Adult Party Planning List

Written by siva stephens
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Adult Party Planning List
Planning makes the difference between a ho-hum party and one that's truly memorable. (sassy party girl with hat image by LadyInBlack from

Eleanor Roosevelt said, "It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan," and that is certainly true when it comes to giving a party. We all want our parties to be wildly successful occasions filled with laughing guests, great food and memorable moments. But parties like that don't just happen---they have to be planned. With advance preparation, you can relax and enjoy your own party as much as your guests will.

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Theme and Invitations

If your party has a theme, the rest of the planning will practically fall into place by itself. Some themes, such as "cocktail party" or "birthday party," are self-explanatory. You may choose something elaborate like a Hawaiian Luau or a Mardi Gras-style Carnivale, but simpler motifs work just as well. You can even build your party around a colour, with matching drinks, food, costumes and decorations. Whatever theme you choose, keep it firmly in mind when choosing the invitations---they can set the stage for your party from the very beginning. For example, you might glue a silk Plumeria blossom to the front of a luau invitation, while you could write an invitation to a barbecue on a folded bandanna.

Venue and Decorations

To a certain extent, the type of party you're having determines the venue. If you're hosting an intimate dinner party, use the dining room or set up a few tables in the entrance hall; if you're throwing a gala fundraising costume ball, you'll need a ballroom. Between these two extremes is a lot of room for creativity. If you hold your party in an offbeat location, sometimes the decorations will take care of themselves; consider renting a cruise ship for the evening or reserving the pool at your local community centre. Otherwise, choose decorations that fit your theme: a few straw bales and checkered tablecloths for a western barbecue, blue-and-silver baubles for a Hanukkah party or spider webs and jack-o'-lanterns for Halloween.

Food and Drink

Again, let the motif of the party determine the refreshments. Barbecues and luaus come with ready-made menus, while a French-themed dinner party gives you some creative scope. If you're hosting a cocktail party, decide ahead of time whether you want to offer a fully-stocked open bar or have a few special "house drinks" available. Be sure you have enough flatware, china, cups and serving items for the number of guests you expect; if not, borrow or rent the difference. You may also opt to turn the preparation and serving over to a professional caterer once you have decided on your menu.

Activities and Entertainment

Whether you hire a chamber orchestra to play waltzes at a wedding reception or make a "mix tape" of cowboy songs for a backyard barbecue, music sets the mood. If you've booked an entertainer, be sure to ask if you need to provide anything like a stool, lighting or a power outlet for the performance. If your party will include crafts or other activities, make a list of all the necessary materials so you have them on hand. If your gathering includes dancing, it's a good idea to have someone on hand to teach your guests a few basic dance steps. Even if your party is more of a sit-around-and-talk affair, have a few party games in reserve to break the ice; have these set up ahead of time, just in case.

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