10 Mistakes You Should Avoid at All Costs When Hosting a Party
If you’re tasked with hosting a party, you do not want to make these mistakes if you want people to remember your party in a favorable light.
Every family and friend group has that one friend that loves to host the party. They find any excuse to get everyone together for food, drinks, and a good time. But, the thing is, no matter how many of their parties you go to, you always have because they know what they’re doing.
If party planning doesn’t come as naturally to you, don’t worry. You can still make your birthday bash or holiday shindig a night to remember for all the right reasons.
All you have to do is focus on what you do best when it comes to partying, and make sure to avoid these 10 common mistakes of hosting a party.
1. Making the Theme Too Broad
The reason for throwing a party and the theme are not always the same thing. Some people love to have a theme for their birthday gathering while others like to put their own spin on a traditional holiday occasion.
Whatever theme you choose, make sure it’s clearly communicated to your guests. There’s nothing worse than showing up to a party underdressed, overdressed, or looking like you missed the memo completely. It’s a surefire way for someone to feel left out or outright forgotten.
Always ensure everyone is in the loop to get the party started on a good note.
2. Not Keeping Up with the Guest List
Speaking of communicating with your guests, keep an eye on the guest list. Every party will have a few flakes or last-minute openings of availability, but for the most part, you want to have an accurate headcount.
A headcount helps you plan how much food you need and all the space you should make for everyone. This may mean you need more seats if you plan to serve a meal or a little more wiggle room for everyone to move around comfortably.
3. Decorating for Aesthetics Instead of Flow
As you’re setting everything up, you want to have a few decorations here and there. Don’t feel pressure to go all-out with this part of hosting a party unless you really want to.
However, one thing you absolutely can’t do is compromise function for form. In other words, don’t focus so much on the decorations that certain areas of the party venue feel awkward.
People shouldn’t be cramped by the bar or overwhelmed the moment they walk in. They should feel excited, welcomed, and ready to mingle.
4. Forgetting About the Music
Nothing gets the party started like good music – and nothing kills a party like no music. Make the playlist days in advance and keep adding to it as more good music pops into your mind.
More importantly, make sure your phone is fully charged and get Bluetooth speakers if you can.
This allows you to answer texts and calls about things like directions and parking or last-minute party items while you entertain the guests who have already arrived.
5. Not Being Ready on Time
You should be ready at least half an hour before the start time of the party, if not more. As much as there are always a few late-comers, most parties start with people who like to show up right on time.
It’s good hosting courtesy to be ready to receive these early birds and everyone else who walks through the door. When the day of the party arrives, the main thing on your mind should be the party.
You shouldn’t be running around doing a bunch of errands or trying to be everywhere at once.
Instead, get all the loose ends tied up before the day-of so you can focus all your energy on bringing the party to life that you’ve worked so hard to plan.
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6. Assuming People Will Help Themselves
This is one of the duties of hosting that almost everyone forgets: reminding people to help themselves. Not everyone is going to know where you’ve put the coolers or that it’s acceptable to start grabbing hors d’oeuvres.
Even if all you’ve laid out is a fruit and veggie tray and some chips, let people know they’re welcome to it. Make sure you don’t forget about the drinks – and keeping them cold – and you’re all set.
7. Serving Food That Is Only Sit-Friendly
Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to serving food is how easy you want eating to be.
It’s one thing to serve “grab and go” type of items and another to make a sit-down meal.
There’s nothing wrong with sitting, but it can get in the way of how everyone is socializing. Keep this in mind as you decide on all the details of the party.
If you’re looking for people to dance and have fun, light items are the way to go. If you want a homier or laid-back feel to it, there’s no harm in setting up a few tables for people to eat at.
8. Not Saying Hello to Everyone Who Came
Before people get to the food, they usually take a few laps around the room. Make sure you say hi to everyone as they do so. You don’t have to plant yourself at the front door, but you do have to make an effort to spend time with everyone who showed up.
Remind people that their presence matters and tell them you appreciate them taking time out of their day. This goes for your best friend and the old friend you haven’t seen in years. Everyone who walks through your door should be recognized and loved on for a little bit.
9. Leaving Everyone to Introduce Themselves
What if you’re throwing a big party and inviting friends from all walks of life? In such cases, it’s on you to play matchmaker. This isn’t only about romance.
It’s about connecting your best friend from work to the gal pal you’ve known for years because you think they’ll hit it off. It’s making the effort to introduce your new boyfriend to your old college roommate and even just using people’s names in conversations so everyone has a chance to get to know each other.
Of all the mistakes you can make when hosting a party, this is arguably the worst because it can ruin all aspects of the event. When you overthink the music, you put too much pressure on what the playlist “should be.” The same thing goes for what you plan to wear, how many people you’re inviting, or when everyone shows up.
At the end of the day, the point of a party is for everyone to kick back and have fun. They can’t do that if you’re clearly overthinking everything.
The Main Thing to Remember When Hosting a Party
Going off the final point on the list, here’s the number one rule about hosting a party: remember to have fun! Between getting an accurate headcount, setting up the party, and preparing the food, it’s easy for hosts to get carried away in all the details instead of living in the moment.
The thing is, the details don’t really matter. What does bring life to a party is the company you have around you and the moments you share together. A good party is all about being present, sharing laughs, and having an interesting conversation.
If you’re looking to throw the ultimate summer bash this year, do these preparations before sending out the invites.