My friends and I at my Southern-style
housewarming partyHave you ever thrown a party that was just absolutely amazing, a party that everyone had a ridiculously fun time at?
For me, it was my housewarming party. As my friends know, I enjoy a good theme (just call me Martha Stewart), and since I'm originally from Tennessee, my theme was Home Sweet Home: A Southern-Style Housewarming Party.
First off, I encouraged everyone to dress up. While cowboy hats are a bit more difficult to find in NYC, you'd be surprised at how many people managed to scrounge some up, just to be festive. Flannel shirts and cowboy boots also filtered through the crowd that seemed to grow as the night went on.
Since it was a housewarming party, I didn't really decorate because, well, the point of a housewarming party is to show off your new home. I did have country music blasting combined with some Top 40 songs (my Yankee friends needed some tunes that were familiar).
I served traditional Southern snacks: fried green tomatoes, boiled peanuts, Moon Pies, and barbecue (my mama actually overnighted barbecue from this tiny hole-in-the-wall place near my parents' house ... it was so good!).
For drinks, I had Jack Daniels (obviously), beer, and Firefly sweet tea-flavored vodka (go 50/50 with lemonade ... it's delish). Normally I'd suggest providing non-alcoholic beverages at a party, but I know my friends ... the non-booze would go undrank.
I learned a lot with this party. I learned that it's important to have a good base: food, drinks, decor, and music. But it's also important to enjoy yourself, chat with all of your guests, and nonchalantly keep the food and drinks stocked. I think that was what made this party so successful. I've thrown parties before where I was so stressed wondering if everyone was having a good time, that I didn't enjoy myself. It's a chain reaction, if the host isn't enjoying him or herself, then the guests probably aren't either.
What are your tips for hosting a successful party? Have you ever thrown a Southern-themed party?