I’ve widdled down the makings of a successful party into 6 key ingredients that are proven to work, in many combinations, time and time again. Kind of like a great recipe, suddenly everything clicks and BAM- the results are amazing.
This last weekend we threw our housewarming party, it was so fun, and I learned so much!
Fabulous Party 101
- The Right People
- The Drinks
- The Food
- The Music
- The Decor
- The Games
- Buckets of fun
- Loads of laughter
- A dash of love
Ingredient #1- The right people
That's right- be like "hey you, leave your pretentiousness at the door!"
Hand pick the people at your events to be a group you know and love and are so awesome they can’t help but interact with one another- just as you anticipated. If you see someone alone, or groups feeling seperated, bring them into the action, don’t leave anybody out and it'll help everyone have fun and relax.
Ingredient #2- The booze, brews + beverages
This is big. At our party I made a huge batch of sangria, we had 7 different types of beer and people brought bottles of vodka, whiskey and vodkilla. Warning: Do not have vodkilla (a mixture of vodka and tequila) at your parties. We found out the hard way that it makes people black out and throw up, not cute. But the right amount of fun alcohol will help people relax, unwind, and socialize. Plus it makes my otherwise reserved hubby super cute, and I love that!
Have plenty of mixers and non-alcoholic beverages available to mix it up or for people who aren't drinking, you want them to have a great time too! Keep in mind, many people will switch to water or coffee well before they leave if they have to drive, so be sure to have that on hand in droves. We had extra water on hand anticipating the heat. We also had seltzer, grapefruit, pineapple, apple and orange juice. We didn’t have soda because we don’t think it’s good for you and didn’t want to serve something we wouldn’t put in our own bodies.
People love both interesting food and staples, so have a combination of both so everyone will enjoy. We made pizza on our outdoor fire pit and it was gone before I could go inside and find a knife to cut it with. Note to self: Pizza has a universal appeal! We got awesome sandwiches from an Italian deli, made organic grass-fed beef sliders, all-natural hot dogs and all-natural chicken sausage, grilled asparagus, zucchini, corn, onions, sweet potato; we had salad, hummus, charcuterie, salsa and corn chips! We probably overdid it on the food but really didn't want to run out and ya' know, we're foodies.
Anticipate the amount of food you need based on everything from guest count to how long your party is, what hours it falls between, how active people will be, and how much they'll be drinking. Our party started at 2:00 pm and many people slept over so we knew we needed to have enough food for at least two meals for the majority of our guests. There was swimming, volleyball, soccer, croquet, all activities that could work up an appetite. And let's face it, when you drink, you like to munch.
Ingredient #4- The music
Music sets the tone for your party. If you don’t think you’ll have time to create a playlist, or you doubt your taste in music will appeal to the masses, pick a friend who you know has awesome taste to bring a playlist for you. Music can add a boost of energy, helps with awkward silences, and keeps people grooving.
For our housewarming party I didn’t have to go to crazy with decorating because our house was in and of itself “the decor.” I made sure the tables had colorful tablecloths, everything was laid out nicely, the food was presented well, the house was clean, and there were summer flowers everywhere. I used potted herbs and vases in different shapes and sizes to create pretty arrangements filled with sunflowers and zinnia. I tend to gravitate toward minimal decor that follows a theme and let the space become the main event.
Ingredient #6: The games
This one I learned at our housewarming. Our friend brought catch phrase and it was so fun! We played for awhile, walked away, played a bit more, brought more people in, did something else, went back for another round...you get the picture. It brought shy people out of their shell, engaged competitive types, and got everyone laughing. Very different from the drinking games of old. Though if I am going to pick one, I'm sticking to good ol' beer pong, sometimes the classics just win.
The more you prepare and anticipate, the more freedom you'll have to enjoy yourself the day of your party.
Were these party planning tips helpful? Got any of your own you want to share? I'd love to hear from you in the comments section below this post!
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