by Shelly Khushal

Throwing a party can be a huge task, but it can also be fun. At least for me it is. There is a lot of planning and work that goes into throwing a successful party. Perhaps that’s why most people chose not to throw parties themselves. Hopefully, with some simple tips, my detailed How-To-Guide can help you plan the perfect event!

Have a Plan

Planning is really the key to a having a successful party. Decide on the type of party you want. Think about dress code and theme, something that is fun and memorable.  On a personal note, for my 35th birthday, I had a Touch of Pink Party. The drinks were pink, the flowers and decorations were pink and all my guests came in a shade of pink…even some of the guys (wore pink ties).

Go beyond envisioning it – I would suggest drawing it out. I use an online decorating website to design the space, complete with table set up and furniture placement.  Spending this extra time on details will not go unnoticed by your guests.

Plan what type of serving dishes you are going to need for each item, complete with serving spoons and other key essentials and keep them ready.  You don’t want to be running around frantically looking for something when guests are at your party. You want to look calm and composed. After all, the overall objective is to make the hosting look effortless  – although it truly isn’t – with the amount of work and attention to detail, it is far from simple… but, you want to give the appearance that it is effortless!

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Make a list of invitees and expect 20% will not attend. Having done this basic math will help you in terms of food preparation and budgeting.

Be realistic about how many people you can fit in your space. And don’t feel guilty about not inviting all your friends. You don’t have to invite everyone everywhere everytime!

Using my own example, I have a yearly tea party where I invite my closest girlfriends. I have other girlfriends, but I limit this particular party to a maximum of 14 people to keep it manageable and to in line with the scope of my theme.

For my children’s birthdays on the other hand, I invite only my friends that have children. I have many girlfriends that do not have children and don’t think it is necessary to invite them to a kiddie party. As I stated above, I do not have to invite everyone everywhere everytime.  Besides, I am always hosting some party or another so they will be invited to some event within the year.  In short, streaming your guest list is crucial for a successful party.

Don’t forget to send invitations approximately three weeks before a party, and set a reasonable rsvp time – this will enable you to get the necessary supplies you need, and will help with food planning and preparation.


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Maria Lianos-Carbone is the author of “Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year”, and publisher of, a leading lifestyle blog for women.

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