Throwing a party is a great way to spend time with your friends and family, but many people are unsure of how to throw a party. Hosting a really great party takes some planning and a little know-how. Here are a few tips and party ideas to help you throw a party that your guests will remember for years to come.
Sending the Invitations
After you have made the guest list for your party, you can invite your guests either by telephone, in person, through mail or by e-mail. Whatever method you choose, be sure to invite people at least a week in advance and ask them to RSVP. If you haven”t heard back from any of your guests by the day before the party, call to make sure whether or not they will be coming.
Party Ideas and Food
Unless you”re a gourmet chef, don”t stress over the food when you”re throwing a party. As long as the dishes you offer are tasty and plentiful, your guests will be happy.Keep the menu simple by sticking to one type of cuisine, such as Chinese or Mexican, and avoiding foods that take hours of prep time. Don”t prepare a dozen different dishes: A few appetizers, one or two main dishes (including a vegetarian dish, depending on your guests) and a couple of desserts should be more than enough.Also, don”t feel like you have to do all, or even any, of the cooking when throwing a party. Purchase food from a local restaurant, caterer or grocery store. One of the most popular party ideas is the potluck dinner. Whatever you serve, try to avoid foods that spoil quickly. You don”t want your party to be remembered as the one that made everyone sick from food poisoning.If possible, consider serving the food buffet style. By using disposable plates and utensils, you won”t have to worry about your fine china breaking or need to polish the good silver. Most importantly, you won”t be stuck in the kitchen for hours washing dozens of dishes after your guest have gone home.
Deciding on Drinks
A good host provides an assortment of drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, for his or her guests. When throwing a party, figure on two drinks per hour per guest. A 750 ml bottle of wine contains five to six servings, while one liter of spirits is the equivalent of 22 shots (approximately 1 1/2 ounces per shot).Unless you are throwing an elaborate cocktail party, offering red and white wine, beer, vodka and mixers, such as cranberry juice, soda and tonic water, will give your guests plenty of options. If you want a more complete bar, you can also serve whiskey, rum, gin and scotch to guests. You might even consider asking your guests to bring their own drinks to the party.Party ideas for the non-drinkers, children and designated drivers include a variety of sodas, water, juice and mocktails (cocktails without the alcohol). As a host, remember that it is your responsibility to make sure that your guests do not overindulge. Don”t let your guests become drunk. If they are intoxicated, don”t allow them to drive home. Call a taxi, have a designated driver take them home or let them sleep at your house. Letting an inebriated guest drive home could lead to tragedy and lawsuits.
Party Ideas for a Festive Atmosphere
Food and drinks help make for a fun party, but without the right atmosphere, your gathering may not feel very festive. When throwing a party key to create a good party atmosphere and keep things unobtrusive. Unless you”re throwing a party that will include dancing, play music that won”t hinder conversations, such as instrumental or classical music (though a nice string quartet in a backyard garden party would be nice). Provide comfortable places for your guests to sit, and adjust your house”s lighting to match the mood of the party.
Party Ideas for Adults and Children
Whether your party will be for adults or children, you have plenty of options for themes, menus and decorations. Some party ideas you might consider for adults are wine and cheese parties, ”80s parties (ask your guests to wear ”80s fashions and play music from that decade) and holiday parties. To make your holiday party a little different, try celebrating a normally ignored holiday, such as Arbor Day.Children”s parties can be a lot of fun to plan, and party ideas for children abound. Most kids will be perfectly happy eating pizza, burgers and cake and ice cream.When you”re throwing a party for children, provide games for the kids to play, such as Pin the Tail on the Donkey, or consider renting a bounce house (a small inflatable building with a springy interior). You might even want to offer face painting. When throwing a party for children, however, don”t feel like you have to schedule every moment of the party or spend hundreds of dollars, as kids can have lots of fun just playing in a backyard or at a local park. Keep children”s parties stress-free by limiting them to two hours and by not inviting too many guests. A good rule of thumb is to invite the same number of guests as the child”s age. For example, invite five guests to a five year olds” birthday party.
Make Your Guests and Yourself Comfortable
Once you have everything ready to go, relax! Get ready to welcome your guests and have fun. As people arrive, take their coats, show them around and make introductions. Offer beverages and appetizers, and then mingle. Remember that with a little basic planning, some party ideas, and these helpful tips for throwing a party, you and your guests will have a fantastic time!