With party season in full swing, there are a plethora of options of where to spend your summer nights. But sometimes having a good old-fashioned house party is the answer. We’ve compiled five essential tips to help you cope with the stress of planning a festive bash and to ensure that you and your guests have a fabulous time at your New Year’s Eve party.
1. Kickstart Your Planning
First things first: you need to have your planning in order. Gone are the days of jotting down every single task in a notebook. Although keeping a notepad for quick scribbles will always be useful, the best way to keep everything concise is to do it online (especially if you’re not the only one planning the party). Setting up a private event page with a website like Quicket will save you so much time, especially when it comes to the finer details like RSVPs, dietary requirements and payment if you’ve chosen to charge a cover fee.
Having your own event page also makes it easier to relay important messages to your attendees without feeling like you’re overwhelming them with multiple text messages. Include as much information as you can: the date, time, place (include a pinned location for convenience), what to bring along, and what time you expect everyone to leave (if applicable!). Don’t forget to include the theme or dress code if there is one.
2. Lock Down Your Budget
The best way to not go over your budget is by setting limits for each expense. Start with the unavoidable expenses like food, drinks, and entertainment, and then look to items that you can still afford. There’s nothing wrong with simplifying your planning, and one easy way to do this is to keep your menu short and sweet. If you’re planning to braai, choose one meat, one vegetarian/vegan dish and one salad option, and if you’re planning on serving drinks, pick a cocktail that you know will be quick and easy to serve. Should you really want to spark nostalgia with your guests, mix up a big bowl of punch to help quench their thirsts.
3. Divide and Conquer
There’s nothing more daunting than having to navigate a party by yourself, so why not rope in your friends to help? Now that you have your event planning page set up, it’ll be easier to manage the tasks. Put one person in charge of monitoring RSVPs and the cover charge payments, and another in charge of staying in touch with guests. Although, if you’re a perfectionist and prefer to do all the pre-planning yourself, call on your friends for help on the night. Small errands that easily slip our minds, like preparing salads and making sure the music is always flowing, can be managed quickly if shared.
4. Have a Checklist
This might seem obvious but so often we forget about the little things, like charging bluetooth speakers, buying biodegradable cups and plates, and ensuring there’s enough toilet paper. These are all miscellaneous items, but they make the world of difference to how your guests experience your party. Having to ask someone to pop out for a loo roll or two is not ideal.
Take it a step further and make your checklist digital. This way everyone involved in the planning can tick off their tasks and updates can be shown in real-time. This avoids the inevitable back and forth texting to check in and see if everything has been taken care of. Trello has a great system for teamwork, and allows you to create tasks within your checklist!
5. Keep These In Mind
With all the above party planning tips, there a few more essentials to keep in mind that your guests may ask for, or that you’d need to prepare in advance. For example, make sure to lock any rooms that you don’t want people to go into, and have your Wi-Fi password up where everyone can see it. Creating a playlist beforehand will also take the pressure off having to run back and forth to skip songs.
What else do you need for a fabulous party? These top buys will help turn your party into a wow-factor affair:
Compiled by Food and Decor Editor, Claire Badenhorst
As the food and decor editor of Woman&Home, Claire enjoys nothing more than eating great food in beautiful locations. In a perfect world, she would travel for a living and have a Lord of the Rings marathon every weekend.