In the amount of time I’ve spent worrying over parties, I’ve come to notice a trend. Every great get-together has a few key components that are necessary to ensure that everyone is having a great time.
Now, when I throw any sort of shindig I make absolutely sure that my party has all of these very important things, which will help everyone have a great time and stay longer, which is what any host wants right?
1: A Killer Theme
Every great party has a great theme. And a little hint about branding your party: it goes all the way from how you invite people to how you send them home at the end of the night.
Themes are a great way to get super creative with your next party, too! The small details of theming (< — probably not a real word, but definitely a word in my world) a party are what will make your guests be shocked and awed at your amazing party planning skilz.
2: The Proper Amount of People
My original idea for this section was to call it “a lot of people”. However, after careful consideration, I no longer believe that having a lot of people is vital for every party.
Having many people at a party where the situation calls for many people makes sense, but the party must fit the crowd. For instance, we recently hosted an engagement party. This party called for many people because we had all kinds of activities, a corn hole tournament, and plenty of food for everyone there. And it was a hit!
Small, intimate gathers are just as valid and often seen here in my house, too. Do whatever you feel like doing, sister, but just make sure it all makes sense together.
3: A Good Party Playlist
So many overlook this tool when throwing any gathering, but it’s key. The echoing of silence in between words at a birthday or housewarming party can kill the mood faster than the police shutting it down for too much noise. (Seems like college kids were right on this one, but man-oh-man I don’t miss the lame music played at college parties.)
My favorite cherry on top of a great event is finding a themed playlist. Halloween bash? Monster mash is necessary. Christmas gathering? Micheal Buble and some Christmas jazz on repeat please.
At the “Under the Sea Baby Shower” I threw, I played Beach Boys’ music the whole time, and it was the perfect cherry on top. (I tried the soundtrack to The Little Mermaid and ocean sounds, but they were both too weird.)
4: Tasty and (Bonus Points) On-Theme Food
There is nothing that will make your guests smile more than “Hot Diggity Hot Dogs” at a Mickey Mouse Club House birthday gathering. How about pretzels with cheese at a movie theater birthday? But don’t forget, no matter how cute your themed cake is, it can’t be dry cake. No one will want to eat it if it doesn’t taste good.
5: A Little Alcohol Never Hurt Any Party
There’s nothing to make people enjoy themselves at a party and leave singing your praises as a party host more than them being just the faintest bit tipsy!
At some parties this will be easy. Outdoor I Do BBQ Engagement Party? Easy. Keystone on keystone on keystone (because it’s cheap and our families love it). One year old’s birthday party? Hide it in the refrigerator and offer to people who look like they could use it.
At a gathering where alcohol is the headliner? Try a mimosa bar. Classy and functional…and cheap! Check out my post on that here.
6: Pretty Things to Look At
Having displays set up and things for your guests to interact with can lead to your guests being that much more entertained for quite a while, which means they will stick around longer and, therefore, have a better time.
Think about it: are your favorite wedding reception memories filled with blank walls and only food? No. Me, personally, I remember the display the bride set up with her mom and grandma’s wedding dress. I remember the fun photo booth and the cute display of loved ones lost photos.
Believe me, stuff to look at and think about is a must at any party, not just a wedding reception.
Birthday parties could be full of poster boards with pictures of the child growing up. A baby shower could have printed pictures of the mom taking those adorable baby bump selfies every month. The possibilities are endless, as long as they’re on theme!
One great tool for beautiful things to add to your next soiree is Etsy. Handmade decor will make anyone stop and stare!
7: Stuff to Keep ’em Busy
This is crucial. Just know, a party with no activities is not going to be very fun at all. Give the guests something to invest in, a reason to engage, have fun, and actually stay!
Around here in the Midwest, cornhole tournaments are good for that. A great addition to any get-together is a tournament of any kind because, given that people play (I always offer a prize for mine, so that people want to play more), some people will be playing and others will be waiting. The waiting people will probably be interacting really well with other guests and they won’t leave because they’re waiting for their next game!
With all of these elements, your next event will be a hit! And watch out, here soon I will be releasing my huge printable packet about planning and hosting the perfect birthday party, with step-by-step instructions!
If you’re interested in me taking some of that workload off your hands, reach out! I’d love to chat about your next party and see how I could help. I love to bounce ideas off of other people, and I could do that with you too!
Let me know in the comments if you think I’ve missed something that simply cannot be left out! I’m still learning, too.