I’m sure you’ve noticed that the most fabulous parties seem to unfold naturally and effortlessly, but the key is careful planning and preparation long before the first guest arrives. Many hosts develop this skill with years of experience, but with our top 10 secrets to fabulous parties, you can host an exceptional party next week!
First, let’s define what makes a party extraordinary. Some indicators of a fabulous party are when your guests:
- Feel relaxed and comfortable
- Are entertained and have fun
- Make new contacts and meet new people
- Are engaged with new and interesting ideas
- Have a good time and leave wanting more
- Are delighted with unexpected surprises
- Feel important and significant
- Bond with others
- Leave with original & unique details, conversations, & occurrences worth talking about the next day
We have outlined our top ten secrets to throwing your own fabulous parties below.
1. Have at least one outgoing, gregarious personality for every 10 guests.
How to do it: Identify and talk to your key fun guests when making your party plans to ensure some or all of them can attend. Adjust the date of your party, if necessary.
Here’s why: Key guests are not only entertaining, but also create a fun, relaxed atmosphere that will make all guests comfortable and more interactive.
Tip: Mark drama queens and negative nancies off your guest list.
2. Create a mix of guests that don’t all know each other.
How to do it: Invite unfamiliar, attractive faces. Don’t be afraid to invite people you don’t know very well; an invitation to your party will earn you instant points.
Here’s why: New faces will create motivation for other guests to be sociable and to always seek an invitation to your parties.
Tip: To ensure a good turnout, be socially active the period leading up to your party and make as many personal invites as possible.
3. Create a party atmosphere before the first guest arrives.
How to do it: Invite a few close friends that know each other for a pre-party to start 30 minutes before. Be sure to invite them in advance to make sure they plan to arrive early.
Here’s why: Not only will you eliminate awkward and uncomfortable moments for your first guests, you will generate momentum from the very start that will keep the party fun and the energy level up.
Tip: One of the reasons guests don’t arrive on time is to avoid the awkwardness of being first.
4. Arrange your party area to encourage interaction between guests.
How to do it: Designate a party area just large enough to accommodate your guests. The closer your guests are to each other, the more they will interact.
Here’s why: The more involved and engaged your guests are by meeting and talking to others, the more fun everyone will have.
Tip: Remove or arrange furniture to make sitting difficult. Sitting prohibits mingling and should be discouraged at all costs.
5. Serve delicious theme-inspired cocktails with minimal time behind the bar.
How to do it: Pre-mix a signature cocktail in batches before the party and circulate with a pitcher for refills.
Here’s why: Adds an interesting surprise, enjoyment for the guest, a topic of conversation, and frees up your time for socializing.
Tip: Give your pre-mixed concoction a cute name after your theme or guest of honor, e.g. rename “Sex On The Beach” to “Sex On Smith Beach”.
6. Pass intricately-decorated hors d’oeuvres on silver trays with doilies.
How to do it: Choose elegant hors d’oeuvres that require little last minute preparation and have them prepped before the first guest arrives.
Here’s why: Make a bigger impression that will entertain your guests and add style while reducing your food costs.
Tip: Add a theme-inspired centerpiece to each serving tray for an extra surprise.
7. Play a pre-arranged party music playlist.
How to do it: Choose upbeat songs from a wide variety of genres, styles, and artists to increase the probability of playing a favorite song for each guest. Use only one song from any single group or artist. Increase the average tempo of every few songs over the duration of the party.
Here’s why: You can use your music selections to strike a chord with each guest while setting a happy mood and raising the energy level of the party.
Tip: Mix in fun and theme-inspired songs to amuse your guests, e.g. Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ or the Gilligan’s Island Theme for a Hawaiian Luau.
8. Choose a theme and decorate with strategically-placed accents that are stylish and clever.
How to do it: Choose theme-coordinated quality decorations over larger paper and plastic items. Place decorations to be discovered throughout the evening: at the front entrance, on the bar, in cocktails, on hors d’oeuvre trays, in the party area, and in the bathroom.
Here’s why: Tasteful decorations that surprise, delight, amuse and entertain will create enjoyment and memories for your guests. Your parties will be remembered as unique and original with distinctive details that make a lasting impact.
Tip: Dress yourself in the spirit of the theme, and your guests will join in on the fun at your future parties.
9. Make sure every guest feels noticed and important by someone other than their date.
How to do it: Be observant and engage guests and couples that are not interacting with other guests. Take an interest in what they have to say, give them your full attention, introduce them to others, and/or ask them to help you with something.
Here’s why: Not only will this directly affect the enjoyment of each guest, but it will break the ice and provide a comfort level for them to engage other guests, which has everyone participating in making your party exceptional.
Tip: Everyone else notices what you do, be friendly, gracious, and fun.
10. Fill your party with surprises.
How to do it:
We’ve already touched on a few surprises, such as:
Guests: Invite unfamiliar and attractive faces.
Cocktails: Pre-mix a signature drink with a cute name.
Music: Incorporate fun and theme-inspired songs into your playlist.
Decorations: Include in cocktails, on hors d’oeuvres trays, and in the bathroom.
In addition, plan more fun events throughout the evening, such as:
Add lighted ice cubes to drinks.Here’s why:
Throw 200 glow sticks or rubber duckies into the swimming pool.
Place “Happy Birthday” picks randomly in hors d’oeuvres.
Break open a piñata filled with mini-liquor bottles.
Show a guest-of-honor related video clip.
Pass a tray of party beads.
Besides keeping your guests entertained and making your occasion memorable, you will gain the reputation of throwing fabulous parties when you introduce the new, interesting and unexpected at your events.
Bonus secret for dinner parties: Encourage dinner conversation that includes everyone seated around.
How to do it: Always seat partners, spouses, and dates across the table from each other. When they talk to each other, it will automatically include those seated around them.
Here’s why: Because dinner parties are really more about the conversation than the food, the more inclusive the discussion, the more fun your guests will have.
Tip: If you seat them next to each other, when they converse, it will inevitably exclude everyone else.
These secrets plus a little practice and you are on your way to throwing fabulous parties, so start planning your next party, today!
I will be 90 next July I want to give a party iam a widow with two children tell me somethings to do to intertainmy invited guests
Since you were born in 1922, how about a "Roaring 20's" party? Some other options are a nautical themed "Bon Voyage 89" or a Mexican-themed "90 and Still Hot!". A Hawaiian Luau birthday is always fun for everyone involved or, if you prefer to keep it simple, just choose your favorite color or a unique color like hot pink or teal.