Throwing a great party goes beyond the scope of any “how to” page, because a great party can only be defined posthoc — after it is over — it’s the result of a combination of superb planning and astonishing good luck regarding uncontrollable issues like weather, guests’ moods and interactions. You will have “astonishing good luck” with this wikiHow!
Plan at least 3 months out so that you have ample time for publicity and to create a large e-mail invite guest list. Give your guests a six week “Save the Date” e-mail. Make sure formal invites (via mail or email) are dated no less that 2 weeks out. This gives your guests ample notice and gives you time to prepare the party of the year. Here are things to consider:
- Pick a date when nothing else is happening. If there’s a big community event going on or your friends always have “wines day Wednesdays” for example, avoid partying on that day. You want people to come to your party, right?! Make sure to check sports, community, church and other organization calendars before finalizing your date. You would not want to plan a 6pm event downtown if a major sports event is scheduled with in an hour of your event. Think about things like traffic, commute time, event parking and other factors that could lower your attendance. Does the time or date conflict? Will parking be plentiful and free? Will the commute for the majority of the guests be short?
- You don’t have to have your party at night. How about a brunch party? Everyone’s looking for an excuse to eat pancakes and drink mimosas over the weekend, aren’t they?
- It’s easiest if the party is at your home church, though it can be somewhere public like a community center, restaurants or a bar, but you could also look into venues for rent
Usually only 20% to 25% of the invited guests attend. A good rule of thumb is “the more the merrier.” However, you don’t want your guests packed in like sardines, so consider the place you’re working with and how many mouths you need to feed! If you want 200 people in attendance make sure you have ample time to create a minimum of an 800 e-mail guest list.
- Remember, people always come late or sometimes never show. Also, if guests are bringing friends it could get out of hand rather easily. On the invitation, indicate whether or not it’s okay to bring uninvited guests.
Avoid “80s” or “White trash trailer bash” if you can — those are parties your guests probably went to last week. How about a cartoon theme? Or a theme around your favorite TV show or movie? A location, a specific food (like one of those 24-layer cartoon sandwiches!), a concept, or a season work too.
- Your theme can be as simple as a color. It would be easy to decorate and choose your food and drinks. Invite guests to wear this color, and have a contest for who wears the selected color the best!
- As for this “concept” idea, your party could have its own occasion. A beer or wine tasting? Heck, a mac n’ cheese tasting?! A holiday, a random day in history (Moon landing day, say), a murder mystery party, or even a superhero party taken to the next level — where everyone walks in, in costume, to their own theme song playing