There are multiple good reasons for throwing a party. There are the obvious ones, like a milestone birthday or anniversary. Bachelorette parties and bachelor parties are a way of marking the end of a person’s life as a single person and the beginning of their life as a two-person unit. Then there are the less common occasions that can still be incredibly fun. The end of a marriage often brings a mix of sadness and relief, and for some newly divorced people, it also means throwing a party. You can throw a party to celebrate anything from the first day of summer to National Grilled Cheese Day (which is April 12, for the record).
Pick a venue
You can’t have a party without a venue first. The venue doesn’t have to be particularly elegant. A dive bar can work just as well as the grand ballroom at your local five-star hotel. It all depends on the goals for that specific party. Keep in mind that having the party at someone’s house is typically more low-key than renting out a venue, although a lot depends on the particular house or apartment. On the other hand, it’s typically easier to fit 40 people into a restaurant or club than it is to fit 50 people into your friend Emily’s one-bedroom apartment. So make sure you have a fairly accurate estimate of the number of people who will be attending. Remember that some types of occasions just don’t mix well with certain venues. Very few people will be willing to attend a baby shower held at a strip club, for instance, because those two things just don’t go well together. If you aren’t sure if a venue is suitable for a particular event, run the idea by another friend and see what they think. They may also have their own suggestions that you hadn’t even considered, like The Hangout Restaurant on the beach.
Set a menu
A menu is easier if the party is being held at a restaurant or event hall. Those places typically have their own menu, although sometimes the menu for events is different from the everyday menu. Keep that in mind in case you have your heart set on a specific drink or dish. Many places also have restrictions about what kinds of items you can and can’t bring into the venue. In some places, bringing in drinks is fine but food is verboten, or vice versa. Your friends may be able to run by Joe Canal’s liquor outlet before the event and buy some inexpensive wine, or they may have to purchase all the drinks on-site. Alcohol laws vary widely from state to state as well, so if a rule seems particularly strange, it may not be the venue’s fault.
If the party is being held at a private home, there are obviously far fewer restrictions. That means you can create your own menu or ask party attendees to bring some food or alcohol with them. Neither approach is wrong. If you’ve spent most of your party budget on rental fees for a karaoke machine, the BYOB approach makes more sense. If you want to show off some recipes from that new Southern cookbook you bought, then creating your own menu will probably be the way to go. And if you’re attending a party at someone’s house, offer to help them clean up at the end of the night. They may not need the assistance, but they’ll probably appreciate you asking.