With Labor Day right around the corner, now is the time to squeeze in one last summer celebration. Throwing a party doesn't have to be a headache. You can even decide to do it last minute and still have a great time. So invite your friends over and remember these essential tips.
1. Invite enough people
Since this is a last minute party, make sure to compensate for the fact that some of your friends will already have plans. Let people know it's okay to bring friends with them. Putting effort into a party no one shows up for is painful for you and awkward for your guests.
2. But not too many
Don't overestimate the coolness of your friends. If they're anything like mine, most of them won't have anything better to do even if you're asking them the day of. It's best to play it by ear. Invite your main crowd first. If a lot of them can't make it, extend invites to acquaintances.
3. Serve plenty of food
You don't need to cater your party or spend all day cooking, but you'll want to have abundant snacks. It'll keep your guests happy and help them handle their alcohol so the event doesn't get out of hand. Pick up a few of those giant $2 bags of chips, whip up a sour cream based dip, bake those pre-made precut cookies and throw some frozen appetizers in the oven. These options are super easy and affordable! Make sure you have enough goodies to keep the food coming out all night.
4. BYOB is fine
Providing alcohol for an entire party can seriously dig into your wallet and that's no fun. Let your guests know to bring their own drinks. Personally, I like to make a couple pitchers of sangria so I do have something to serve. Keep it affordable with this recipe using boxed wine.
5. Don't sweat the playlist
Playlists are so easy to make nowadays — you can whip your own up on iTunes in just minutes. I've learned that no matter how much time and effort I put into the playlist, an hour into the party my friends will all be fighting to plug their iPod in anyway. If guests want to control the music, let them! Less work for you, lovely.
6. Set up a room where people can crash
As the party-thrower, it is your responsibility to make sure your guests get home safely. Pay attention to everyone who drove and make sure they know that it is okay to spend the night. I like to throw all spare pillows and blankets in my basement to set up a safe spot where over-partied guests can recharge with some sleep before driving home.
Lovelies, will you be making time for one last summer party?