When you’re planning a party, no matter what the occasion, making sure all the essential elements are in place can be a challenge.

There are a few must-haves for every party: cake, food, beverages, entertainment, and decorations. A birthday party, wedding, or graduation celebration will have all of these components, so the following five tips are interchangeable for all occasions.

1. Food

Having food at a party should be a no-brainer. The food doesn’t have to be as elaborate as a catered, sit-down dinner, but it should relate to the theme of the party and the atmosphere you’re going for.

If you’re going to have a lot of people and want them to mingle with, put food in various locations so people have to walk around the room in order to get to various items. Keeping goodies around that can be easily prepared can help in getting the party together in the first place.

Also, try to be aware of your guests’ allergies, strict diets or aversions to certain foods, if possible.

2. Beverages

Depending on the type of party you’re hosting, alcohol may be provided. Having some beer or wine on hand should be enough for those that may want to drink. For those that do not drink alcohol or who may be too young to do so, be sure to have non-alcoholic beverages as well. Bottled water, soda, or tea can be good substitutes for those guests.

3. Cake

Birthday parties need to have a cake (or at least ice cream) for the person that’s being celebrated. Weddings traditionally have cake as well as a ceremony that goes with cutting the cake.

In both cases, the cake is a focal point of the night and should be treated as such when you’re selecting it.

4. Entertainment

Whether you arrange for entertainment at your party may depend on the type of crowd that will be attending it. Arrange outdoor activities for barbecues, have board games on hand for get-togethers with friends, and plan games for children if they will be attending the event. This can help with the flow of the party and keep it moving.

5. Decor

Decorations can play an important part in setting the theme of the party and making it festive. Choose decorations that can be reused at another party or saved as memorabilia.

A banner over the doorway can be the first thing people see when they walk in the door, and can easily be kept and stored for later.

If you arrange for all these items, you can ensure that your party will be a success and guests will have a great time.


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