While they may not remember the exact details, people always remember the amazing parties they’ve attended. And as the host, it is up to you to provide the environment, attitude and ambiance to make your celebration unforgettable. From holidays to weddings, birthdays to anniversaries, WestCoast Media wants to help you throw a memorable party that will be talked about for years! We did the research so you don’t have to – here are 25 ways to make your next party unforgettable.
Set the mood before you begin planning – do you want it to be formal or informal? Day or night? What season? Do you have a theme? Knowing these guidelines ahead of time will aid you in the long run.
Now that you have a general idea of the type of party you’re planning, be sure to keep a running checklist of things you need to do right away, soon, or in a few weeks/months. Staying organized will help ensure that everything runs smoothly on the big day.
What does your guest list look like? Once you have an estimated head count, you can begin looking for accommodations. A larger venue is more difficult to find, so if you’re planning on having hundreds of people, try to book sooner, rather than later. An excellent place to start is Victoria Gardens Cultural Center, which can host up to 400 people in beautifully decorated banquet rooms.
If you’re already stressed just thinking about the upcoming party, consider hiring an event planner. A planner can work with the vendors, set up, break down, and ensure everything runs smoothly.
A cohesive theme can make or break a party. Yet, it can also be extremely difficult to plan. So why not find a venue that already has a theme in place? It could be a library, historical home or even a venue like Cal Aero Events, whose hangar location and real vintage aircraft are on display to make the perfect backdrop for any party.
Are you planning your own wedding or party, or is it for a guest of honor? Either way, make sure the party is personalized to represent the honoree well. From rustic charm for the nature lover to long distance souvenirs for the traveler, look for little ways to personalize the party to make it one-of-a-kind.
If your party includes people who have never met before, stimulate conversation by creating a visually interesting focal point, like dramatic décor or throwback photos of the honoree. It provides an easy way to break the ice and will lead to less people feeling uncomfortable.
A great way to let your guests know your mood and theme is through your invitation. An evite suggests a casual party, while a complete invitation suite expresses elegance. Whatever you decide to do, consider the invite a sneak peek that should not be taken lightly. By putting effort into it, your guests will begin looking forward to your party weeks, or even months, in advance.
Details, details, details! It’s important to put as many details into your party as possible. Although it may not seem like it will mean much, decorating the restroom with your colors or greeting out-of-town guests with a welcome basket are generous touches that will go a long way with your loved ones.
Know where things are going to go before the day of the party. Having designated areas for the dance floor, bar, dessert table and more will save you a lot of headaches and stress when you should be relaxing and getting ready.
Go for the WOW factor. Provide a meal that goes above and beyond or an ice sculpture that takes your guests’ breaths away. Or, look for a venue that offers unexpected beauty, like the Diamond Bar Center, whose location provides beautiful views of the valley.
Determine the mood you want to set for your party, then talk to your DJ, band or make a playlist that reflects that. The right vibe can take your party to the next level. Also important: this isn’t a concert; try to keep the music to about a five out of 10, so people can enjoy it while also still being able to hold a conversation.
Consider adding an unexpected element into your party, like a caricature artist or mariachi band. Provide something that honors the theme or the guest of honor; it is a surprising touch that will have people remembering it for years.
Elevate your party’s status by having a signature drink for your guests. This little detail makes a big impact, especially if the drink is tasty! Whether alcoholic or non-alcoholic, have fun mixing until you create a drink that is as unique as you.
Be open to ideas you never would have thought. Sometimes, when you have a vision, it can be easy to turn down décor, food or venues that would be great options. Did you know that Los Serranos Country Club has a beautiful lake that would make any romantic swoon? Don’t be so quick to say no, and your vision may end up evolving into something greater than you ever imagined.
For many weddings, anniversaries and milestone birthdays, having a book or photo for guests to sign is normal. However, try going beyond the basic guest book and offer something a little more unique, such as leaving a message in a bottle or taking a Polaroid picture and writing a note.
You may have heard of ceremony ushers, but have you ever considered reception ushers as well? Often, a wedding party will be busy taking photos immediately after the ceremony, so reception ushers, instead of uninformative signs, can be helpful in answering any guests’ questions, like where the restroom is, where to sit, or to show them to the bar and appetizer table.
Many parents miss out on parties because they couldn’t find a babysitter for their kids. Eliminate that problem by offering child care on-site. In a separate room or area, local sitters can keep the kids busy by watching a movie or playing games. Even better – their parents can check on them any time they want!
For most people, parties are an opportunity to dress up and look their best. Don’t let that go to waste! Hire a photographer to take professional photos of your guests. Whether a nice solo shot or a beautiful couple portrait, it provides a memorable moment for your guests to share.
Many parties provide tables, food, a place for dancing and…that’s about it. Up the ante by giving your guests fun things to do, so they’re busy all night – from a lounge area complete with couches and blankets to a game area where they can challenge their friends.
Revisit the classics with a modern twist. For instance, instead of a photo booth, offer a video booth, where guests can record a sweet message. Or, instead of a traditional cake, provide your guests with a variety of sweets, including donuts, candy or a s’mores station.
Do you ever have more food than you know what to do with after your party is over? One innovative way to ensure each guest gets their share is by setting to-go boxes next to the food – especially the dessert table! That way, if they get more dinner than they planned, they won’t have to miss out on the sweets.
If your guests intend to indulge themselves with alcohol, make sure they get home safely by offering a shuttle, ride-sharing or driver service. This is a thoughtful gesture they won’t soon forget. And to avoid unruly guests who may want to take advantage, talk with your bartender beforehand to ensure everyone drinks responsibly.
Party favors can be a hit or miss, so it’s up to you to provide something your guests will never forget. What goes with the theme and reflects you? You could try a personalized koozie or maybe homemade soap – regardless, let your imagination flow with possibilities.
Everyone notices when the honoree makes their entrance – leave your guests in awe by making an exit that’s just as grand. From a line of sparklers to leaving in a vintage car, an exit provides one last memorable moment for your guests to never forget. W