Throwing a party can be a lot of fun. It can also be stressful, from having to create a guest list to deciding on a theme to hosting the night itself. While no one article will have all the answers, we’ve thrown together some of our best tips for when it comes to choosing a theme.
Decide on a date
Pick a date before you do anything else. Once you have a definitive day in mind, it makes choosing a theme and compiling a guest list that much easier. This is common sense, but many would-be hosts skip straight ahead to creating a guest list and scrambling to find a date that suits everyone’s schedule—making the party planning process more stressful, not less.
Pick a venue
Once you’ve chosen a date, figure out where you will be hosting your party. An event at your flat may involve size and space limitations, not to mention a clean-up. If you can hire out a room in a bar, you can create a theme around the bar itself. Most venues have teams on hand to help you design your perfect night. You may have to give up some control over the event, but it means less stress for you.
Assess your resources
If you’re operating on a budget, figuring out what you already have and how much you can spend may be a deciding factor. A rodeo-themed party with a rented mechanical bull may come with a high price tag, but choosing a decade means simply figuring out your own fancy dress. Figure out what you have first, and go from there.
Looking at what you’ve got hidden in your closet also provides the perfect opportunity for a purge. You can make money off your old clothes, DVDs and CDs by selling them to companies like musicmagpie.com, who will even come pick up your stuff if there’s enough of it.
Create the guest list
It may sound intuitive, but knowing who to invite to your party is central to knowing what theme to choose. If you’re at university and inviting your classmates, a toga party makes sense. If you’re planning on parents participating, then it may be wiser to choose a theme with fewer frat party associations.
Decide what kind of themes interest you most
Now that you know who your attendees are, you can narrow down your options. If you’ve chosen a date that falls near a major holiday, throwing a Christmas or Halloween party is a popular, people-pleasing way to go. If you are an avid TV fan, choosing a theme based on one of your favourite shows is an idea. If you have a historical obsession, consider hosting a literary salon or a masquerade ball.
Ask people for advice
There’s a reason you have friends. If you’re at a loss, brainstorming with a buddy is a fun way to pick a theme. You can even make it a pre-party or a test drive if you want—invite someone over with a simplified version of one of your ideas and see how it goes. A good friend will give you an honest opinion and help you with ideas, making the process a pleasure rather than a pain.