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birthday home > unique birthday party ideas > hosting a memorable party or shower

Top Ten Ways to Ensure a Memorable Gathering from Party Favors to Hosting

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Whether you are hosting a bridal shower or a bachelor party-a wedding or a child's birthday party, there are several necessary steps you need to take to ensure memories of your event last a lifetime. Here are the top 10 tips for hosting a successful and memorable party.

10. Birthday Party Favors, Bridal Shower or Baby Shower Favors

A surefire way to ensure your guests will remember your party is to provide them with dazzling party favors to take home. Favors are appropriate for most types of parties. In addition to serving as keepsakes, birthday party favors, bridal shower favors, baby shower favors and wedding favors are a great way to add personality to the party and thank your guests for coming and being a part of the special occasion.

9. How Big is "Too Big?"

Determine how many people your venue can hold. Remember bigger is not always better. You must consider your budget and space constraints when planning your party. Being a good host means taking the comfort of your guests into consideration. You can have fabulous decorations and amazing food, but if there is no room for guests to sit or stand, that is the only thing they will remember. Go the extra mile to make sure your guests are comfortable. Provide them with hand fans during a hot summer ceremony or cozy blankets during the cold winter months. Your thoughtfulness will not go unnoticed.

8. Manage the Guest List

When you are making your guest list, consider whether they will bring other guests to the party. You have to account for everyone. If you are hosting an intimate gathering in your home you may contact your friends individually and ask them how many guests will be in attendance. A large bridal shower, however, may require you to ask guests to RSVP so you can get the right head count ahead of time. One of the biggest nightmares for a host is not having enough food or drinks for everyone at your gathering.

If you are planning a smaller party, consider who your guests are and how they will interact. Mixing groups of people who have little in common may result in awkwardness or segregation. If the event is large, like a wedding reception, on the other hand, there should be enough space and people to allow comfortable mingling.

7. Choosing the Location

If you are throwing a party at your home, consider your neighbors and the noise. One way to appease your neighbors is to let them know of the party ahead of time. Another way is to invite them. A third way is to avoid loud music and noise late into the night. It may be okay to have a party go late, but no one will be happy if it is rowdy and out of hand.

Also, it pays to keep in mind that a home-grown party is often fun, but you can always rent a local hall or restaurant to hold a larger birthday party or a shower.

6. Selecting the Party Date

The day you throw a party is also very important. For example, if you throw a party during a long holiday weekend you may find that most of your invited guests are out of town or busy with other family obligations. Also, a summer party might sound fun, but if you plan outdoor activities, make sure that the heat will not overwhelm your guests. In this case, consider a party held early in the summer-a summer kickoff party-or a party late in the summer-a say good bye to summer soirie.

5. Picking the Party Entertainment

Music and games are great ice breakers for a tough crowd. But make sure you choose the right entertainment for the mood. Playing heavy metal music and five card stud during a child's birthday party will be less than appropriate. But the same tunes and games at a bachelor party could be a hit. Consider who your guests are and avoid putting people in situations where they feel pressured to do something they are uncomfortable with. For example, before you roll out the karaoke machine, make sure everyone is willing to participate or at least happy to watch.

4. Food and Drinks for Your Party

A large gathering may not be the best time to show off your culinary skills. As the host, you have a plethora of responsibilities without having to cook all of the food, too. There are several options to consider. One, you can make one or two main dishes and have your guests bring their favorite side dishes. This is good option for a big party with friends, but may be less appropriate for a child's birthday party. Another option is to call a caterer. There is no better way to make sure the food is perfect than calling a caterer to take care of the feast. Remember when choosing a menu or stocking a bar to account for those who prefer non-meat dishes and non-alcoholic beverages. Anticipate your guests' needs.

3. Who is the Server

If you are going to have mixed drinks, you need to bring someone in to serve them. If you are going to have sliced roast beef, someone needs to slice and serve it. Will you have a sit down meal or a self-serve buffet? Make sure to have all the necessary utensils and dishes to accommodate everyone.

2. Be Responsible

Adult parties likely may involve alcohol. Your guests may not notice the effects of alcohol during the festivities, but you should recognize the signs that people are having too much.

First, if someone is becoming too out of control at your event, then it is time to cut them off. Do not hesitate to take their car keys. Call them a cab, offer them a ride or even let them sleep it off in your study.

1. Be the Host

Planning a party is only half of the host's responsibilities. You must make sure you are ready for the party to start on time. That includes having yourself and the location ready. Making sure the food is ready and entertainment is in place.

During the event, you have to move the party along, introduce people, make sure everyone has what they need and are comfortable.

You have spent weeks, even months planning your event. This is not time to show off how much beer you can consume in one sitting. Enjoy your party with your guests, but know that everything you do could impact the tone of your party. Not offering people a seat or a clean plate could turn people off and end the party early.

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