- Let friends/family know you are throwing a party and be sure to check your/their schedules ahead of time. I hate to conflict with other events so be sure to be aware of what is going on whenever you want to have a gathering i.e, no football games/church functions/friend's birthday.
- Don't be afraid to ask people about a few tentative dates to see who would be able to attend depending on when you have the event.
- If possible, ask for RSVP's so you can know how much food/chairs etc. It doesn't have to be set in stone but it will help you manage your event better.
2. Pick a Theme.
- I am very into themes as my friends and family know. I say any excuse to dress up or go shopping for party favors or cupcake wrappers is good in my book. I think this makes guests excited too and it spices things up a little from the norm.
- Anything can be a theme. A national holiday, a special family event, or just a letter of the alphabet. Don't be afraid to do something a little out there just for fun. I am currently wanting to plan a get together solely for the purpose of buying a pinata. Is that wrong of me?
- Encourage dressing the part when possible. It makes people feel like they are going out more than just showing up. This could be just black/white or summer attire. Making your friends dress up too much though will discourage attendance so don't go overboard!
3. Do Your Research.
- Start looking up party ideas online and perusing recipes. Figure out what is realistic for your budget and guest list size.
- Get creative with invitations, toothpicks, napkins, or whatever else you can find. Little details make all the difference.
- Find out what makes a particular party authentic, whether it be the naked baby in the Mardi Gras cake or the special kind of rice for sushi night. Those make for great stories for guests too.
- There are hundreds of cute blogs out there with cute party ideas. Check them out!
4. Plan Food, Entertainment & Decorations.
- Do the most that you can within your budget. Don't be afraid to buy decorations or games at the dollar or thrift store, borrow from friends or just use what you have around your house. Figure out the must haves from research in step #3!
- Did you know you could look for bands or entertainment on Craig's list? Lots of entertainers just want to entertain and are inexpensive or even free!
- Think outside the box for other activities you could have at your event. Incorporate a service element like collecting canned food or decorating cookies for neighbors or exchange recipes/treats with other guests.
5. Have Fun!
- Do what works for you. If cooking everything for your guests scares you, pick up some food or ask others to pitch in. If lots of people intimidate you, keep your party intimate. I love to cook, bake, decorate, and clean all day for an event. That is the fun part for me, but lots of people hate all that work. So don't do it! Don't have a formal event if you hate getting dressed up. You get the idea. Guests are happier when the host is happy and relaxed so be yourself and ENJOY IT!