High school was prime time for house parties; no one was of legal drinking age and everyone looked forward to walking the halls Monday morning eyeing the kids who either publicly threw up or got walked in on. Unless of course, you were those kids in which case I have no sympathy for you. You might find now that you’re a little older it’s harder to have a good house party, probably because you created a Facebook event called “Party” or “Jam,” invited like 40 dudes and the only one who clicked going was your co-host. Well, worry not you poor naive fool because I, the self-proclaimed house party master, am going to give you some pieces of advice to consider before you plan your next shindig.
1. Pick a Theme
You don’t need a reason to throw a party but people do need a reason they should come. Your party’s theme will be what sets it apart from others and hopefully intrigues your invitees enough that they consider coming. Avoid routine themes like “Offices Hoes & CEOs,” “ABC” and any decade before the 90s. Honestly, if you Googled “cool party themes” you should probably just give up and go to someone else’s party. You need to come up with something original that people will be excited to dress for (E.g. HBO themed — dress as your favorite character from any HBO show from the past 5 years…except you can’t do that because now it’s all over the Internet).
2. Pick an Alcohol Source (if any)
The importance of kegs is often overestimated. Party-goers are charged $5-$10 entry, the beer is usually shit and the kegs dry up long before the police arrive. Again, you need something unconventional to set yourself apart. One of my favorites are jello shots; I [barely] remember this one party had trays of them all around the house, with all the colors and flavors it was like having mini bars all around. Another personal favorite of mine is jungle juice; fill some water coolers with that shit and everyone always has a good time (probably keep them sealed for safety and whatnot).
3. Find a DJ
Calm down calm down, I’m not talking about a professional DJ (although if you could swing that my hat’s off to you). I can guarantee one of the acquaintances you’ve invited knows a little about spinning tracks and would jump at the chance to play any gig. It’s as easy as posting in your event that you’re looking for someone with their own equipment to play. You likely don’t have to pay them, just cover the cost of renting speakers from your local music store. Although this tip sounds unnecessary it’s a huge jump up from plugging in an iPod and letting your “house party” playlist shuffle all night. DJs add atmosphere and at least make it look like you know what you’re doing.
4. Be Prepared for the Cost
You are probably not going to make your money back and that needs to be something you are prepared for. Things like booze, ice, food, repairing your house, paying fines and tickets, and other unexpected costs are expensive. If you are tight on cash throwing a party is not the way to remedy that, it’s more of a my parents gave me $600 spending money this month and didn’t know it’s exam season so I haven’t spent it yet thing to do. The success of your soirée is not measured by the amount of income it brings in.
There was one party in high school where I had to call the police on my own house. It was by far the best party I’ve ever had and my friends still talk about it to this day; the fact that I had to end it didn’t change anything. It was 2 a.m. and the party was getting way out of hand. People were spilling onto the street and something bad was bound to happen so I made the responsible choice and kicked everyone out warning them that the cops were coming. Moral of the story: don’t wait for something bad to happen before you take charge, it’s your party.
Those kids that cook their own meth are probably not the kids you want at your house right? If you can see this kind of thing being an issue maybe make sure your guests know they have to ask someone in your house before they can bring other people. Other than that you have to make sure you invite enough people that your invitees think the party will be big, but not invite too many people that the party gets out of control through word of mouth.
7. Know Yourself
There are two kinds of party hosts: (1) Those that are responsible and run around reminding partygoers to keep glass bottles away from their pool and (2) those that are the drunkest person at their own party. I like to think of myself as somewhere in the middle but in reality I spend the first hour being a killjoy and the rest of the party getting so wasted I fall down the stairs backwards. This is likely what’ll happen to you and the best advice I can give is not to stress and to lean on your friends.
Shit is going to break, people are going to throw up and the police are probably going to come for noise violations but in the end you want to look back and tell stories about your wicked parties to your kids.
…Ok maybe not your kids. Maybe your nephews and nieces.
[Header image via Shutterstock]