Lifestyle

Truth Tuesday: How NOT to throw a Party.

October 2, 2012  —  Written by Julia 

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Last year we threw a costume party.  Our first.  While it was seriously a blast, there’s a reason we don’t run a party-planning blog.  We have been laughing (so we don’t cry?) at our mistakes for over a year. Our guests (we had between 30-40 people there) were all so gracious and fun and dressed up (!!) and didn’t comment once about the state of our kitchen.  You are all saints.  But to be truthful, and to help any other party rookies out there (although we take the cake for the rookiest, I’m sure), here’s a few things you  should and shouldn’t do if you are planning a party.

1.  Prep your food ahead of time.  I’m already laughing and watery-eyed again just typing this.  We decided to serve all sorts of hot dips and fondues and “bat wings.”  It was a delicious idea, but oh. my. goodness. Chris was in the kitchen making bat wings during the entire party!!  And our poor kitchen was a mess the whole time.  We must have started prepping the food 2 hours before the party because if there was any more time, I would have had time to do the dishes, right!?  Our sink was full, our countertops were cluttered and filled with food and dirty dishes and mini crockpots that we used to keep the dips warm–what an impressive spread.

Like I said, our sweet guests never said a word.  From the looks of it, the kitchen was even a hot hang out spot.  How embarrassing.  Save yourselves.  Prep ahead of time.  Think of a menu that allows you to be able to enjoy your guests.

2. Photobooths or photo ops are fun, but they don’t belong in the center of the party or in the middle of the living room!!! We loved snapping photos of all of our guests, but the bright light was a mood killer. At the time we couldn’t think of anywhere else to set up.  In retrospect, we should have just nixed it and just snapped photos using our camera’s flash, because this light was sooo bright and clearly taking up the entire room.  Which meant the majority of our guests were exiled to the messy kitchen/dining area or the family room, which got cramped fast. *face. palm.*

3.  Last tip, and this is an important one.  Talk with your signifiant other and be clear who is in charge of the music.  I thought Chris had it covered and he assumed I did.  You can guess what happened. In the end, there was no music when our guests started arriving.  Which can make things really, really awkward fast, especially when those first few trickle in dressed up in full garb and there’s no beat to make them feel more comfortable wearing only their underwear (okay, there was a nude bodysuit, too).  I wish this was the end of the embarrassment and we quickly put a playlist together and redeemed ourselves.  But no, we are not that smooth.  Instead, we opted to play the Thriller music video via YouTube on repeat through our Apple TV for the duration of the party.  That happened.

So, while you are laughing with us at ourselves, we’re here to say, we’re giving it another try because even after all of that embarrassment, we really did have a great time and hope our friends did, too. Plus! We need to seriously redeem ourselves and save face. Time will tell, because the invitations have already started going out. EEeee!  Here they are (with our address changed):

For this year’s party invitation, I used my chalkboard drawing from last October and downloaded a few free creepy-feeling fonts (Jellyka Castle’s Queen, Parseltongue, and BatFont) to pair with it.  We have been brainstorming and planning (and pinning!) like crazy while also getting tips from our amazing party planning friends to make sure the party happens without a hitch.  Although, knowing us, there will always be at least one embarrassing story to share.

Over the next few weeks, in the spirit of planning ahead, we’ll be sharing a few of our party details, like decorations, food, photo backdrop, games, party favors, etc) as we tackle them.  So, if you don’t see or hear about any details for a while, you should be worried and we should be stressed.  Hahaha.  Anyone else throw a party with a few disasters to laugh about?  Or are you throwing a party this year?  If you’re in the area, we’d love to see you at ours!

P.S.  Our 40% off Etsy sale ends today.  So head over there and grab what’s left using code MAKEWAY.

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What do you think?

  1. Marissa says:

    I hosted a Halloween party last year and it was a BLAST!! Doing it again this year! We prep/decorate all month when we have free time. And we did our prep cooking (cupcakes, rice crispy pumpkins the day of). My best suggestion would be hummus. Our guest ate it all and left most of the sweet behind. I will be buying multiple hummus dips this year: couldn’t get any easier!

  2. At one of the first parties I threw, I could not have been less prepared. I had made some of the food the night before, and woke up at the wee hours in the morning to prep the rest. I was so bad at time management that when the guests started arriving – 8 hours later – I was STILL cooking! The cupcakes hadn’t been frosted. The cakepops weren’t placed in their styrofoam displays. The meat wasn’t on the grill OR skewered. And I hadn’t done my hair, makeup, or changed out of my covered-in-batter-and-other-messy-foods clothes. I also hadn’t hung all the decorations. Though I had planned a HUGE menu, it was a total party fail. And because of my lack of preparation, I was running around for the first two hours of the party finishing everything off. There’s a learning curve to the art of partying and nobody gets it right their first time. And if they do? Well, I can’t be friends with them. ;)
    Wish we were in Utah for Halloween so that we could invite ourselves over for this sure-to-be-stunning bash!

  3. It takes a while to get in the party throwing groove! Jesse and I LOVE hosting and most of the time our problem is that we have too much food ;) Ahead of time prep is definitely key for any party though! We had a huge 40+ party when we first moved in and we cleaned out our garage and used the space to set up beer pong and a full bar. It kept all the rowdiness outside and people who got sick ended up in the backyard and not in the bathrooms. It was a crazy blowout, but our house wasnt a wreck. Win-win haha!

  4. meaganbriggs3 says:

    DANG IT. That was totally our christmas party fail-no music. Or, too quiet. Or maybe it was the people we invited?? I’m not sure. All I know is that this year, we are throwing a BASH of a Christmas party and it will be epic. I just know it. I am tryyyyying to get excited for Halloween (it’s Brinley’s birthday for pete sakes!) but this whole never-ending-pregnancy is really hurting my enthusiasm and excitement for ANYTHING. So I know at least when this baby is out, I really need to focus on making Brinley’s birthday SUPER special.

    Your invite is SO amazing. I love those creepy fonts. The bottom font totally reminds me of a Harry Potter type of writing J.K. used.

  5. My favorite part, because I can TOOOTALLY see it “Which can make things really, really awkward fast, especially when those first few trickle in dressed up in full garb and there’s no beat to make them feel more comfortable wearing only their underwear (okay, there was a nude bodysuit, too). “

  6. Ashlee Peterson says:

    This year will be my 4th annual Halloween party & I can tell you now that you will get better every year. My first had similar disasters (the food is always the problem for me too. I wish I could afford to hire someone to keep everything stocked). I find having a variety of activities planned keeps people entertained but don’t have a specific schedule, you have to be flexible. Good luck this year! I’m sure it will be amazing!

  7. Jena @ jenakarron.blogspot.com says:

    This made me laugh out loud – mostly because of the photo op in the living room. HAHA! I would have done the exact same thing. You guys are amazing, and I hope your party goes great!

  8. Awww, it doesn’t sound that bad haha I bet your friends didn’t even notice any of the things you pointed out! Can’t wait to hear about this year’s party details! My boyfriend’s birthday is on Halloween and I want to throw him a party but we’re still in the process of furnishing our house so we have literally 3 places for people to sit haha Maybe the theme of the party will be “standing room only”!

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