Party Prep: Tips for hosting and party going

When was the last time that you hosted a party?  Was it for a friend, a holiday, for fun or in honor of yourself?
If you've never hosted then ask yourself:
When was the last time you went to a party and wasn't sure how to prepare, what to wear or what to bring?

Doesn't matter if the party is big or small, getting ready for a party you're the host of or the one you're going to isn't as stressful as you think it is.

Growing up Greek, my family has always known how to throw a great party. Lots of friends, music and of course food. Whether we we're hosting a family party or a party for friends it's important to make everyone feel welcome in your home.  First things first: Invitations!

The Invite:

Growing up in the 90's and early 2000's, sending out invitations in the mail was the thing to do. Since the world has evolved a little, there are plenty of other ways to get the word out there.  Whether it's using a Facebook event (quick and easy) or even heading over to in order to create something that's a little bit more special for your guests. You can explore options invitations here to make your own invites for a special occasion.

I like how you can customize your invitation with different fonts, colors and backdrops. I thought this one was best suited for the tie-dye theme of my cookout.

After sending out the invitations and getting the RSVP's its time to plan the rest of the party.

The Menu:

For a cookout, it's best to provide "the essentials" like the hot dogs, burgers and the buns, maybe a salad as well. 

If you're feeling a bit overwhelmed with this part, you can always ask that your guests bring a side dish or dessert to share with others.  That way there is a variety of food and you don't feel like you have to do every little thing.  I tend to cook and prepare any kind of food or appetizers in the morning before the guests arrive so everything is fresh and ready to go! Although if you're worried about timing, cooking and prepping the night before is okay too.

The Music:

If you're lucky enough to have musically inclined friends like myself you can always invite them to play the backyard.  If not, you can create a really awesome spotify playlist or just throw on the radio.

Most people probably won't fuss over what is being played but it's nice to have something in the background to help with the ambience in the room.

The Fun:

For a party such as this, I had an activity planned for those involved.  Before the guests arrived I prepped all the buckets of dye and also pre-washed all of the t-shirts so people could get right to the dyeing.  It helped that people showed up at different times in groups because we were able to rotate through the dyeing area and hanging up everything up to dry.  Of course it would have been better if the sun hadn't started to go down once we got the shirts hanging on the drying rack!

Even though most of the guests hadn't done tie dye before, everyone was a quick learner and did an amazing job.  I unfortunately forgot to take photos of everyone holding their shirts but did manage to get a few photos of the t-shirts on the drying rack.

If you aren't having a tie-dye station like me, you can always buy a backyard type of game like Bocce, corn hole, frisbee or if you want a Heather's themed party there's always croquette! As a back up plan, keeping board games around or something like Cards Against Humanity is a good idea too if it decides to rain on your parade.

As a Guest:

My own personal rule of party going is: Never show up empty handed.  I'm not sure if that's because I grew up Greek or that my mom always made sure I brought something to a friend's house.  Even if it's something you bought at the store on your way over, it is a nice way to "thank" someone for inviting you and welcoming everyone to their home.  Pro tip: Ask the host if they need anything before you head over.  We can all be forgetful, especially when planning an event.

As for picking out the outfit, I know sometimes that's the most frustrating part!  You want to look nice, but don't want to be over dressed and not able to run across the yard trying to catch a frisbee.  When hosting, I try to put together an outfit that I'm most comfortable moving around in.  I always feel like I'm trying to being in 3 places at once when I have company so something I can move in is always a plus.  Meaning I usually shy away from anything maxi length or has an obnoxious amount of fabric. 

Shorts and a nice top usually does the trick if its hot out.  

Top: Forever 21 (Similar 1, 2, 3) | Bottoms: Celebrity Pink (Similar 1, 2) | Shoes: Old Navy

If on the cooler side I'll lean more towards jeans, gladiator sandals and a flowy top. 

Tank: 1, 2 | Jeans: Old Navy | Shoes: Michael Kohrs (Similar)

But since it was hot and I was dealing with permanent clothing dye I went for shorts and a loose black crop top. If you're a jewelry person, you can always throw on a necklace or a pair of earrings to complete the look.

The Clean Up:

Cleaning up after a party is everyone's least favorite part-- at least for me it is.  Being a party of 1, sometimes the clean up is quite a daunting task.  The best advice I can give is to clean up as you go.  Having plastic cups, silverware and paper plates helps eliminate doing most of the dishes. I make sure there's a trash can indoors and outdoors and let everyone know ahead of time where the recycling is so things get thrown away on their own.  The final part is just wiping down the surfaces and vacuuming up the high traffic areas and then the job is done! 

Ahhh, time to relax and enjoy the left over food and drink!

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead start planning your own event.  Remember, the first step is that invitation so go over to and take a look at their selection.

Hope you are all enjoying what summer has brought so far and not being too lazy because summer will be gone before you know it!

Stay strong and style on,


This post was written in partnership with
Outfit photos taken by: Nick Thomas @NTHOMAS33


Popular posts from this blog

Iceland: Days 1-3

Artist Thursdays: Yamil Flores