The key to any successful party is preparation. Even if it’s just a few friends dropping by for drinks, you need to make sure you have enough in your pantry to keep the occasion going.; then you can just relax and have a good time with your guests. Big parties and events, of course, need more preparation and thought. So once you commit to having one, they key to successful is planning and preparation. Do the hard work before, so you can have fun later.
First, make a list. In fact, make several lists. Your first list will be the guests; you don’t want to forget to invite someone who will later wonder why they weren’t invited. Then plan the menu, so if you have your party catered or are planning to do the cooking yourself, you’ll know what to order.
Entertainment needs to be planned too. If you are hiring a band, give yourself a lot of time to shop around. Don’t just choose the first band advertised, do some research and interview. The trick is, the more you worry and plan before the party, the less you have to worry during the party. Even a relatively small “garden party” outside around the pool or in the back yard needs thought and preparation. Make sure your neighbors are informed, and invite them to drop in for a drink as a courtesy, that will make them better disposed if they are invited to be a part of the festivities,
Of course nothing always goes according to plan, but if you’ve planned and prepared everything beforehand, and have anticipated problems and thought of alternatives; even when things go wrong, your guests will be impressed at how efficiently you dealt with the problem:
- The Caterer backed out at the last minute? No problem, you have a backup, or a list of take-out and delivery restaurants that you can call on short notice.
- The band didn’t The show up? You just happen to have a stack of CDs, music videos and maybe karaoke that everyone can dance and sing alone with.
- It’s raining outside, the pool party is ruined! So bring them inside. Break out some videos or play charades and party games; or just have a good “bull session”. Some drinks and good conversation with friends can be just as entertaining,
Your guests will follow your lead. If you are upbeat, they will be too. And since you‘ve planned so well ahead of time, you can relax and enjoy the party just as much as they will.