Throwing parties does take some planning and preparation, but with a little help from an expert party planner, you can have an amazing and festive party with minimal effort. The first steps to throwing any party, whether it's for Valentine's Day or another holiday or event, is to determine your budget and guest list.
* '''Budget and guest list go hand in hand.'''
** If you want a big party but don't have the cash, you'll have to be very economical when shopping.
** If you want something that is all class and luxury but are strapped for cash you'll have to limit the number of guests on your invitation list.
* '''Make sure to send Valentine party invitations in advance'''. You can buy them, make them, or even try using Evite, a free online invitation service for informing all of your tech-savvy friends about your fiesta. It's crucial that people know you're having a party and what it will entail. Make sure to include:
** The date, time, and location of the event. Valentine's Day will fall on a Sunday in 2010.
** The type of party; if it includes dinner, snacks or drinks only, a movie, dancing, etc.
** What attire is expected; maybe it's casual, dressy, or even a costume party.
** If you expect an RSVP and by what date.
* '''Get the necessary supplies'''. Don't wait until the day before the event unless you are just having a small, very informal get together.
** Shop for decorations up to a week in advance. This includes any paper plates, napkins, plastic cutlery, or cups that you might want to use.
** Shop for food two to three days before hand so that the day before the party you can prep any food that you'll be serving. This saves time on the day of the event so that you can decorate and enjoy yourself once guests arrive.
** The week before the party you should arrange any entertainment that you plan to have. If you are hiring a band or DJ, make sure to book well in advance. Otherwise, create your own party music by cuing up you iPod and iTunes or making a few mix CDs. Also be certain that your speakers are set up properly.
There's no reason why you should be alone on Valentine's Day. One of the best solutions for the outgoing and motivated individual is to organize and throw a singles mixer at your place. The trick to making it work is simple.
* Invite all the single people you know and request that they bring along another single with them. Try and balance your guest list so that you get an equal number of males and females in attendance.
* If you want to invite couples, be sure to tell them that bringing a single friend as a requirement for entry to the party (the more singles get to mingle and meet, the better.)
* Play games! Sure it sounds silly, but it is a great way for people to meet each other. The games that get people closer are better!
Decorations and Table Dressings
One thing is for sure--a Valentine's Day party needs a little pizazz. There are a number of decorations to choose from, whether they be small and discreet or big and bold. The trick is to pick decorations that you feel will compliment the style of the party and your budget. Don't go all out on decorations for something that you think will only be used once and get thrown away, unless of course, you have the money to do so.
Remember, the suggestions below are just that. You don't have to choose just one thing or use all of them at once. Be picky about which items you think will work together and create the right vibe for your party. For example, an intimate dinner party should highlight the table and have classy touches, such as pretty plates, glasses, and table cloth. However, for a less formal party where you will have a lot of people, decorations don't have to match and can be spread out all over the house. You can even have different themes for different rooms if you want.
Fun and Games
What's a party without a way to get to know one another? Open conversation is great but having a series of games and activities set up is a good way to keep the party moving and to help people get comfortable with each other. It can also help build new relationships. For a great resource on party games, check out Party411, which offers different party ideas and suggestions for food, drink, music, games, and more! Otherwise, here are some quick picks for games that are sure to break the ice!
There are many things you can do to spice up a Valentine's Day party. One favorite is getting dressed up and acting silly. Here are some items that will help you do just that.
Don't let your guests leave empty handed. Give them something to help remember the night. It's easy. All you need are little gift bag, some Valentine candies or chocolates, and a little token that represents the tone for the evening.
Food and Drinks
If you are having a dinner party feel free to prepare a three course meal. Otherwise, just make a bunch of appetizers or scaled down versions of the entrees. Valentine's Day is also the perfect excuse for a dessert party!
Below are a few suggestions on drinks for a Valentine's Day party.