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Party Preparation Commandments

The silly season is upon us – and with that comes get togethers, BBQs and house parties. Check out these 10 party prep commandments so your party goes off without a hitch.

Invite thy neighbours

Go the extra mile and invite your neighbour(s) to your party, whoever they are. Don’t just give your House-of-Cards-addicted neighbour a heads up that you might be interrupting their quality time with President Claire Underwood – instead ask them to pop along and join in on the festivities.

Hide thy valuables

Nothing’s going to spoil a party more than someone pinching your stuff or getting too sloshed that they break your Great Grandma’s vase. So, look around the house and move anything that is important or valuable to you.

Make thy party invite only

Don’t let gate crashers invade your party – make it invite only and if friends or family want to bring someone who hasn’t been invited, get them to ask first.

Thou shalt provide paper cups and plates

No one enjoys the clean up after a party, so grab some paper cups, plates and napkins from the shops before the party. Then once your party goers are heading off on their adventure home, they can pop their empty cups and plates in the recycling bin.

Thou shalt set up a grazing and drink station

Have your designated ‘bar’ area with your beer, wine, spirts and non-alcoholic drinks. If you’re feeling creative, make a non-alcoholic punch, because everyone loves a punch. And don’t forget about the food – have a grazing area where all your food and platters are so your guests can help themselves. Think the classic onion dip and chips, cheese and crackers, and other kiwi classics.

Thou shalt close doors to bedrooms

Have areas in your house that you don’t want your guests to go? Easy, close the doors to those rooms, and lock them if you can – especially bedrooms. Let your guests know where they can find the bathroom and party area, so they don’t ‘accidentally’ go into a room that’s off limits.

Thou shalt supply banging music at the right volume

Want to avoid getting noise control called? Find the perfect volume for your sounds and then leave it. According to special-events lighting and production company, Bentley Meeker, play songs 20-25% lower than the average conversation. Pretty sure most us don’t have a sound-o-meter handy, so carry your phone or stereo remote around with you and adjust the volume if you can’t hear the person you’re talking to.

Side tip – up tempo music is sometimes recorded at higher volumes, so as the night goes on and your playlist moves into Shapeshifter territory, you shouldn’t need to increase the volume.

Have thy sober mate on hand

Either stay sober yourself or enlist the help of your sober friend – everyone’s got the ‘Mum’ or ‘Dad’ of the group! Having someone sober at your party means that they can answer the door, guide people to the bathroom, make sure no one drives after a few bevvies, and can keep the peace – all while having fun themselves of course!

Thou shalt provide playing cards and other games

Keep your party interesting and have a range of games available. You can’t go wrong with a deck of cards or dice. Or if you’re feeling adventurous why not try out Cards Against Humanity or the NZ version Kiwi’s Against Morality. What do you Meme? Is another goodie that will be sure to have your guests in fits of laughter.

Devise an exit strategy for thy guests

It’s got to that time in the evening where you want to go to bed but there’s still guests mingling – it’s a party not a sleepover! You don’t have to force them out the door, or rudely tell them to leave, simply try changing the music to something more mellow, and turn down the volume. Start to put away any leftover food and drink from your grazing stations and pull out a rubbish bag and start the clean-up. Your leftover guests will quickly get the idea that it’s time to sort their rides home, so you can go to bed.