I remember the first time I threw a party at my place. I was so nervous no one would show up! Do they like me enough to come? Will they actually have a good time? Did I get too much food? These are all questions that rolled through my mind. Luckily, I had good friends who assured me that people ARE coming and it WILL be a great time! And they were absolutely right! Also, you can never have too much food.
If you are nervous like I was, don’t be. Your guests may show up fashionably late, but fret not. Where there is a well-planned party, people WILL show up!
A Fun Theme
Themed parties are SO much fun and naturally create buzz around your event. Because themed parties take more time and effort to plan, few hosts will put in that extra effort, thus making your party the highlight of the summer! A theme will give your guests the opportunity to dress up and express their individuality. Everyone’s interpretation of the theme will differ and be a catalyst for good conversation. You can even create your own flawless invitations using Vistaprint’s professionally designed templates. [Check out my Awesome Summer Party Themes article to get your creative juices flowing!]
Create a cohesive look for your party by accessorizing your space! Eye-catchers like inflatable pool floats and summer photo backdrops will absolutely wow your guests. Place a couple selfie sticks by your backdrop, and VOILA! Your guests will have a DIY photoshoot that they’ll never forget.
Good Food & Drinks
Delicious food and drinks are always a hit at summer parties. The heat can really drain our energy, and sustenance is key to keep the party going!
To really impress your guests, finger foods and hors d’oeuvres are the way to go. Bite-sized morsels are visually attractive and easy to eat, allowing your guests to enjoy mingling and not having to babysit a ginormous plate of grub. Items like fruit and vegetable skewers, sliders, and assorted crostini will really create an elevated experience. If you’re not sure how much food to buy, a great way to find out is to take a recipe and multiply the ingredients to match your estimated guest number. For example: If you have 24 guests coming to your party and your recipe is for 8 servings, multiply the recipe quantities by 3. If your guests are hungry foodies, you may want to provide 2-3 servings per person.
Especially on hot summer days, drinks are just as important, if not more important than the food. A dedicated bar area is an easy way to keep track of your stock throughout the party. This is also a great opportunity for you to get creative! Provide your guests with some easy drink recipes displayed on a chalkboard sign or picture frame. Think about what your friends like to drink. If they like mojitos, supply rum, fresh mint leaves, and fresh fruit. If you want to take it a step further, make your own Fresh Fruit Mojito Pops!
Inclusive Games & Activities
If you’re having an afternoon or daytime party, it’s a great idea to stay cool with water games or a pool, if you have one. Play games that everyone can easily pick up, like Sharks & Minnows or Cards Against Humanity. If you've never played cards against humanity, you're in for a treat. It's the grown-up version of Apples to Apples and a great way to break the ice.
For the competitive at heart, create a beer pong tournament area with a sign-up sheet. Combine the best of both worlds with an Inflatable Pong Table! If you’re feeling generous, prizes are an easy way to create excitement and encourage everyone to participate.
Remember, when things wind down, it doesn’t mean the party has to end. It just means the pace of everlasting fun has changed. This is the perfect time to bust out the card games, watch movies, and do more “chill” activities. Games like Cards Against Humanity are great for adults with a good sense of humor. A backyard projector movie set up with some inflatable couches is a great way to relax from the day’s activities. If you’re having a party with close friends and family, consider creating something personal like a slideshow of friendship photos to create intimate memories.
Oh, one more thing.
HAVE FUN!!! This is the most important aspect of throwing an awesome party. Believe me, your guests can pick up your tension from a mile away and they really do feed off your energy. They will often feel obligated to make sure you’re having a good time, so remember to relax and go with the flow.
Keep it low-stress and don’t be afraid to ask your friends for help with planning. Assign each friend a section to keep tidy and stocked throughout the party. Place a garbage bin at each corner of the space. Teamwork maintenance will mean less work for you when the party’s over.
As the cliché goes, don’t sweat the small stuff. Sit back and enjoy your legendary party!