Make organization a priority
If you have a bunch of ideas and things to do, planning a party can get stressful fast. Keep several lists to help you with the process, like a master to-do list, a guest list, a shopping list and more.
Offer a self serve bar
For adult birthday parties and bridal showers, consider having a self-serve bar. This way, guests can make whatever they want, whenever they want it, and you can focus on other areas of the party. Place labels on everything so they can be their own mixologists.
Stick with simple appetizers
Sometimes simple is better. Serve plenty of bite-sized morsels in place of a sit-down meal. Guests can help themselves to a variety of flavors and mingle with other guests while they’re at it. Try offering appetizers like cheese quesadillas, shrimp cocktail, bacon-wrapped apricots, smoked salmon triangles, mini grilled cheese sandwiches and more.
You should have about 90 percent of the prep work done by the time your guests arrive at the event. You should be able to mingle with everyone without having to worry about finding the centerpiece, taking the cookies out of the oven and making drinks.
Have guests take pictures
A fun way to document the event is to have a bunch of Polaroid cameras you can let your guests play with throughout the soiree. Later, string up the photos they take on a window for a perfect party display.
Don’t overlook lighting
Great lighting sets the mood for a memorable party. Make sure it’s not too bright and instead use candles throughout the space for a subtle, warm glow.