Recently we attended an extravagant party inspired by the popular children’s novel Alice in Wonderland and wanted share 6 simple tips to host a successful party. Once we arrived at the front door, a man dressed up as the Cheshire Cat welcomed us and smiled. Top chefs and bartenders served up small bits of cake and “drink me” cocktails. The Queen of Hearts was also there, singing with her army and the hosts were dressed up as card soldiers. As the atmosphere was themed but also playful, a White Rabbit slot game would have been a great addition, or a tea corner where we could try and guess different tea flavors. There was so much hype around this party that it was probably the best one we’ve attended in a while.
So we were thinking, what makes a party successful? We have narrowed it down to a few key elements that are essential if you want to host a party everyone will remember.
One ingredient is often overlooked but shouldn’t be is the invitation. This sets the tone of the party. With an enticing invitation, your guests will immediately be impatient for the party to come. Invitations come in all styles and sizes. Think about a cool thick calligraphy handwriting or maybe a coded invitation. Include all necessary information like time, occasion, dress code etc and any other fun details – the more personal, the better.
Take care of the décor
At the Alice in Wonderland party, the entire space was transformed into a park with benches and themed serving. Everywhere around us we saw details that caught our attention. However, do not put the pressure on yourself if you want to arrange the decor on a budget. The setup should not be over the top and glamorous. You don’t want to splash all your money buying expensive decorations, but definitely consider transforming the place for the party, even if it takes place in your apartment. Buy fresh flowers, pretty tablecloths, aroma candles and you’re ready to go.
Choose the playlist
Without proper music, a party can feel like a meeting. Set up the mood and volume with a lively playlist. Be sure to plan several hours of great music and choose songs that will move the party up and down. Keep the atmosphere mellow during the meal or the break, and then bring out the dance songs to get your guests moving. If you plan a bigger party like an anniversary or engagement party, consider a live singer or a band. It will set the atmosphere and surely take the pressure off the host.
The food brings us all to the table so be sure to get creative here. It doesn’t matter if your party starts earlier or later in the day but be sure to prepare small tasty snack bites for your guests to nibble on. You don’t have to be a perfect cook to set up a cheese platter. Go through some arrangement ideas on the net or ask a professional to help you out. Plate it on elegant serving platters to keep the food warm and nicely presented. If you are going for a menu of homemade dips and comfort food, do as much as you can in advance. You don’t want to spend your party time in the kitchen while everyone else is enjoying themselves.
We know that alcohol is not necessarily a party element but it’s always good to have it as an option. If you don’t want to be in the role of a bartender, make various types of cocktails in advance both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Other options are to set up a bar where guests will make their own drinks or ask someone to help you behind the bar. If you have a flexible budget, hire a professional bartender that will keep your guests satisfied and impressed and who will surely get creative with the beverages.
The element of surprise
Whether it’s a performance by a famous artist, a chocolate fountain or a photo booth where guests can make memories, there should always be an element of surprise to the party. It doesn’t have to be an outrageous idea, just something that no one was expecting. Serve cookies from the famous new bakery in town or bring a magician to entertain your loved ones – it is a party after all. The surprise element is one of the things your guest will talk and text about tomorrow, so get creative!