Recipe for a Great Party: Why & What

Every great party has a few of the same great ingredients: good conversation, good music, and good food and drink. A lovely setting doesn’t hurt either. But not every party is a great one and it’s easy to make mistakes that can kill a good party.

So what to do? First let’s start with the “why.” There are many reasons to throw a party. You can celebrate a national holiday, a rite of passage, a season, an accomplishment, or nothing at all. What you celebrate doesn’t matter, but it should be something all of your attendees can get behind. For instance, if you’re throwing a CD release party for your rapper friend and you invite all of your work friends who don’t know the rapper and may hate rap music, your party might not be that great. But if your invite list includes everyone who knows said rapper as well as a few fans, you can be sure to have a great party (so long as all the other ingredients in your party recipe work).

So once you figure out why you are having  a party, you need to decide what kind of party to have. Will it be big, small, or somewhere in between? Will it be formal or casual? How formal or casual? Cocktails on the patio might be considered formal by some and casual by others. Will you serve dinner or just hors d’ouevres? Buffet or plated? Will there be alcohol? Pre-mixed or let people mix their own? Will you have entertainment like live music or games? Do you expect people to dance? These are all things you need to consider when planning your party.

With our Spring Fling, we decided we wanted to celebrate spring and the return of warm(er) weather. We invited many of our close friends, so we planned on hosting about 20 people. We knew we wanted a fire, lots of conversation, maybe some games, and not to serve dinner (that gets expensive!). All of these things influenced how we executed the party.

Once you figure out the size of your party and why you’re having it, you can move on to the Who, Where & When. Check in next week for the next installment in the recipe.

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  1. […] week we looked at the Why & What of entertaining. Now let’s move on to the next part: figuring out the who, where, and […]



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