Planning a Party 7 Tips to Make Your Guests Feel Welcome

Fun fact: Canadian party etiquette is a bit different from the US. People shouldn’t show up early, but shouldn’t show up late, either. As Gandalf the White might say, they arrive “exactly when they mean to.”

Whether your guests are ten minutes early or an hour late, one thing is true: they’ll probably be a bit shy. They arrive dressed and ready, but not entirely comfortable with your home or the other guests. That’s why your party will hit it off well if you can make them feel welcome in the first place.

While planning a party, there are a few things you can do to welcome party guests and make them feel at home. To keep it simple, here are 7 essential tips.

1. Include Alcohol While Planning a Party

There’s a reason we call alcohol the social lubricant. It makes people feel relaxed by reducing their social inhibitions. You likely remember your biology teacher talking about how alcohol essentially shuts down your prefrontal cortex.

Aside from that, it adds a nice buzz that can put a smile on anyone’s face. So during party planning, earmark some of the budget for a nice cocktail. We recommend this classic pina colada recipe.

Better yet, offer guests a drink right as they walk in the door. Host a party well by playing the attentive host who refills drinks whenever they start to get low. That said, don’t get everyone too sloshed; a responsible host takes care not to let anyone get blackout drunk.

Include some snacks and finger foods. Some people may not have the best alcohol tolerance, so they’ll need something in their stomach to help it go down. 

2. Make the Dress Code Clear from the Outset

You’ve likely had at least one moment in your life where you arrived over or underdressed. It makes you stick out like a sore thumb and may get some awkward or dirty looks.

In the best situation, it makes for a funny joke that could embarrass you. In the worst, it’s a slight to your host–such as when it’s a formal dinner party.

So, remove all ambiguity and tell guests what the dress code is in no uncertain terms. More importantly, give them proper notice. You don’t want them scrambling for a tuxedo when they assumed dress casual was okay.

Just to be safe, match the dress code to the event in question. It’s going to be very hard for guests to mistake the dress code for an elegant dinner. But a movie viewing could easily go both ways.

3. Keep Belongings Safe

No one likes to go to a party and leave their bag, only to discover that rifled through it while they were dancing. Parties often bring together a lot of people who might not be acquainted–and friends of friends that you don’t know. You never know who might stoop low enough to nab a wallet or some AirPods from an unmonitored purse.

Give guests a safe, open place where they can store their belongings. If you’re having a large party with a lot of unfamiliar guests, consider giving your friends a private room to store their crap.

Some are more paranoid than others, and the thought of leaving their bag unattended will be torture. Allow them to relax by eliminating that possibility.

4. Make It Easy for Introverts to Step Away

Contrary to popular belief, introverts don’t all hate parties. However, they do require “introvert breaks” to do a social battery “quick charge” amid a party. If there’s nowhere for them to escape but the bathroom, they may just make up a lame excuse to ditch your shindig.

This can be as simple as keeping your patio or kitchen open to guests. Invite them to chill on your couch when they are most in need of these introvert breaks.

Most importantly, don’t pressure introverts to stay if they don’t want to. Let them party at their own pace!

5. Set the Mood With Music

Music has a powerful effect on the brain, even if someone doesn’t particularly like your brand of music. So, choose something relaxing or upbeat to set the ambiance. This will make it miles easier for guests to unwind and truly be themselves.

Allow them to request songs or stations if they like. One person, in particular, might appreciate being able to play a bit of their favorite ’90s grunge to get in the mood.

6. Set the Temperature Right

No one likes shivering, but neither do they enjoy sweating through their nice slacks and polos. And for the people who sweat easily, a slight increase in temperature can ruin their party experience.

Keep a tight hold on temperature control throughout the party. Ask your guests what they are feeling. There’s likely no harm in running up your A/C bill for just a couple of hours in honor of guest comfort.

7. Have a Guest Room Ready

Some people may want to vacate your party early for their reasons. They want to avoid getting drunk so they can drive home. Or, they leave early to get home on time to sleep for work the next day.

Entertaining guests is only part of the equation; you want to be prepared for after-party contingencies as well. That includes when your guests may need to crash unanticipatedly at your place.

So, keep a guest room ready with fresh sheets, a toothbrush, and a towel. That one friend who drinks a bit too much will appreciate not having to call a cab.

Plan Your Party Today

Planning a party isn’t just about streamers and pinning the tail on the donkey. There are other considerations, particularly those that have to do with making guests feel welcome and comfortable. Just doing these seven things can go a long way to making things less awkward and more fun.

Follow our blog for more party planning tips.

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