When it comes to celebrations, no one can beat a home party. It’s personal and intimate, and you’re able to create the atmosphere you want. Make sure every detail is perfect with these checklists for planning your next big bash.
- Determine a Budget
You should determine a budget before you begin your party planning. You can’t afford to overspend and you need to know how much money you have available. It’s actually better to spend less money, but have an amazing time at your party than it is to spend more and have fewer people attend or enjoy themselves.
- Think About Food and Drink
Plan your party menu with an eye to what kinds of dishes best lend themselves to entertaining. You’ll want to keep food preparation simple and avoid dishes that will be too time-consuming or difficult to recreate on the spot. A hot dish like lasagna or chicken pot pie is always a hit with guests, as are salads that can be dressed hours beforehand, side dishes such as pasta salad and potato salad, vegetables in whatever style you prefer (raw or roasted), warm rolls and cheeses with crackers. There’s always pie. For drinks, choose wines you like but which aren’t expensive or difficult to find: simple reds, white wines, and bubblies are all good choices. Or you can even create a small cocktail at home and if you have time, you can join a gin masterclass and then apply it to your own cocktail style because everyone loves gin. Then don’t forget to think about arranging the drink table with appropriate glasses and wine openers before your friends arrive.
- Choose the Location
The first thing to consider when choosing your party location is accessibility. You want to make sure that the location you choose can be reached easily by your guests, and that there are no major obstacles to getting there on time.
In addition to accessibility, it’s important to think about the size of your house or apartment and how many people you want to invite. It’s also essential that you choose a location that will be easy for everyone attending the event (and yourself) when it comes time for cleanup after the party has ended. Lastly, if you plan on throwing a winter celebration at home, ensure that it won’t be too cold inside with all those bodies moving around.
- Pick a Theme
Choose a theme that is fun, easy to decorate, and suits the number of people you are inviting. If you are having a small party, consider going for something like an intimate dinner or afternoon tea. You can do this on your own without much effort. But if you want to throw something big, pick a theme that will allow you enough space and time to organize everything properly and that your guests will enjoy. Considering a theme that suits the time of year or season; for example, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve and also calculate your budget if money isn’t an issue, then go wild with decorations; otherwise, find ways of making everything look nice without breaking the bank (for example by using candles instead of flowers).
- Create a Guest List
It’s time to start planning your guest list. You don’t have to invite every single person you know, in fact, it’s better if you don’t. A small, close-knit group of friends and family is all that’s needed.
You might be wondering how many people to invite in the first place. This depends on the size of your home, whether or not there are other rooms available for guests (if not, then you might want to bring extra folding chairs), and how much space is available for dancing or mingling. Plan for about 10% more than what feels comfortable: if there are 20 people invited, then plan on having at least 22 guests in attendance so as not to leave anyone out.
You can also make an event Facebook group where everyone who has been invited will receive an RSVP link. This way everyone can see which other attendees have already responded and those who haven’t yet confirmed their attendance. If someone hasn’t answered after a few days pass by (and maybe even up until two weeks before the party), send them another email reminding them of all the fun they’re missing out on.
- Send out invitations.
Send out invitations at least two weeks in advance. Include an RSVP so you can get an approximate head count for food and drinks. Make sure to include the time and date of your event, so guests don’t get confused about when it’s happening. If you have multiple events on the same day, make sure to list them all on one invitation. And include directions to your house if you are inviting people from out of town; this way they can find it easily without having to ask someone else for help first.
- Enlist Some Help (If Needed)
Enlist some help. A party isn’t a party without friends, so make sure to ask for help from your friends. If you’re lucky enough to have a group of people who are willing to pitch in, this is the best way to go. You can hire a caterer and bartender if you can afford it. Having food and drinks at your event means that all of the guests will feel more comfortable and relaxed, which will lead them to have fun instead of worrying about where their next meal is coming from or how they’ll get home safely later on. Of course, this option isn’t always feasible for everyone; but if it’s within your budget, hiring these two services will really add something special to your event. And you can also hire cleaners or landscapers after your party has ended (depending on how much mess there was). This step might seem like overkill at first glance, but trust yourself when you say that nothing ruins an otherwise perfect evening faster than having someone get sick due to food poisoning due to faulty cleaning practices at home afterward and no one wants that. So take this advice: don’t skimp out when hiring professionals because they’ll ultimately save time later down the road once everything has been cleaned up properly.
- Make Sure Your Home is Ready for Guests
- Clean your house. While it is tempting to host a party with your house in disarray, this is not a good idea. Your guests will be more comfortable if they feel the space around them is clean and tidy.
- Make sure that your kitchen is ready for food preparation. Make sure you have all of the necessary utensils and ingredients on hand, as well as space in which to work without clutter getting in the way.
- Set up tables and chairs if necessary; do not expect guests to sit on couches or floors unless it is explicitly stated beforehand that this will be possible at the event (many people don’t want to sit on couches or floors). If you do need tables and chairs set up, make sure there are enough seats so everyone can comfortably eat their meal together (and have room left over for those who may arrive later). You may also want some extra seating available just in case someone wants someplace else besides their food plate where they can rest their drink while talking with friends during dinner time; keep an eye out for this kind of thing so nobody feels excluded from the conversation because they don’t have anywhere comfortable nearby.
If you are looking to host a party and want everything to go smoothly then why not try using these checklists? It will help you organize the best party ever by ensuring that all the important details are covered.