There is nothing better than a good old-fashioned house party, both for the party atmosphere and for saving some money. You might think hosting a house party is as simple as inviting over a few friends and opening up a bag of chips, but to throw a good house party takes planning, organization and some skill.
In order to help you throw your very own house party, one that will be talked about for weeks, we have put together this simple guide, which will help you with everything from choosing a guest list to coming up with a few party games.
So without further adieu, here is the Complete Guide For Throwing A House Party On A Budget:
#1 – Choosing A Guest List
Before you even begin deciding on who you want to invite, you first need to think about the amount of people your budget can accommodate. The larger the guest list obviously means the more the expense, and usually the bigger the party.
Besides budget, you’ll want to ensure you have adequate space for the amount of people you are planning to invite. You will need enough room for everyone to fit, while still having space for people to break off into groups, and walk around to get food and drinks. And don’t forget about an area to dance!
A large house party would consist of more than 25 guests. With the large group you can afford to diversify your guests, inviting people from different aspects of your life. With a large group of people your hosting duties are usually minimal when it comes to getting conversation going. As mentioned, large parties can be quite expensive, so you can cut the costs by making it a BYOB.
A medium sized party will comfortably fit between 10 to 15 guests. With the smaller group you can afford to offer some drinks and a few finger foods without going over budget. If you get creative with the menu your guests will appreciate the effort.
A smaller house party would consist of fewer than 10 guests. These house parties are usually a little more intimate and work well where everyone knows each other. If you still want to invite guests from different groups in your life, choose wisely. Having people that do not feel comfortable mingling with strangers can make for an awkward party, one where you as the host will be doing a lot of the work keeping the conversation going. Small parties are also a great way to show off your culinary skills without breaking the bank.
#2 – Picking A Theme
Theme parties are a fun way to bring friends together and have a few drinks. The right theme can get everyone excited and allow your guests to really let go of any of their inhibitions – beer also helps too. However, picking the wrong theme can be a disaster. With the wrong theme you may find that your guests are not as enthusiast about the party as you are, and some may not participate or even show up.
Try running your theme idea by a few of your closest friends on your guest list to get a feel for how they are going to take it. Definitely pick something that does not require guests to go out and spend an inordinate amount of money looking for a costume, and certainly do not pick anything too obscure that those on your guest list will not be familiar with.
Once a theme has been decided you can use that to help you plan the other aspects of your party, from lighting and décor, to music and even the menu. The more creative you make it, the more memorable the party will be.
#3 – Creating The Proper Lighting
Even though the theme may dictate your lighting choice, creating ambiance in your house party is one of the most essential aspects, besides the booze of course, at making your guests feel welcome and at ease with their surroundings. Even without a theme, lighting will play an essential role in creating a party atmosphere.
The most inexpensive way to create some ambiance is by dimming the lights. If you don’t have a dimmer switch, you can try using tea lights, making sure of course they are located out of harms way – i.e. from being knocked over during the crazy arm-flailin’, booty bustin’ dance off.
#4 – Arranging The Music
Besides lighting, one of the other most important aspects of creating a memorable house party is music. Whether the music coincides with your theme or not, you should create a playlist, or ask one of your more capable guests to play DJ.
A good DJ always plays to the energy of the crowd, so knowing what your guest are into before hand will help you to create a playlist that will work well for your house party. Start with something light but upbeat to create the atmosphere, and work up to songs with more energy that will get the party jumpin’.
#5 – Planning A Menu
The size of your guest list will really determine your menu. As previously mentioned, the larger the party, the more the expense. So when it comes to planning a menu there are a few options to not blow your budget, as well as having to spend all day in the kitchen preparing.
With a large house party guests will not expect to be served food, but it is still a good idea to have a few munchies prepared. The classic chips n’ dip and other types of fingers foods, like fresh cut veggies, pitas and hummus, always go over well.
For the medium sized party you may want to throw in a few additional items, such as some canapés along with a cheese and fruit platter.
The smaller house party is where you can let your culinary skills shine. You don’t have to treat your guests to a full course dinner, but even making something as simple as handmade burgers for the BBQ will go a long way to impress your guests.
An additional way to save some money is to plan a potluck for the party, or even get everyone to chip in on some pizza, because remember, pizza and beer always goes hand-in-hand.
#6 – Coming Up With Party Games
If done incorrectly, a house party can be a dime a dozen. Anyone can simply invite over a few friends, turn on some music and have a few laughs while enjoying a favorite cocktail or three. But these ‘parties’ are really just boring old get-togethers. With your house party you want to do something memorable. Something creative. Something fun that will have your guests talking about it for weeks.
Your theme can go a long way to helping you create this memorable experience, but with or without a theme, it really comes down to the party games that will get your guest involved. Party games work for all sizes, from large parties to smaller intimate ones.
When designing activities remember to be creative, make them fun, and know when to initiate them. If the party is already in full party mode it might be best to shelf the game until the party dies down a bit.
With the right mix of guests, a fun and engaging theme, lighting to set the ambiance, a playlist to get the party moving, some food, and a few party games, you can easily create a memorable house party, while still staying on budget.