House parties and soirees; a good knees-up is always fun, but hosting even a small get-together can be exhausting. To ensure you're the life of the party, here's a list of everything you'll need to make it the event on everyone's social calendar.
People: Invite everyone. Always. There is bound to be a couple of people who 'can't make it' because the babysitter cancelled, or they're 'ill'. Whatever the reason, prepare for a number of declines because an empty room isn't a party.
Drinks: Always buy extra. Beer, wine, cider, cocktails, liquers, buy it all. If you don't state it on the invite, people won't do it, so if you want to people to bring their own, advertise it.
Music: Getting the music right is an absolute essential for all parties. It sets the tone, creates the mood, and will either let you all chat all evening, or make you dance. So, create a playlist and let the music do the work while you welcome guests.
Atmosphere: This can be a tricky one. Getting the atmosphere just right is a balance of all the above three points, but there are two variables that you can also manage: Number 1: Lighting. Depending on the occasion I like to play with light to help set the tone of the party. If it's intimate opt for low lighting and scatter candles around the room. If you're throwing a crazy party then keep a few bright lights on and keep every door open. Number 2: You. If you're down, or not in the mood to party, your friends will notice, so drink coffee, go for a jog, take Berocca; whatever it is you need to stay upbeat and welcoming, do it.
Presence: Sometimes you're the glue that holds a group together, and while you love all of your groups of friends individually, it can be atmospheric when they all get together and don't know each other. Thus, you must be present, and of course you've got food, drinks, people to sort out, but if you're not enjoying the party with those you've invited then the party will just be a room full of strangers. That's no fun for anyone.
Over-planning: This can mean failure and an exhausted host who has stressed themselves out with minor details makes for an unhappy party. However, 'impromptu' can also mean unwelcome surprises and disappointed guests. Never 'wing it', with a party, but planning 'just in case' is always a good idea.
Relax: Or at least pretend to, until the party is well under way. Then you can get your drink on, and party with everyone else.
Surprise: A house party is usually a straightforward affair, and guests will arrive with expectations of the familiar. Straightforward never sparked excitement, and surprising guests with an unexpected party trick is always a crowd pleaser. At a friend's recent party we were all surprised when a bellydancer came out of nowhere and performed. It was fantastic, and woke the whole party up.
I don't like the title "Wake up your neighbours" Living next to some really inconsiderate people I speak from experience. Turn it down to an acceptable level after 12PM and shut all doors. Also discourage drunks from going outside and yelling. Also smokers when they congregate can be noisy...Be considerate and everyone can have a GOOD night.