From the streamers to the champagne to the hor d’oeuvres, everyone loves a party. Parties offer friends, families, even co-workers a way to relax, get to know each other and enjoy time with each other. However fun the actual event may be, it’s no secret that party-planning can be beyond stressful for the host. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are five steps to setting up a super — and stress-free! — party.

Incredible Party TwoDecorations

Piñatas, lace tablecloths, happy birthday banners and balloons: decorations make the mood. However, you don’t have to break the bank to make a party look like a million bucks. For example, string lights aren’t just for Christmas. Add a touch of class to any occasion with Micro LED or Edison Style String Lights. String lights can help you celebrate your guest of honor as well. These LED lights are also clips perfect for holding photos of the birthday girl or retiree. Now that you’ve got the lighting down, why not DIY some decorations? Glittered leaves make gorgeous fall garlands while painted leaf banners celebrate spring. Another perfect party idea? A piñatas can turn any partygoer into a kid again. Plus, they’re easy to DIY. Here, you’ll find 35 piñatas ideas, from tacos from llamas to bees.

Food and DrinksIncredible Party One

A great cheese plate or charcuterie tray could make your party great. However, soggy chips and tasteless dip can ruin it. Fear not! It’s easy to serve up the perfect party spread. First of all, a potluck is the perfect way to outdo your guests’ expectations without overspending your budget. Check out this advice from potluck pro Kristin Donnelly. Love to cook? Then crowd-source the booze! It’ll save you a trip to the liquor store and to the bank. Another option is to make one signature cocktail. These 27 cocktails will bring the happy to a holiday party. Or, you can choose from these 25 classic cocktails. Who said an Old Fashioned was old-fashioned anyway?

Party gamesIncredible Party Five

After the food — and especially drinks — your guests will be up for activities. Party games break up any awkward silence and help guests get to know enough other. Break out a board game and stir up some nostalgia. Or, if board games aren’t your thing, these 20 simple games are perfect for apartment parties. If your apartment comes with a lawn, an outdoor game can get your guests moving and grooving. Of course, your guests may not know each other well. In that case, an icebreaker will help them warm up to each other in no time.

Incredible Party SixMusic

A good tune makes a social event sing — and dance. Have your guests send song requests along with their RSVP. Or, with apps like Jukestar and Flo, your guests can even play DJ. Of course, you can always match the music with your party’s theme. Think outside the box! For a holiday party, build a playlist of songs that mention the word “snow.” Or, for a fabulous summer soirée, have your guests lip-synch to the top summer hits of the year.

Party favorsIncredible Party Four

You want your party to be memorable. So why not make sure guests leave with a meaningful memento? Give your guests theme-related treats to snack on. Wine Gummy Bears make a great girl’s night takeaway. Valentine’s Day party guests will fall in love with Hearts in Twists Candy Bark. And these Ombre Dipped Pretzels can be color-customized to cheer on the winners (or comfort the losers!) at a Super Bowl party. You can even get the guests involved by having them write and exchange notes instead of giving a toast.

So what are you waiting for? With these tips, you’ve got everything you need to host a great party — just add your great guests!


Text by Amber Pope