Ten Party Planning Mistakes to Avoid


The last thing you want your guests to do is leave your party talking about how it could have been better—especially when you put so much time and energy into your party planning. Even with the right tents, tables, chairs, and flatware, even with meticulous planning, things can fall through the cracks. Here at Bucks-Mont Party Rental, we know that you want to plan the best party you can, and we are here to make that happen! In order to ensure that your party goes off without a hitch, here is a list of ten party planning mistakes to avoid.

1. A playlist that is too short or not upbeat enough.

While it may be tempting to fill your playlist just with your favorite music, it is important to consider the needs and listening desires of your guests. A playlist full of the most popular contemporary music is a better way to go than a playlist with only songs that you know all the words to. Keep the mix varied and at a pleasant tempo and timbre, even if you don’t expect any dancing at your party. Also, make sure that there are enough songs on the playlist to last the length of the party. If the tracks loop back around more than once, people will begin to notice.

2. Not enough food.

We’ve all been there—the party is only half over, but the food is already gone. People are still hungry and there is nothing in their stomachs to soak up the alcohol they are drinking. In general, if food is being passed on a tray, plan for four hors d’oeuvres per person. If being served buffet style, six per person. There’s nothing wrong with making too much food—you can freeze it and eat it yourself in the future.

3. Not enough space.

If your guests are crammed in elbow to elbow, mingling and navigating the party will be difficult, and those who feel their personal space is being invaded will probably bail long before the party is over.

4. Too much space.

As a rule of thumb, for cocktail-type parties, it is always best to invite 20% more people than the room can usually hold, as only about 80% of invitees will attend and they will flow in and out of the party.

5. Not enough decorations.

A sparse-looking room is a great way to kill the mood of a party. If your party has a theme, make sure every room involved in the party has adequate decorations. It will keep the party localized and seamless.

6. No activities or ice breakers on hand.

Even with a great playlist, great food, and great people, some parties just cannot get started. Some parties get going on their own, but others may need a little help. If you start to see that your party is on life support, don’t be afraid to bust out a few games or ice breakers to get people involved. There are plenty of games you can play as a group, or that you can instigate for smaller groups. Get people talking and moving and the mingling will take care of itself.

7. Inadequate invitations.

Though we live in a tech savvy society, a text message is not exactly an appropriate way to invite someone to a party—unless that party is being thrown by a high school kid while his parents are away. Physical, printed invites, emailed invites, or phone calls is the way to go to make sure that you can not only track who all you have invited, but also to gather RSVPs. While you may not need to know exactly who all is coming, it is helpful to have a baseline count for ordering or making food and deciding on a venue.

8. No gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan choices.

Unless you are 100% sure that no one on your guest list has dietary restrictions, it is always best to provide at least a few options that can work for anyone with moral or health restrictions against certain kinds of food. While you don’t have to cater your entire menu for your one friend who is gluten-intolerant, he or she will appreciate the thought and care you put into ensuring there would be something just for him or her to eat. With so many gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and vegan options on the market today, it will be easy to whip up a hors d’oeuvres that won’t offend his or her stomach.

9. Not enough alcohol.

Like not having enough food, not having enough alcohol can put a serious damper on the party. That’s not to say that you have to liquor everyone up, but if you are providing drinks, there should be enough to go around for the entire night. Keep in mind that three bottles of wine per four guests is a basic rule of thumb, while three or four cocktails is more than enough if you are providing specialty drinks.

10. Worrying too much.

While most people find the planning phase of the party to be the most stressful, many people will spend the entire party worrying about whether or not it is working and forget to enjoy the party they have so meticulously planned. If you have properly prepared, any eventuality can be quickly and easily dealt with. Once the party has started, stop worrying about whether or not it is going well. Just have fun! Your only job now should be to keep the food stocked and to mingle with your guests.


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