A house party, for me is the ultimate gathering of friends and offers the best possible opportunity to have fun. Unlike bars and nightclubs, you don’t have to wait in line or get on some meaningless guest list, you don’t get charge extortionate prices for drinks or hanging your coats in the cloakroom and more importantly you and to some extent, your guests have full control of the proceedings.
As a host, you get a chance to show off your hospitality skills and pretty much get to be the centre of attraction, if you are that sort of person.
As with everything that has upsides, there are downsides. Throw a terrible party and you can be sure it will be talked about amongst your friends and guests and your next invitation will get negative responses if any at all.
I love a good house party and while I don’t want to blow my own trumpet, consider myself somewhat of a Gatsby.
Here are my tips to throwing your next house party and making it an absolute success.
The Guest List
The success of a house party depends greatly on who’s attending. If you invite every Tom, Dick and Harry, your party risks being a disaster regardless of your best efforts. One key factor here is how big you want the party to be. Unless you are an actual Gatsby with cash to throw around, your house party is going to be a small or should I say exclusive one. You want to invite close friends and colleagues and their partners or friends who will likely get along. No point inviting your best mate and his ex-girlfriend. You are looking at an attendance of about 15 – 30 people.
If for some reason, you want a big party, you should invite people who can network, people with different backgrounds, skills, job industries. Most connections, business and otherwise are made at parties and functions so give your guests the opportunity to network if you are throwing them into a big party.
Remember to send out the invitations 2 weeks in advance to give your guests
the chance to plan ahead.
The dress code will naturally follow the theme of your party. As a fine gentleman, the dress code for your party should be anything from smart casual to black tie, unless you are having a special theme.
It is very important to let your guests know the theme early enough, preferably when sending out the invitations. Your guests can plan without stress and you increase the chance of having party where everyone is properly dressed.
Inform the Neighbours
Courtesy demands you inform your neighbours of your intention to throw a party as it may get loud. You could, perhaps, extend an invitation to them as well. Inform them well in advance so they could also plan ahead. They may take the opportunity to visit that friend they’ve always wanted to visit.
Food & Drinks
As a gentleman, when you throw a party, you supply the food and drinks. Everything from the welcome drinks, to finger food and the main drinks should be taken care of by you. Being a gentleman, you most likely interact with likeminded people and most of your guests will show up with a bottle of wine but that’s a gift for you which you can decide to open during the party.
When buying drinks, try to provide a large variety, gin and tonic, whisky, wine, champagne, beer, martini and cognac. If you got outdoors space people can have a smoke, perhaps provide some fine cigars for those who want.
You will do well to avoid complicated cocktails.
Thanks to services like Spotify, you’ve got ton of music choices at your fingertips. You should create a special playlist for your party rather than just having your daily playlist playing during the party.
Your playlist greatly depends on the theme of your party. If you are throwing a general summer party, you should have a mixture of genres to appeal to a variety of guests but avoid cheesy songs.
If you are feeling generous, you could allow your guests add songs to your playlist during the party but make sure they abide to the rules you’ve set for the playlist.
Your sound equipment should consist of a decent sound system and preferably a laptop or tablet. Playing music on your phone could lead to breaks in music when you get phone calls.