Perfect Party Suggestions
by Amber Arlene
How can you have a successful party? You could hire a party planner to arrange the party for you, but if you want to give it your own personal touch here is some advice that might help.

First you need to decide who you are going to invite. Sit down and actually write a list of each person you will be inviting. Now you must decide where your party will take place. If it is a small party, having it in your home is a great way to save money. For larger parties and depending on your budget there are other alternatives.
Examples could be a banquet room at your favorite restaurant, a community recreation clubhouse, or a private resort clubhouse, even a shelter at the local park. Parties can be held anywhere you want them to be, from bowling alleys, skating rinks, arcade centers, to a boat cruise. Many places offer party packages, inquire and compare before you make your final decision about which place will work best for you.

Decorations come next. These are a must to complete your party atmosphere. Streamers are a popular decoration. They can be draped or taped anywhere you desire. Balloons are another party favorite. Renting a helium tank at your local party store is a great investment that saves having to blow them up one by one.
You can select a variety of colors as well. Christmas selection might be green and red. Halloween, orange and black. Valentine's Day, red. Your child's birthday party, his or her favorite colors. The idea is to personalize it. Banners are also great for decorating an empty space.

The decorations you choose depend on the theme of your party. For St. Patrick's Day decorate with lots of green clovers and Irish accessories. For a Super Bowl party, use footballs tossed around the room and a football helmet filled with goodies. For a New Year's Eve theme, give out party hats with the year on them, and confetti to throw, and use clock centerpieces that sit around and remind every guest how long they have before they welcome in the New Year.

We have mentioned places to have your party, invitations, and decorations, and the word theme keeps recurring. Themes are artistic ideas combined with your personal touch. If you want to have a party and there is no special holiday or even a special date like an anniversary or birthday, create your own reason for having a party. A thank you party for your closest friends, a neighborhood block party just because, a time to have fun because youíre bored party. Call it what ever you want. Parties are fun no matter what the reason you are having them.

Games are great for any age of guest. There are lots of game idea books in your local library or available to view over the Internet. Charades is always a lot of fun. Musical chairs can be exciting.

You may like to try the $5.00 minimum present swap, where everyone brings a present to exchange. If it is a sit down chair event, tape numbers under every chair before your guests arrive. Write the same numbers on torn sheets of paper and put them in a bowl. Select someone to pick a number out of the bowl and whoever is sitting in that chair gets a prize. You can also ask a guest to select a number between certain numbers and again award a prize. Prizes donít have to be expensive. Local dollar stores are good for finding prizes for a low cost.

When giving out prizes try to stay in your theme. If you are having a baby shower, give out baby bottles filled with candy. For the just because you want to watch movies with someone else party, pass out boxes of popcorn. Easter, you can give out coloring egg sets.

Stay focused on why you are having your party. My personal favorite games are the ones where the players are meant to mingle. These work really well especially if your guests do not know each other. One of these games could be the sentence game. Make up a sentence and put half the sentence in an envelope and the other half in another envelope. Your guests have to search the party scene to find their matching half to the sentence.

Do you want to add something a little different? Hire a magician. Rent an air jump castle. Hire a clown to pass out balloons. Hire a Santa Claus for your holiday party to pass out candy canes. Children and adults love these special additions.

Food. Every party has to have food. If you have finances for something extravagant, catering would be your best option. There are many catering businesses listed in your local phone book. If you do not want to go to that extreme, you can go to most any grocery store and in their deli or bakery section you will find many party platter selections. Make sure you check out your local restaurants and bars for their specialized party offerings too.
If you are on a strict budget, it can work well to ask everyone to bring his or her favorite finger food. This way you have enough food for everyone and each guest gets to sample a variety of great tasting treats. As far as drinks go, I have always supplied the soda or punch. If adult guests have a stronger preference, I always ask them to bring their own beverage of choice.

You will need some background or dancing music. You will need some Christmas jingles for the Christmas party. Spooky sounds and horrifying tunes for the Halloween bash. Some rock songs for the more hip crowd. Country just because it is your favorite. CD players can do the trick. Cassette players are another alternative. You can even make up a cassette of your own. You could rent a karaoke machine, or hire your favorite disc jockey to keep the group entertained.

Now you will have to purchase some party invitations and put them in the mail at least four weeks in advance. When deciding what type of invitations to buy, keep in mind, that even if the store has a nice selection of theme invites, you also have other options. You can print them on your personal home computer, or if the kids are having a party for their neighborhood friends, let them create their own invites using crayons and construction paper, and have them hand deliver them. Of course you need a much more elegant invite for the formal adult occasion.
Always a good reminder when filling out your invites is to have a place to put your phone number and ask for regrets only. That way you are not swamped with calls from guests with different responses.

Don't let small details overwhelm you. Party planning should be fun. If you need some help, ask for it. I am sure your guests will be happy to join in the party preparations. The most important thing to remember during your party planning is to enjoy yourself.

Amber Arlene
Copyright 2000

About the author: Amber Arlene is an independent freelance writer based in South Carolina who loves to write about anything someone else can enjoy reading.
You can contact her at

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