It’s inevitable that there will come an occasion or event in your life that will justify figuring out a way to throw a little shindig at your home or a local venue that is going to be last-minute. How does one even start to prepare for something when you are barely even getting your own to-do list done, much less the planning that goes into a party? With these 10 Impromptu Party Planning Tips, you’re going to be just fine. From inviting people over for a last-minute BBQ, to planning a small event for a loved one that might have slipped under the radar, we have you covered with these great tips!
- Pick a theme! When you are short on time, one of the most important things you can do right away is to pick a theme. You want to make sure that whatever the event or party happens to be you won’t be all over the place with food and decor, so centralize your mind to a specific theme and make sure you are sticking to it. It will help with distractions and make things more streamlined! Feel like you’re going to spend forever on picking a theme? Do what I do… have about 5 different party themes already picked out and stashed somewhere. Whether it’s on a private Pinterest board or on a Word doc on your computer, it can be a lifesaver! Now you can just refer to that information and you’ll have a theme that you know you love picked out in no time!
- Use online party invitation sites, like Evite, to quickly get the word out to potential guests. While it may seem a bit more impersonal if you’re used to going all out and making creative invitations for other events, many will not even notice that they didn’t get a “formal” invite and will be able to quickly respond. They’ll also be able to easily add on how many in their group will be able to attend! Talk about getting your guest list finalized quickly and efficiently!
- Have a pot-luck! If you’re throwing together a last-minute party, the last thing you need to worry about is cooking, baking, and serving guests all on your own! Ask everyone to bring a dish to pass and chances are, they’ll know it was a last-minute get-together. Most will be more than happy to help you out and will even ask you what they might be able to bring. Take them up on the offer!
- Cater Out. If you’re just not comfortable asking your guests to contribute to the party, find a great local place that offers catering services. You’re not going to have time to spend in the kitchen preparing for your last-minute event, so utilize the help of professionals! You’ll be so happy you did and this way, you’ll easily be able to pick and choose what you’ll be serving, along with sticking to your theme.
- Prioritize! There are just going to be some things that aren’t going to be as important to finish up or even offer at your last-minute party as they normally would have been. If the party is for someone who really isn’t into games or activities, maybe it would be best to just wipe those off of your list. Or, if decorating isn’t the biggest necessity to consider it a successful get together, like for a BBQ, don’t knock yourself out with tons of DIY projects that are going to take up too much time. Think about what is most important for the specific event you’re throwing and stick with those items. Cross the others off the list!
- Budgeting for a last-minute party can be so important! Because things are on a tight timeline, it can be easy to spend more money than you originally would have wanted to, so make sure you know what you need and what you can live without and stay within your budget. Whatever the event or party is for, it wouldn’t be worth it to go over your budget just to make sure you were able to throw the party together last-minute.
- Put together a party basket! A what? This is a great idea that In My Own Style had and we absolutely LOVE IT! Basically, before you find yourself in the situation of throwing a last-minute get together, you would already have a basket set up with the “must-haves” you would need to entertain a quick get-together. For example, if you’re going to be hosting a BBQ or quick outdoor party, this basket would provide you with the necessary plates, silverware, napkins and cups that you would need. And it’s done in a jiffy without having to head to the store or rummage through your cabinets looking for what you need. Set it up in a nice wicker basket and you’ll be ready for any theme! Restock it after your last-minute party, so you’re ready the next time you have guests over last-minute. Add in some citronella candles and a tablecloth and you’ll really impress the guests!
- Have some quick and easy go-to appetizer recipes ready! One thing I seem to struggle with ALL THE TIME is finding a recipe that is quick and easy, yet delicious, that I can have people munch on before the main course is ready. There are so many great recipes you can find over on Pinterest, but it’s pretty easy to get carried away over there, too! Find yourself about 5 to 10 go-to appetizer recipes that you can whip up quickly after you get word that the last-minute birthday dinner for your father-in-law is going to be held at your house! Make sure your recipes have simple and easy ingredients and can be made in less than 15 minutes. VOILA! Your guests will be asking how you got things ready so quickly!
- Speed Clean! Chances are you aren’t going to have time to give your home a deep-clean that you normally would have if you’ll be hosting a last-minute party. But by making sure the high-traffic areas are clutter-free, your guests won’t think you’re living in a pigsty! Close doors to rooms where you don’t want guests to go and if worse comes to worse, throw things in those rooms in order to clean up your main areas. Do a quick dusting and vacuum and you’ll be set to go! And make sure you have some extra garbage bags to make clean up easy, as well!
- Set the mood with a pre-made playlist of music! Having some tunes in the background or in your living space is always a great way to keep the mood alive and make sure that even if you aren’t planning games or activities, you have a nice ambience for your guests to mingle and chat. This one is super easy and is even fun! Create a few different playlists now that you’ll have on hand for a variety of occasions. Holiday music? Check! Backyard boogie tunes? Check! Easy jazz? Check! Now you’ll be set for a variety of situations that you just never know may pop up on your doorstep!
Do you have tips on how to throw together a last-minute party? We would love to hear your tips! Feel free to leave us a comment below and get the conversation started!
This feature contains affiliate links. Please see our full disclosure policy.
Here are some entertaining must-haves that we can’t live without!
- Set of 3 Apothecary Candy Jars
- Set of 3 White Serving Platters
- 4-Tier Cupcake/Dessert Tower
- Paper Party Straws
- Vintage Milk Bottles – Set of 12
- Pewter Daisy Lids for Mason Jars – 10 Count
- Mason Jars – Set of 12
- Letter Candy Dishes
- Paper Eskimo Party Products
- Dress My Cupcake Party Products
Check out these awesome party features on Pretty My Party!
- Thank you card etiquette
- How to be a happier hostess
- 20 Free Birthday Printables
- Free Baby Shower Printables
- 50 Free Bridal Shower Printables