10 tips to organize a successful party at home!

Isn't it nice to invite some friends to celebrate a special moment together? But difficult to make sure it is a success!
For your birthday, Christmas or House Warming party, you always have a good excuse to organize a party with friends! 

From 4 to 50 persons, the party can turn into a challenge!

I organize parties at my place for years and all my friends love it because it is always a success!

Follow my 10 tips and your next party will also be a great success!

1/ Theme and friends 
Even for birthdays or Christmas, I try to find a theme and involve my guests. It could as easy to ask them to bring something to drink till make them get specially dressed for the party!
There is thousands of ideas, but I remember to organize a Japanese party or a Caribbean party where everybody has to bring something related to the party or get dressed! 

Kids or not kids? Let clear to your guest how the party will be, and if it will be fine if the kids are coming!

2/ Invitations
Prepare invitations with all the details your guests need to know: place, date, time, transport, etc...
You can invite your friends through several ways, from the traditional mailing cards (It disappeared quite totally, but still, it could be nice to receive an invitation by post), but also through Facebook creating an event, an email with a powerpoint presentation or Evite.com with a customized e-card!

3/ The house
Where are you going to celebrate your party?
You can choose a bar, a restaurant, a ball room or at your home! If you rent a place, you will always count with better space and arrangement. Personally, I like to do it at home, it is more friendly and cheaper! Of course if you plan to invite more than 20 persons, you need to follow up carefully my tips, or the party will turn into a nightmare!
Ok, you are going to tell me that your house is not a palace, that it is too small! I do not agree!!!!! If you arrange your living room and push the furnitures against the walls, take out all the fragile items, as well as the carpets, you can get a bigger dance floor than you can imagine! ;-)

4/ Decoration
You have to imagine a decoration according with the theme of your party! Of course, if it is Halloween, Christmas or Eastern, it is easier! Once, I made a Carribean party! I did not spend so much money for the decoration, but I tried to be creative,... once we made a kind of palms in the house with recycled material we found in the street!!!! Some balloons, candles and flowers can also be perfect! You do not need to spend a lot of money, but use what you have at home make it fun and matching the theme!

5/ Kitchenware
Even if you have a great dishwasher, I would recommend to go for disposable kitchenware! Nowadays, you can find very nice plates, glasses, forks and so-on in very nice material, like bamboo or chic plastic with Starck design!

6/ Cooking and Food
I always cook for my guests. Actually, this the main reason why they come back to my parties! This is always a challenge, when you are more than 10 persons!

If you follow this simple rules, you will be able to make it and impress everybody!
- Do not do everything, but special dishes and buy the rest or ask a catering
- Choose finger food, easy to eat; avoid sauces, and anything you cannot take with your fingers!)
- Look for recipes that you can do in advance
- Choose dishes that can suit to everybody but also your wallet and your time! Do not try new recipes with difficult preparation! Go simple!
- Think about the order you will serve the food, even if you make a buffet! Do not put everything at once. Start with easy cold snacks like nuts and crisps. When all the guests arrived, you can start to serve the hot snacks and bigger portions. 
To get some ideas, check the following recipes available on appetit voyage: salted cake, stuffed mushrooms, my French summer pizza, a quiche, mini sausage croissants, Misa's wontons, etc...

7/ Drinks
It is always better to try to stick to 1 alcohol. I usually have wine and beers available, but also juices and softdrinks for the kids and persons who do not drink!
You can also prepare a special cocktail according the theme of the party! Some of my favorite cocktails for this are the Rhum punch with fruits juices, SangrĂ­a, or Marquisette a cocktail with white wine and lemonade. 

Don't forget the ice! In some countries, ice is not so important (France, the Netherlands), but other places like US or Spain, you can't propose a drink if it is not full of ice! Now, I finally understand why the bartenders fill up the glasses with ice cubes in bars! I learned it in The House of Bols cocktails workshop! The more ice you have, the fresher and longer your drink will be!

8/ Music
I am useless with the music! Yesterday, I admitted to my friend Alessandro, that my Ipod playlist has not been updated for years,.... I know!
Even with my poor updated technologies, you can easily prepare a playlist on your Ipod or on Spotify or Deezer and be ready!
My option? Ask a good friend of yours to take care of it! I am sure you have this friend who loves music and will be happy to take care of it!

9/ Organization and planning
If you organize everything in advance, and make a clear plan for the event, you will be really less stressed! Get help from some closer friends to ensure that everybody has something to drink, that the trays of food get empty, etc...
I usually make a to-do-list a couple of weeks in advance with all what I need to do, a shopping list and when I will do it! I always try to make as much as possible in advance!

10/ Don't forget the details
- Don't forget to have place where to let the coats.
- Provide enough ashtrays around the place if your friends are smokers or reserve them a special place where to smoke if you don't want to have your living room changed into a fumoir!
- Get prepared big trash bags where you will be able to put everything quickly!
- Don't forget to order or make ice in advance!
- Always invite your neighbors if you plan to make a big party or at least let them know about the party! They will always value it and you will avoid problems!

Be prepared for everything! But the most important is that you enjoy the party and your friends!

Needs some extra help to organize your party? Do you have some questions? Let me know letting a comment below, and I will answer you as soon as possible!

A ppetit Voyage is your globe-trotting connoisseur: helping you change your mind about food, wines and cooking!


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