In Your Guest Writers, Your Home on May 2, 2010 at 8:02 PM

by Jennifer Brown Banks


Have you ever been held hostage by a bad party? 

Come on, tell the truth.:-)

You know the kind that has as much appeal as your last dental visit, and equally as numbing! 

But, out of obligation perhaps to a co-worker, family member or friend, you stayed and endured it. Undoubtedly you made a mental note that the next time “Penelope” gives a party, you’ll definitely be M.I.A. for the R.S.V.P.   (Been there, done that). 🙂 

Don’t get me wrong; it’s always a good thing to be on folks’ guest list.  Nobody wants to be considered undesirable company.  True?

Still, there’s an art to throwing successful parties that “cater” to the entertainment needs of your guests, while allowing you to celebrate an important occasion.  Or perhaps simply the mere desire to share the company of those you care for in a relaxed social setting.  But be forewarned: Even with the best of intentions, there’s Murphy’s Law. There are some things you can control. Some you can’t.

Bad weather aside, the ball is in your court.  With this being said, one often overlooked element to successful shin-digs that you can CONTROL is chemistry.  Chemistry is crucial. Think about it.  Chemistry is integral to romantic and professional partnerings. It’s a requisite for proper balancing of elements in your favorite fragrance. And it’s a must-have for your next mixer.

So for 2010, if you’d like to increase your entertainment I.Q. and be considered the “hostess with the mostest,” heed the following important tips on party planning.  And get in touch with your inner party-animal. 🙂


  1. Ideally you should have a variety of folks with varied interests, but not too extreme, and somewhat of equal social standing. If this is a night function that will be attended by adults, please specify on the invitations to leave “little Johnny” at home. We all need a little “grown-up” time. Wouldn’t you agree? Though I love little ones, nothing kills a buzz quicker than crying, misbehaved kids. And having to spell out words that you might not want them to hear can get to be a bit much. 🙂  Also, consider that it might not be a good idea to have your “bar buddies” in the same room, (or even at the same party) as the holy rollers from your church. Few people want to be “converted” or have their drinks counted at a party.
  2.  Don’t separate the men from the women. We are no longer in high school. Most single women enjoy the “eye candy.” Not to mention, it’s the only reason many of us chicks suffer the discomfort of push-up bras, stiletto hills that push us off balance, and tight fitting jeans. We wanna look cute for the guys!
  3.  It’s usually not a good idea to have your cat Felix roaming out and about sniffing the guests and the food. Not every body is an animal lover. Some folks are afraid or allergic.


  1.  Have a variety of dishes for meat lovers as well as vegetarians. Word to the wise—not everybody digs “pig feet” as a culinary treat.
  2.  When possible, it’s always nice to have the food match the theme of the party. For example, a Super Bowl Party would have dips, dogs, beer, chips, etc.


  1.  The music is perhaps equally as important as the overall chemistry in terms of significance. Have a good mixture of rock, soul, pop, country, jazz, fast and slow selections. If it’s within your budget, consider hiring a D.J. who is versed in what’s currently hot on the charts.  Music by Michael Jackson, Seal, Michael Buble, Madonna, Black Eye Pea, and SADE are always crowd pleasers. Jazz is also a great way to groove.
  2.  Also along the same lines is adequate room for dancing. Make sure that you don’t overcrowd folks in terms of your environment and accommodations.  Don’t try to invite everybody you’ve known since high school to the same gathering. Besides many obvious reasons, nobody wants to be bumped into all night or have their corns stepped on due to lack of movement space. Ouch!

 For more party planning tips, invitation ideas and recipes see EVITE at Rock on!

Jennifer Brown Banks is a successful writer and entrepreneur who has enjoyed working from her home office for the last seven years.  And she’s lovin’ the view!

  1. Another winning post Jen! It’s not easy putting together a good party; I’ve attended and given a few stinkers. Thanks for providing a gateway to our shift into summertime “mixers”.

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