If you’ve ever thrown a party, you KNOW it’s a wild ride filled with laughter and good times, but with an equal number of unexpected bumps.
…And I’m NOT talking about the party itself! Party planning has its ups and downs…and there are mistakes that too many of us make, sometimes more than once.
If these mistakes can be avoided, wouldn’t you WANT to plan your next party with less stress? Wouldn’t you LOVE to show your guests a truly unforgettable time?
Keep reading to learn the common pitfalls that many unwitting hosts stumble upon…once you learn to avoid these mistakes, you can throw the bash of the century without breaking a sweat!!
Mistake 1: Making R.S.V.P.ing harder than it has to be
Picture this: you have a stellar soirée on the horizon, but your guests are STILL as elusive as a cat on a hot tin roof.
Avoid this guest list gaffe by making it easy for your invitees to respond. You can do this by creating an organized system like a (free) Google form that filters automatically into a spreadsheet only you can see…heck, even send them a carrier pigeon if you have to. Kindly but consistently follow-up with anyone who doesn’t respond!!
Mistake 2: Turning your party into a culinary minefield
NOBODY wants their guests to feel bad about the food they wish they could eat, but can’t. Discover any allergies when people R.S.V.P. so you can cater to everyone’s dietary needs. Imagine the joy of a gluten-free guest or that friend with a peanut allergy at your shindig when they don’t have to nibble on air!
Mistake 3: Not thinking of a theme
READ: Seasons change, and so should your party themes.
Serve summer delights when it’s sizzling and winter comfort when it’s chilly. And please, have it ready when your guests arrive, whether you’re going for a winter wonderland or a beach bash. Organization is the name of the game!
Mistake 4: DIY party martyrdom
For larger parties, don’t try to be a superhero who does it all—hire help!! High school kids looking to score some cash can pick up during the revelry AND after. (That way, you can avoid the horror of finding an heirloom ring on your favorite wood table.) Plus, professional bar service or a savvy interior designer can level up your party game with a full bar or exquisite tablescaping…
Mistake 5: Leaving guests to drive circles around the block
Avoid the chaos of confused guests circling like sharks.
Instead, make sure guests know AHEAD OF TIME where to park…and yes, you can absolutely go full-Hollywood with valet service!!
And for winter gatherings? Offer a coat-check. Why not?!
Mistake 6: Ignoring the reality of what might happen outside
A party where dozens of cars sit outside while their owners imbibe and revel for hours is the PERFECT paradise for those “party crashers” who look for cars to break into. Call the local PD ahead of time for a friendly drive-by. Break-ins are party poopers like none other…a little heads-up can keep the burglars at bay.
Mistake 7: Forgetting the party gift
For smaller gatherings, send your guests home with a smile and a little something—a token of your great taste.
Sugar cookies or hot cocoa bombs, anyone?
Mistake 8: Mystery gifts
Are gifts arriving at your bash? Have a designated spot for them, and a way to make note of which came from whom! No more awkward guessing games when you write thank-yous later…and you’ll avoid re-gifting Aunt Mildred’s sweater right back to her.
Mistake 9: Not telling guests where to sit
Name cards aren’t just for weddings. They’re logistical lifesavers, and they spark delightful and sometimes life-changing conversations.
Mistake 10: Coaster-less calamities
Tables filled with breakables are a disaster waiting to happen. Swap out your most fragile décor and belongings for coasters. AND create designated spaces for drinks and plates wherever guests might mingle.
Trust me…you’ll thank me later when you’re not finding used napkins in your potted plant!!
Mistake 11: The temperature tango…
For a summer party, cool the house early!! In winter, turn down the heat a few hours in advance. Your guests’ comfort is crucial. Don’t turn your party into a sauna!!
Mistake 12: Fur fiascos
Love your furry friends…you KNOW we do. But not everyone does. Put pets away or send them to boarding to avoid guests’ allergies, or more importantly any pet escape attempts or guests feeding them things they shouldn’t have.
So…there you have it. From guest list gaffes to avoidable disasters, sidestep these common pitfalls and your next event will be legendary. Share some of your own insights in our private design community!!