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When the Party Won’t Plan Itself.

A guide for reluctant party planners

Not everyone is a born party planner.  Some people would much rather get an invite than make one.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t throw a shindig your friends will talk about for years. When it comes to a casual affair sometimes the best laid plans are not necessarily worth it.   

Parties are for people (or maybe occasionally pets if you’re a little big cuckoo).  As long as you keep the people in mind – your party is bound to be a success.

People have a few basic party needs:  a reason to party, food, beverages, and a place to hang out.  Here’s your Reluctant Party 101 Guide to making it happen.


Anything is a reason to party.  A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G.   This is best observed during the college years, where in fact, I once co-hosted a party for my roommates unruly hair that was starting to look like a mullet.  A friend and I printed a million mullet pictures off of the internet and hung them all around my house.  We snagged a pile of paper bags from the grocery store and cut them into mullets, mixed an obnoxious amount of booze in a big tub and had the party of our college careers with the non-digital pictures to prove it.  A few weeks later we threw a similar event when the same roommate got a new alarm clock.  Anything is a reason to party.    More adult reason could be father’s day, a promotion, paying off your car, or maybe figuring out how to build the grill you just purchased. 


If it is a new grill party – the food choice is kind of obvious.  If it’s father’s day – maybe it’s dinner out, or if it’s a promotion, maybe an order in pizza kind of party with friends on a Friday night.  If you like to cook this is where you can show off, making a few select pinterest pins come to life in your kitchen.   If you don’ t like to cook – you can always turn to takeout.   Save yourself a few bucks and invite friends that really like to cook and make it a potluck.


Just as important as food: beverages.  If you can’t afford to stock a full bar, pick a few drink favorites among your friends and have those ingredients on hand.  Pop, water, punch are all great non-alcoholic options.   Fill your coolers with ice and let your friends serve themselves.  Done!


Want to make your guests feel at home – have the party at your home.  Stock up on TP and plastic cups, shut doors to rooms you don’t want people to have access too, and load a playlist to your ipod for the evening.  Or if you want to have some real fun, dig your old CDs out from under your bed and dust off the stereo, your friends can take turns playing retro DJ.    If you don’t think you’ll be able to catch up on laundy in time for the party, have it somewhere else.  Many restaurants offer space for small groups celebrating special events.  Some will let you bring in cakes or other special items,  and the bonus no post party clean up! 

If your party brings people together for fun and laughter – then it is a success, even without the ice sculpture, draped ceiling, and chocolate fountain.    You got this!