Throwing a party can be exhausting; not to mention stressful, if it happens to be an important occasion like a holiday office party, family reunion, or anniversary. However, it is possible to throw a party your friends and family will be talking about long after it ends, as long as you can plan ahead. We have tips and ideas for going above and beyond the customary party setup and what you will need to set a theme, plan the menu and entertainment, and pull together all of the necessary equipment. Then, you will be ready to invite your guests and start counting down the days to the big event!
Invite Your Guests
Plan a guest list and send out the invitations. You can do this via email or send paper invitations through the mail. Be sure to notate:
- What to bring
- Dress code (casual, black tie, or business attire)
- Whether the invitee may bring a guest
- Specify whether the event is adults only, or if guests can bring their kids
Set a Theme
It’s fun to have a theme, so the guests will know something about the party in advance. Once you settle this detail, you can plan everything else around it. Some possible theme ideas include:
Plan a Menu
Plan for cocktails, appetizers, a main dish, side dishes, and dessert. To serve a large crowd, you can purchase serving equipment from a party supply company like Equip Supply or Oriental Trading Company. You can make a big event of the food and drink by picking up equipment like:
- Chafing dishes
- Coffee brewers
- Chocolate fountain
- Cheese dispenser
- Nacho warmers
- Popcorn machines
You might also consider setting up a bar for mixed drinks or a station for wine, beer, and soda. If you are expecting a large crowd, you might consider hiring a bartender to mix up and serve the drinks.
Music and dancing is always a great option for entertainment. You can make your own dance floor by simply covering your carpet with a roll of plastic, which you can pick up at your local hardware store. Other ways to entertain your guests can include:
- Poker tables
- Photo booths
- Video games
- Piano sing-along
Equipment You Will Need
If you’re planning to have at least part of your party outdoors, you’ll need to literally cover yourself with a backup plan in case of rainy weather or too much sunshine. You’ll need some basic event staples and gear, like tables, chairs, and receptacles for cigarette butts if any of your guests are smokers.
For shade and/or protection from stormy weather, you might need:
- Electrical outlets
Having a festive get-together can be very enjoyable if you plan ahead and have all of the equipment you need. The more preparation you can do ahead of time, the more you can relax and enjoy the special occasion with your guests.