Our pick of the best hosting hacks so you can ditch the stress and enjoy the party
Maybe it’s the arrival of sunshine, or garden gathering inspiration flooding Instagram, but there’s something about this time of year that makes us think about hosting a party.
Hosting a party is like your first day at school – exciting and scary all at the same time! Will your guests have fun? What will they think to your party entertainment, and what will happen on the day? Well, chill. You don’t need to make your own hors d’oeuvres (though you can if you want) to host an awesome party. In fact, some of the best gatherings are the least fancy.
However, if you do want to save yourself some on-the-day stress, here’s some hosting hacks to ensure you’re the hostess with the mostess.
While there are loads of hosting hacks, one of the most important is to ensure people actually attend your party! Create a Whats App group message, Facebook private event or even send out a google calendar invite. Ensuring even the most scatterbrained friends remember the date and time. You can also add more information to the invite as it gets closer to the event, like what drinks your friends should bring, or whether the party has a theme.
2. Set up a collaborative playlist
A few weeks before the big day, set up your party playlist and invite guests to add their favourite tunes. You could even create multiple lists for different eras or genres, so you can mix it up on the day.
If you’re out of playlist inspiration, check out our summer playlist, where we’ve done all the hard work for you!
3. Choose your party food and drink
Hosting a party is more than just creating a great environment for people to relax and have fun. It’s also key to ensure your guests have enough food and drink. A couple of weeks before the event, decide on the food and drink you’ll serve, whether you’ll have canapés, and what your welcome drink will be.
Unless you want to play bartender for the night, why not opt for DIY drinks so your guests can shake up their own cocktails? Inspire your guests by designing a cocktail menu, writing step by step instructions on how each drink is created. Dot ice buckets around to keep drinks cool and ready to enjoy, and don’t forget to stock up on plenty of Party Ice beforehand!
Don’t forget, there’s always a couple of friends who hit the cocktails hard, so don’t be caught short and ensure you order enough supplies to go round!
4. Get the party games ready
Great guests, delicious drinks and fabulous food make a party – but games can make it even more fun! Whether you show off your beer pong skills, break out the garden Jenga or go for a game of Mr and Mrs, there’s nothing quite like a bit of competitive fun to get things going.
5. Prep ahead
Get one step ahead and do everything you can before the big day. From making batches of cocktail mixes to preparing the dining area the night before, you’ll free up more time for getting yourself ready!
6. Add a freshen up station in the toilet
We’ve all been there – at a party, hair all over the place and in desperate need of some TLC. The answer? A freshen up station. Fill a hamper full of freshen up goodies like bobbles, deodorant and chewing gum and leave it in the loos for your guests to use. They’ll be impressed you thought ahead and thankful too!
7. Avoid watered-down drinks
There’s nothing worse than a G&T that’s full of water. Avoid watered down drinks by using the appropriate ice cube, like Super Cubes, super-sized ice cubes that take much longer to melt in the glass.
8. Prepare the garden
When you’re hosting a party, thinking about how to utilise your outdoor space is key. Whether you swing open the bi-fold doors to reveal an outside cocktail bar or enjoy drinks on your terrace, you’ll definitely be glad of the extra space for your guests to socialise in.
9. Welcome drinks at the ready
Have drinks ready for when your guests arrive. From captivating cocktails and aperitifs, to a good old cup of tea, a welcome drink will instantly get your party off to the right start and make your guests feel more at home.
10. Have fun!
Hosting a party can be stressful. You’ve got to keep the vibe alive and make sure your guests have got what they need. The truth is, if they’re your friends, they’ll have a great time, irrespective of whether you’re missing a bottle of their favourite vino. The best hosting hack of them all? Take a deep breath, relax and go with the flow!
Want more party hosting advice? Take a look at our guide on how to host the ultimate World Cup viewing party on a budget!