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You all know how much I love hosting. Whether it’s summer BBQ’s, dinner parties, or a Friendsgiving; nothing makes me happier than having everyone I love together, carefree and enjoying themselves!

Unfortunately, throwing a party doesn’t actually always feel like a party for the host. You’re worried about having enough food. The food coming out all at the same time.  You feel pressure to work the room so that every guest feels special. You can’t help but start cleaning up around attendees before the event is even over. All of this can be pretty stressful… and is absolutely zero fun.

But playing the hostess with the mostest doesn’t have to equate with feeling stressed, and having fun at your own party isn’t entirely off the (beautifully set) table. Here are six tips on how to have fun at your own party. It can really be done! 

How to have fun at your own party and relax

6 Tips on How to Have Fun at Your Own Party

Because parties are supposed to be fun! 

1. Ask for help. Yes, you might have invited friends and family to share a celebration at your home, but that doesn’t mean that you need to be responsible for 100 percent of the prep. Potlucks are so in! Does your mom make the best salsa? Ask her (nicely) to bring a batch. Does your best friend know how to mix a delicious cocktail? Delegate beverages to them! If your co-worker lives near a great wine store or your neighbor drives by your favorite bakery on their way to take their kids to school, don’t be afraid to ask them to pick something up for you and bring it along to your party. Same goes for helping clean up at the party. Chances are that guests will feel good knowing they can pitch in… and that they’ll be excited to help facilitate some extra delicious treats at the event. 

2. Keep it simple. Certain occasions call for a bit more formality, of course, but more often than not, any party that you’re throwing in your own home can be kept on the casual side — which should make your job as the host much easier. Simplify your day-of routine by scheduling out party tasks for several days ahead of the actual event. Streamline to-dos by breaking them down into shopping lists, chore lists, and decor lists. Doing this will ensure that you’re not making additional trips to the grocery store or doubling efforts around your home. This kind of simplicity will go a long way toward keeping you sane so you can actually enjoy yourself! 

3. Hold nothing back. In my experience, one of the things that most often gets in the way of having fun at my own party is the stress that I feel around constantly being prepared to get my guests what they need. Sound familiar? We can all get ahead of this stress — and make room for more fun — by putting everything out there for loved ones. Pre-pour beverages. Set out all of the plates, glasses, cutlery, and serving tools that your guests might need for the dishes you’re sharing. Invite your guests to brew their own coffee by putting your coffee machine in plain sight. Set out extra rolls of toilet paper in the bathroom. When you hold nothing back, you encourage your guests to help themselves to whatever they need so you can feel more free to have a good time. They’ll also feel more comfortable in your home! 

4. Plan ahead for clean-up. If you spend the majority of your party stressing about how you’re going to manage the dirty dishes and the sticky counters and the messy floors once everyone leaves, you’re most definitely not going to live in the moment. Fight this tendency by setting some realistic expectations for the clean-up process before the party even starts. If, for example, you know that your party is going to run late, tell yourself in advance that you’ll rinse the dishes in the sink before bed and wash them more thoroughly in the morning. Getting proactive like this will help you feel less overwhelmed when an event winds down. You might also consider tapping a friend or family member to stick around and help you tidy up. Ask them in advance if they’re willing to lend a hand! 

5. Include some of your favorite party elements. As hosts, we can’t help but place most of our focus on the parts of a party that are going to make it most enjoyable for our guests. This is all well and good… until it takes away from our own ability to have fun. When you’re making plans for your next celebration, don’t be afraid to add your favorite party dish or cocktail to the menu. Add the songs that make you want to dance to the playlist. Invite your guests to play a party game that always makes you smile. If other things go wrong in the course of a party (because they might!), you can rest assured that there will be at least a few things that you can look forward to. 

6. Pick a buddy. I’d like to promise you that everything is going to go perfectly at every party you throw — but that just wouldn’t be honest. Just because things go wrong, though, doesn’t mean that you need to have a bad time! It will be easier to roll with the punches that can come with a party if you use the buddy system. Ask one of your closest friends or loved ones to be that buddy for you. If the wine doesn’t show up or one of your younger attendees accidentally breaks a vase, your buddy will be the first person you find in the crowd. Together, you can tackle the problem in half the time so you can get back to enjoying yourself. 

A host getting an extra bottle of wine

What tips do you have to share for how to have fun at your own party?

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