Make your bash memorable -- in a good way! -- with these tips for an unforgettable party.
- Step 1: Encourage mingling with this party game: before guests arrive, write down an obscure detail about each one on a piece of paper, leaving out their names, and make enough copies for everyone. This encourages guests to talk to one another to figure out which fact belongs with whom; asking outright is not allowed. At the end of the party, whoever has the most correct matches wins a small gift.
- Step 2: Give everyone an inexpensive but beautifully wrapped parting gift; it recaptures the excitement of kids' birthday parties, when each child left with a favor.
- FACT: The phrase "party animal" first surfaced in the early '80s.
- TIP: Local colleges are good places to find music students who will entertain for a reasonable fee.
- Step 3: Hire a DJ. If you can't afford a professional, make a party playlist ahead of time so you don't have to worry about what to put on. If it's a more elegant affair, hire a pianist; find a musician who'll bring a keyboard if you don't have a piano.
- Step 4: As guests arrive, offer them a glass of champagne or a signature cocktail. And whip up some mocktails -- cocktails made without liquor -- so nondrinkers and designated drivers don't feel left out.
- TIP: Set up the bar on the opposite side of the room from the food so people circulate.
- Step 5: Stick to finger foods so guests aren't stuck at the table and can chat with each another as they nibble. Use seating place cards to identify foods on the buffet.
- Step 6: Have a theme: it can be as simple as asking everyone to wear a certain color or dress in the style of their favorite decade or celebrity. Search online "party themes" for ideas.