A guide to throwing a house party with all the trimmings

Invite a shit ton of people, bang some music on. Surely that’s all there is to a house party? Think again if you want your house to survive and your guests to have a good time.

Security

If you invest in one thing – invest in security. You never know what will happen on the night. Our house party was meant to be quite tame, yet in the space of one night we had to get our security guard to 1) bash down a door to get to someone who was passed out in the toilet, 2) escort someone out who was rude to one of the hosts, and 3) stop several random middle-aged men who just wandered into our house (???). You’ll need to give them a guest list and your phone numbers so they know who to let in and who to contact if things kick off. They’re spenny, but honestly? Don’t plan on inviting more than 30 people if you don’t invest in security guards.

Music

You can skimp on music and blare a playlist through your speakers, or go the full monty and hire DJ decks. Ask around though – it’s uni, every other white boy thinks he’s a DJ, so you may find you know someone who’s willing to 1) play for free and 2) bring their equipment. Again, hiring speakers and decks can be pricey, so if you can save money this way, do it. Don’t underestimate how loud people are, too, so if you’re planning on playing everything through a tinny little portable speaker – think again.

Decor

You can decide how much to go all out here, but some 99p foil curtains off eBay should do the trick. Streamers, mandala hangings, disco lights, inflatables… the list of what you can do is endless. Get creative if your budget allows – or even if your budget doesn’t allow it, that’s where the real creativity comes in! What can be made or done on the cheap? Maybe drawing some signs or creating your own posters is something you can look into.

See if you can pick up the odd inflatable at events over the course of the year and maybe by the end of it you’ll have enough to throw a party with huge inflatable bananas for everyone! Just try not to leave everything totally bare – even if a trail of fairy lights around the room is all you have, at least it’ll add some ambience.

Prepping

Prepare for every single eventuality. Assume that someone will go through your fridge, try and get into your cupboards, get into your room. Hide your valuables, tape your cupboards and fridge shut, and presume that anything left out will get broken or stolen. It’s a party – no one is really thinking straight. Someone may lean on something and find it breaks – they get to shrug their shoulders and leave it, but to you, that’s £100 off your house deposit! Invest in floor coverings too – you don’t want someone to spill red wine all over a cream carpet, do you?

And this stuff takes longer than anticipated, so don’t leave it all to the last minute. You should start preparing at least a few days beforehand – you don’t want to get to the big day and find you can’t even move a single sofa out of your living room because they’re too heavy!

Serena Smith

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