Everyone loves a good get-together. Keep the party going by avoiding these classic party hosting mistakes.

By Andrea Crowley
Updated May 14, 2019
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Hosting doesn't have to be stressful! Whether you're planning a festive outdoor party or elegant dinner with friends, there are some important tips to remember any time you entertain. Get our best tricks for throwing the perfect party including must-have ideas for food, music, and drinks. Avoid these simple mistakes and you're sure to throw a party they'll remember.

You want your party to be perfect. Before you start sending invitations, take a look at these common party hosting mistakes and our tips for avoiding them. Throwing a great gathering is easy with a little know-how and preparation.

1. Serve Lukewarm Drinks

Ok, party people. First things first: Fill your ice trays prior to party time. Nobody likes a lukewarm drink—unless it's a shot, of course! We recommend hitting the store for an extra bag to stash in your freezer, just in case. If you're serving punch at your gathering, try making a homemade ice ring. It's as easy as layering fresh fruit, herbs, and edible flowers to create a show-stopping party drink.

2. Play Bartender

Don't get stuck tending bar at your own party. Stick to fun and easy pitcher cocktails, such as Pineapple-Ginger Punch or Mexican Margaritas—so you can join the fun, too! Or stock a bar cart and let guests play mixologist. Simply include a few classic spirits like vodka, rum, and tequila. Add mixers like sparkling water, soda, and fruit juice. Finish the bar cart with sliced fresh fruit, herbs, and olives.

3. Ignore a Playlist

Music can either make or break a party. Be prepared with a premade playlist featuring songs you know your guests will love. One idea is to gather suggestions from your guests as part of the RSVP. That way, everyone gets to hear their favorite tune.

4. Let Awkward Happen

Introduce your guests to one another! Don't just hand them a drink and run. This ensures no friend is floating around the party alone. Because who doesn't love to make new friends? Try setting out board games or a variety of yard games to encourage your guests to mix and mingle.

5. Get Too Complicated

Keep things simple in the snacks department. We're all about playing in the kitchen, but don't waste time slaving away on new and extravagant recipes when you're not sure how they'll turn out. Try building a festive charcuterie board. It's as easy as purchasing a variety of meat, cheese, crackers, and toppers. Assemble them on a board or tray and your party food is ready! Or stick to tried-and-true recipes or easy crowd-pleasers you know they'll love. Spinach Artichoke Dip, anyone?

6. Over Plan

Parties are meant to be fun, not stressful. Ditch the itinerary and go with the flow. As long as you have enough munchies, good music, and a fun crowd—there's no way your party will be a bust. Use our handy party calculators to determine how much food you'll need. Keep the decorations simple and opt for one attention-grabbing element like a DIY balloon garland.

7. Clean Too Much

Don't make guests feel rushed—or worse, embarrassed for spilling a drink. Keep a roll of paper towels out, but leave the deep cleaning and dishwashing for post-party hours. Once it's time to tackle the mess, try these handy cleaning tips.

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