Quick Guide to Throwing a Great Party:

A lot goes into planning a party. It can be a stressful, tiring, and irritating process if you’re unorganized and don’t know what you’re doing.

This quick guide should keep your head on straight when considering all that is needed to be done for your party.


What is the party for? Is it a celebration or birth, graduation, marriage, retirement, or something else? Based on what type of party you’re throwing, you’ll need to consider the “theme” when making party decisions such as ordering or making food, decorating, picking invitations, and choosing who to invite.  Pick 2 or 3 colors that go along with the theme. It keeps a sense of spirit as well as consistency throughout the party, not to mention it looks festive and professional. And if you don’t have a good eye for color, pick 1 neutral- white or grey or black and one color-any from the rainbow.


Who are you going to invite? Friends? Family? Both?  How many people are you going to invite? Make a list of everyone you’d like to invite before filling out any invitations. Keep in mind that if this party is for someone other than you, to invite their friends and/or family as well. You may have to ask around for phone numbers and addresses. You could also try social networks or emailing them to get their contact information. Word of mouth might not be the most effective way to throw a party because you may end up with more people you don’t want there, and less of the people you do want there. It is also a bad idea because it makes it difficult to determine how many will show and if you need more or less food for the occasion.


Pick out or make invitations that represent the theme of the party. On the invitations make sure to include date, time, address and theme of the party, host name, and names of persons the party is for. Address them to the individuals on you guest list and be sure to either include +1 for anyone potentially bringing a date or an RSVP also asking how many they expect to come. An RSVP should be included anyway with the host’s phone number or email and a date by which guests must call or email the host about their status on attendance (attending or not attending) for the party. This gives you a better estimate as to how many to expect and how much food to order/make, as well as if you’ll need a larger venue or a smaller one to hold your guests comfortably. Invitations should be sent 4 weeks in advance and the RSVP date should be 2 weeks before the party ideally. Just be sure you give your guests plenty of heads up in case they need to take the day off of work or school to attend the party. Also make sure you have plenty of time to order/make food for the party and reserve a venue after guests RSVP before the party date.


Depending on how many people you invited and how many RSVP, you’ll need to decide on a venue for the party. Keep in mind that not everyone always RSVPs, so you may want to round up your guest number to include 5-10 more guests. For example: You’re having a small party and invite 30 people, 15 of them RSVP with a yes, and the rest don’t get back to you but show up to your party anyway. If you’re holding the party at your small apartment expecting only those 15, not everyone will be comfortable because it will be too cramped and people will leave your party early, less likely to attend the next one you have. So if there are more people possibly attending that may not fit in your house, you may want to rent a venue for a few hours the date of your party. Always check with the venues to see how many people comfortable fit in the room.


This should be fun! The decorations you choose should be within the theme of the party. For example, if the party was for a 7 year old boy’s birthday, his favorite color is blue and he loves dinosaurs, then the decorations should be blue, with dinosaurs present on the cake, plates, napkins, and maybe wall decorations, blue balloons, and little dinosaur toys around. Make sure you are allowed to decorate the venue at which your party will take place. Table centerpieces, balloons, hanging decorations, plants or streamers are good places to start.


You must keep the party alive and everyone entertained of course. Depending on the theme of the party, you could do countless things! But music is priority. Whether it's background radio, a classical pianist, local band, video games or a professional DJ, be sure the mood is set for your party. Also consider games, toasting, and special entertainment like dancers, magicians, etc.

Also, as a side note, be sure to personally greet and see off your guests. Make it personal, make them feel welcome and leave them enthused for your next event!


A party is not all about food, but it certaintly is a key component in throwing a great party!

Appetizers are essential for parties. Classic cheese and crackers with pepperoni or veggie dip and veggies, or cold cuts on a roll, or chicken fingers or nachos, or pigs in a blanket, or shrimp cocktails are all great ideas. But depending on what kind of party and the season or time of day the party is at, food choices should be different. For example, if you’re having a BBQ, bacon wrapped pineapple chunks, or chips and dip or fruit salad might be better than shrimp or puddings or fancy cheese hors d’oeuvres.  

There should always be more than one choice for the main dish. Lasagna, pasta alfredo, chicken, ribs, and steak are all good choices, but it depends on the tastes of your guests. Be sure to offer a vegetarian choice or vegan choice for those who don’t eat meat. And make sure there are plenty of sides such as salads, vegetables, fruit salad, soups, and bread with butter.

If there is alcohol, domestic choice beers or wines or coolers are best if you don’t want anyone getting too drunk. Hard liquor or mixed drinks for rowdier parties and salt and fruit should be offered as sides as well as chips, pretzels or something salty.

No matter what kind of party it is, you’ll most likely need a cake. Be sure it is more than one flavor because not everybody likes vanilla, and not everyone likes chocolate. Or be creative, have strawberry and banana or white and strawberry. There are many flavors to choose from, but be sure the flavor coincides with your theme. A pink strawberry cake might not the best idea for a boys birthday party. Or try cupcakes! There are many ways to decorate cupcakes. Don’t like cake? Have jello or ice cream, cookies, brownies, or cheesecake. Dessert should be delicious, and everyone should get some if they want, so be sure to keep your guests satisfied 'til the end of your party!