A step-by-step guide to throw a great party

January 23, 2021

According to Wikipedia, a party is a gathering of people who have been invited by a host for the purposes of socializing, conversation, recreation, or as part of a festival or other commemoration or celebration of a special occasion.

There are endless types of parties, says Pinterest. Birthday parties, parties on special days with our family (Christmas), graduations, anniversaries, retirements, weekend parties, corporate parties, but there are also big events, like weddings, bridal showers or hens/bucks parties.

No matter which event you’re preparing for, you will need to be well organized. In addition to organization skills, party planning requires creativity and time. If you don't know where to start, we’re here to help you with tips on how to prepare for a smaller party and how to organize a larger event.

We bring you 10 crucial components of how to plan a party:

1. Pick a date

2. Make a guest list

3. Pick a party theme

4. Send out invitations

5. Plan the food

6. Choose your beverages

7. Set decorations

8. Get the music

9. Plan some activities

10. Enjoy the party

These are the most important things you need to keep in mind when planning a party. But what to do when you’re organizing a bigger event? In that case, you have to plan the party weeks in advance, sometimes months. Then, planning a party should be a structured process with carefully defined steps.

Using a party planning checklist is the best way to make sure everything goes smoothly

Using a party planning checklist is the best way to make sure everything goes smoothly. Follow these step-by-step instructions to throw a great party and keep you on track.

2-3 months before the party

Date and time

Choose the date and time for your party. Check if the date is good for the invitees and that it does not conflict with other celebrations. That way you will be sure that everyone you want at your party has a chance of showing up.

Budget

Determine the budget you have and how much money you will spend in total. Also, set priorities on what you will spend more money on (whether food and drinks are more important than decorations). Be flexible and leave room for unexpected expenses. And there will be unexpected expenses, so don't let that surprise you.

Guest list

The most important thing is to determine the guest list at the beginning, so that you know how many people you are having a party for. Depending on the occasion you are celebrating, decide whether to focus on family, to call only close friends or to call colleagues from work and high school buddies.

Mydomaine.com says that "The best crowd will include introverts and extroverts, great conversationalists and excellent listeners, and people of all ages".

Theme

Choosing a theme will facilitate your further planning. Based on the theme, you can design invitations, choose decorations, decide what food and drinks to serve and what music to play.

Location

Now that you have determined the budget you have, the date, theme and guest list, you can start looking for the place where you will organize the party. Keep in mind what kind of weather awaits you. With that in mind, decide on whether the party will be inside or outside, in a restaurant, bar or someone’s house.

Having a party at home can save you money, but renting a venue will eventually make your life easier and reduce stress

Having a party at home can save you money, but renting a venue will eventually make your life easier and reduce stress. Feel free to check for the best venues on the Spotfood app. Also, check in advance with the venue to see if they are free that day.

Event vendors

Start planning, shortlisting and negotiating the event details with vendors. If you're already getting dizzy on the sole mention of event vendors, make sure you try Spotfood. As we mentioned in one of the previous blogs, Spotfood is an app that helps you organize your event end-to-end and makes choosing an event vendor quite simple. Just by posting your event details to the app, you’ll start gathering vendor quotes in minutes, you’ll be able to discuss event details directly with vendors and also check out reviews and comments, all in one place. It saves time, money and nerves.

1 month before the party

Invitations

One segment of organizing a party that is often not taken seriously is sending out invitations. Invitations are the perfect opportunity to set the tone of the event. With a good invitation design, you will make your guests feel excited about the upcoming party. Be sure to include all the pertinent information.

You can use Spotfood to find a great stationery designer to help you with invitations, or, you can send out online invitations. If you decide to use Spotfood, you can create a guest list and then send invitations to all the guests with a single click and track RSVPs within the app. The guests can also download Spotfood and see the shared event on their own device. It's simple, eco-friendly and you don't risk losing the invitation in the mail.

Pro-tip

Put the confirmation deadline on the invitations, it'll make tracking the RSVP's easier.

Food

There is no party without delicious food. You can prepare the food depending on the party theme. You can organize home cooking or you can hire a caterer. Whatever you decide, consider everyone’s needs. Prepare a few options, so that everyone can eat.

Don’t forget dessert!

Drinks

For some people, alcohol is not necessary for good fun. So make sure you can offer guests both options, alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages. According to Paperlesspost.com, cocktails are great options for dinner parties, but so is beer or wine, depending on your crowd. 

If your guest list is more than a handful of people, a pre-batched punch will be your best option, otherwise, you might find yourself mixing drinks all night.

Whatever you decide, don’t let guests have empty glasses at any time.

Music

Without music, the whole party can be stiff and guests can feel like they are at a meeting. Depending on the theme of the party, it’s good to know in advance what kind of music you want. Are you going to have a band, a DJ or a playlist? If you decide on a band or DJ, book them in advance. Set up all the necessary equipment. If you don’t want the pressure of hosting a live band or a DJ, prepare a playlist.

Decorations

Themes and decorations go hand-by-hand. If you have a theme, finding decorations will be much easier. You can find decorations at your local store or you can order them online. You can also list your needs on Spotfood and receive personalized decorator quotes. If you have no ideas, we wrote about some DIY decoration projects.

1 week before the party

Confirmations

Confirm vendors, venue, all deliveries, equipment and pickups. Make sure that everything is on track.

Activities

Don't forget to plan the party activities. As the party progresses, guests may be interested in some fun activities or games. Trivia and charades, board games, karaoke, a wide area set aside for dancing, the possibilities are endless. Pinterest has a lot of interesting party activity ideas to inspire you. And we also wrote about some great party games.

Set up

Leading up to the day of your party, you’ll want to make sure that your house, restaurant or bar is presentable for guests. Make sure everything is clean and prepped.

1 day before the party

Final check

Party planning is an exhausting process and there is a possibility that you forget something along the way. Do a quick check with the vendors to make sure everyone knows exactly what to do when the party begins. If you used Spotfood to find your event vendors, you can now communicate with all of them in one place. Double-check your list to make sure everything is ready for the big day.

Double-check your list to make sure everything is ready for the big day.

Now that everything is in place, get some sleep.

Day of the party

Greet guests

Warmly greet each guest who comes and welcome him. Talk to everyone, it will mean a lot to the guests. Give them a quick rundown of food, drink, theme. Try to connect guests based on their interests. This way you will create a warm atmosphere where everyone hangs out together.

Relax and enjoy

You made it. After months of planning to make everything go smoothly, you deserve to have a good time. Drink, eat, dance and enjoy with the people you love.

Let's recap

There are many steps and things you need to plan and organize when you’re throwing a party. Every party is different, but the main items don’t change. It’s just up to you to personalize the event, customize it and be creative. But sometimes you don’t want to risk any mistakes. You want everything to turn out perfect, for the guests to enjoy and for your party to be talked about for days to come. Especially if it’s a big one.

Spotfood can help you find great local vendors and communicate the event details with them. You can also handle vendor payments, track milestones and much much more within the app. Spotfood has a marketplace functionality and lets you list your event directly on the platform. Vendors can then view these event listings and provide quotes directly within the app. You will receive quotes from multiple vendors and if the quote meets your needs,  you can choose to accept it. Once the quote is accepted, you will be able to collaborate with the vendors on your event. It makes a lot of things much, much easier, so why not try it when planning out your next party/event?

And don’t forget to follow us for more news and advice about organizing your events.