How to host a party
A hassle free 10-step guide to hosting a party
You would think – who needs a guide on how to host a party?? We all know how to party. But, let’s be honest. Hosting a party is exhausting.
We all love to get together with friends and families, and have fun. But, the logistics behind it all is not an easy job at all.
As we are so close to welcoming the new year 2021, we thought to share some tips we have learnt over the years organising tons of dinner parties. Also, years of running a catering business has taught us a lot about menu planning, and cooking in the most efficient way possible, which we are glad to share with you.
Contrary to what many believe, a successful dinner party is much more than just the food. Food is definitely the highlight. But, the people, the vibe you create and the conversations that follow take a significant role in a successful gathering that everyone will remember. A truly memorable party is crafted with genuine love and care for the invitees. Like everything else, hosting a party in itself is a small project that requires planning.
This easy to follow 10-step guide on how to host a party will definitely take some stress off your shoulders and let you relax and enjoy your parties.
Step 1. Define your party scope.
Figure out what type of party you want to host. What kind of party do you want to throw? Is there a theme you want to follow for the party?
This is the point where you visualise the type of party you wish to host. At this stage you get a rough idea of:
- The type of environment you want to create.
- The type of food you want to serve.
- The number or the group of people you want to invite.
Step 2. Decide on your budget.
Like all projects, budget is another key aspect of hosting a party.
Think about how much you are willing to spend on invitations, food, drink, table and seat settings, decorations, music and entertainment. Be brutally honest with yourself here as you don’t want to end up going over your budget after all is said and done.
Which of the above items are the most and the least important to you?
Your audience or the guest list will define the priority of each segment. Depending on the overall nature of your guests, you can prioritize how much to allocate for each segment.
Step 3. Select the venue, date and time.
Once you have a rough draft of what your party will be like, and how much you are willing to spend, it’s time to get more specific. Decide the venue, date and time that are the most suitable for you & your guests.
Find the most suitable venue for your party. The rough draft that you set in step 1 and your budget should guide you in selecting a venue.
Your home, or a hotel, office, banquet hall, community centre or a park? There are numerous options available.
Will you need to get a permit, license, or book a venue to hold the party? Can the venue accommodate the number of guests you are planning to invite? Each type of venue comes with its own logistics so be careful to not miss such details while selecting a venue.
Step 4. Build your guest list.
Building a guest list is another crucial step in hosting a party. Based on your budget and venue arrangements, build your guest list. Think about:
- How many people will you invite?
- Who will you invite? Get their names down.
- How will you invite guests? Via paper invitation, phone, text, social media application?
Your dinner party’s success depends largely on the interaction, charm and interest of your chosen guests. In addition to each individual, you must also carefully consider the mixture of personalities in the party. Think about if the different individuals in the party will be able to gel together or not.
No one wants to be at a party where they can’t find anyone to have a good conversation with.
Make sure to include one or more fun and entertaining conversationalists, ideally one for every four persons at the party. These guests will have a large impact on how others will remember your party, so choose positive, bubbly, vivacious, confident characters who not only have fun themselves but create an environment around them that everyone else can enjoy.
Step 5. Send out invitations.
When preparing invitations, be sure to include the location, date, time, invitees, RSVP date as well as contact information. Be sure to mention directions to the venue and check for any special dietary requirements of guests.
Send invitations a couple of weeks in advance of your party to give people a chance to check/clear/hold their calendars and RSVP.
Step 6. Menu planning.
Food is obviously the central point of any party. Honestly, as a foodie I am the most excited for the food at a party and we always make sure to take great care while planning the menu for the party.
Assess Resources: The available time, space, and equipment relative to the number of people attending play a significant factor in what you can serve. However, most limitations can be circumvented by planning ahead.
Lay A Foundation: Lay your party menu foundation by choosing your main or specialty dish or cuisine. Start by creating a list of possible dishes based upon food choices, and preparation time required.
Build the Menu: Build your dinner party menu to support your selected premier dish. To keep your party manageable, structure your menu to 2 to 4 courses.
Add beverages: Pair your dishes with beverages. Think about both alcoholic and non alcoholic options. If you wish to serve wine with dinner or lunch and do not have a lot of experience, keep it simple and take suggestions from others. You can do a bit of research to check what beverage fits with the type of food you are serving. If you have some close friends you are inviting, get input from them about what they would prefer.
Step 7: Confirm other arrangements.
If you are throwing a party with additional arrangements such as music and entertainment, now’s the time to make and confirm those. Pay careful attention to pricing, dates, services and times for set-up and break-down. Make sure you have a contingency plan.
Always best to be prepared for the worst.
Step 8: Make a list of supplies and go shopping.
Make a list of supplies that you’ll need: food, drink, beverages, decorations, furniture, etc.
Don’t forget the ICE!!!
Buy non-perishables first, followed by perishables as you get nearer to the party date.
Step 9. Last tip – Get a head start on setting up.
Always, give yourself more time than you think you may need to set up for a party. It is easier to have much too much time on your hands than too little.
You’ll be thankful for that extra time!
Step 10. Have fun. It’s party time!
You’ve worked hard, now it’s time to go and have some fun.
Welcome your guests. Ensure that you introduce guests to each other.
Enjoy food, drink, dancing, conversations, and the beautiful company of one another.
We hope this guide on How to host a party will make your festive time a little easier!
How do you plan and host your parties? Do you have some tips to share?
Let us know in the comments below.
For your convenience, you can also get a pdf version of this guide by clicking >>> HERE.