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.
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. Just don't get too silly.
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.
Get our favorite Cocktail Party Playlist.
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?
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. 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.
7. Clean too much.
Don't make guests feel rushed -- or worse, embarrased for spilling a drink. Keep a roll of paper towels out, but leave the deep cleaning and dish washing for post-party hours.