or something a bit more exciting, stick to a more upbeat playlist.
Use a pre-selected playlist and try to keep it out of the way. There’s nothing worse than people hijacking the iPod.
Decorate and tidy your house
Before the madness descends, you’ll need to get your house in order. Start by giving it a thorough clean and remove all the clutter. If you’re expecting a lot of people, remove any breakable items and keep things out of the way.
Leave a few possessions and unique furniture items around that will generate talking points. Things like holiday photos or interesting objects will spark conversation among guests.
If you’re sticking to a theme, get creative with the decorations around the house!
When the guests arrive, it’s time to put on your host face! Remember, you’re the central link in the party. Everyone knows you, but they don’t necessarily know each other.
We hate to see cliques sticking together at parties. A much better atmosphere is one where all guests are getting to know each other.
Introduce people who have never met before and find common ground. Spark the conversation by bringing up a topic you know they both enjoy. From there, you can let them fend for themselves! Try to get people talking as much as possible.
Take it into the garden
If you’re lucky enough to have a large garden, extend the party outside. There’s no better party setting than a warm summer’s evening.
Invite guests onto your garden decking or just leave the patio doors open. It will open up some more space in the party and allow guests to meet more people. It’s also essential for smokers.
It’s usually worth asking guests not to smoke inside, even if you’re a smoker yourself. One small drop of ash could leave permanent damage on your carpets. Worse still, it could start a fire.
Don’t drink too much!
Finally, remember that someone has to stay in control! Of course, don’t take this too literally. Enjoy yourself and let yourself go a little. Don’t be the host that’s tidying up around everyone! After all, you deserve the party more than anyone.
However, don’t let things get out of hand. Stay alert for any problem behaviour and keep one eye open to any potential character clashes.
You’re also going to need a little bit of energy at the end of the night to do a quick sweep and tidy before bed!
That wasn’t so hard was it? When done correctly, throwing a party is fun, exciting and energising. Follow this advice and your guests will be talking about it for years to come.