As someone who loves to entertain and have friends over,I am also a college student who recently started a new business. To me fun doesn't always equal a ton of money and these items help me have a fun night in without going broke.
Choose a theme. What do you want your party to be about? No,I don't mean cheesy yellow lights for your tapas party .If you want a theme think of the type of atmosphere you would like to have. Whether it will be an elegant affair or a family style supper, then think about a theme in terms of season, occasion, and who is attending.
Create and confirm your guest list. You can't have a party by yourself! Without knowing who is on your guest list you can't decide on the menu. You want a good mix of people and a fairly decent ratio of men and women if your going to have both genders attend the party.One guy along with 6 other ladies may seem like the ideal situation for a guy,but trust me it's not!
Plan the menu. This is what I always tell clients and even my friends before throwing a dinner party,DO NOT CHOOSE THE DAY OF TO EXPERIMENT! If you have never made a dish this is not the time to make it. Take at least the week before to decide what you would like to make,where will you get the items,and to ask the guest if they have any dietary restrictions. You don't want to have a cheese based dish for some one who is lactose intolerant!
Calculate your supply of tableware, cookware, and serving dishes. If you don't have enough for every dish you're serving, consider getting very inexpensive pieces from a discount or thrift store or borrowing,don't be afraid to mix colors and patterns!
Come up with a playlist. It should be long enough to last for the length of the dinner, go along with the party's theme if there is one, and be kept at a level that doesn't make it hard for conversation to take place. Nobody wants to shout over a Lady GaGa track,not even Lady Gaga herself.
Set the atmosphere. Arrange the furniture as you'll want it for the party ,removing any excess clutter. Figure out the lighting: Using low-wattage bulbs or candlelight will create the right mood.(and it's good for the planet!) Dim Lights actually dilate the pupils which increases the dopamine (the feel good hormone) in the brain!
Make a Plan! Make a detailed shopping list and cooking schedule. Map out where you'll buy each ingredient or beverage to have an easier shopping route. General rule of thumb: Three bottles of wine for every four guests.
Be prepared. Have a place for coats, jackets and keys. Designate a place for coats. Make space in a front closet and fill it with hangers, or have a bed for coats,keep it away somewhere safe you don't want to be accountable if any mishaps occur. Also a place for keys is necessary NEVER LET A FRIEND DRIVE BUZZED OR DRUNK! NO ACCEPTIONS!