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10 Ways to Class Up Your Party

10 Ways to Class Up Your Party

Are you throwing a party and you want to “class it all up” by doing, well, something? Here’s where to start.

Party Invites

chalkboard party invite
It all starts with party invites. Nothing screams more “classy” than an obligatory RSVP system, pre-party. And I’m not talking about some ridiculous Facebook event here.
First impression are important, and you can set the tone from the get-go with physical party invites. Check out these cool “chalkboard-style” housewarming party invites. Have them printed professionally, or e-mail the designer directly for personalized quotes. Talk about classy.
It’s a bit less amazing, but you can also go forth with “fancy evites” from systems like Paperless Post. They can be a little depending on which features you pick, but are perfect for the occasional get-together (Oscar parties anyone?).

Schedule

party schedule
You can take a cue from the classiest of all events, weddings. They have everything scheduled, down to the minute. Your schedule doesn’t have to be a super-detailed one (it’s a party after all), but having big “moments” planned out, or activities, can be a great way to add life to your party. It also gives guests an idea of what to expect (and when they should arrive). It can also be fun to come with new activity ideas that may seem on paper ridiculous.

Wine & Cheese

wine cheese
Who doesn’t love great food and good booze? There’s no need to create some weird kegger party to enjoy both.
This is truly a classic way to class up the joint.
The best part is that a “wine & cheese” party can happen for any reason. Wanna celebrate the birthday of your puppy? Wine & cheese. A gathering for the new season of Archer? Wine & cheese. A comic-book club? Wine & cheese.
If you don’t even have an idea for a specific party, you can make the wine & cheese theme the focus of yours. Do a blind taste test, or just simply list all the delicious plates you’ll be serving. Pick which wine goes best with what cheese. Have matching games. Add other ingredients, fruits or vegetables. Infinite possibilities. And it all starts with a little bit of cheese and a lot of wine.

Gourmet everything

potatoappetizers
Going off another tangent on food, you can create and/or serve fancy appetizers. You probably don’t have waiters, but you can bring out fresh from the kitchen your delicious food on silver platters. That’s quite the visual.
You can even take basic ingredients, or snacks, and “gourmet” them simply with the presentation. If you plate some chips with a side or sauce in actual bowls, with silverware, it will give off a completely different impression than by leaving them in the bag(s).

Table & Place Setting

If you’re hosting something closer to a dinner party, then you really need to make a good second impressions (or first, if you didn’t do party invites) with coherent table settings. You can see here a general run-down picture of the general table settings. For a more comprehensive guidebook on how to properly set a table, this post by The Classy Woman is pretty good.
This kind of set-up is only applicable to dinner parties, but even with a self-serve setting, you can create a logical placement for every item available. You can put all the snacks and drinks together for instance. It’s a small step, but it shows that you put some thought into your classy party!
table setting chart

Lighting

light dinner
Lighting is a critical, but often overlooked part of any good party. This is probably one of the easiest ways to see a mood. There’s rarely any need to blast off all the lights at once. Even when people are hanging out, a couple of table lamps will suffice. When you want to create a more “serious” or classy mood, candles are usually the way to go. Dinner parties will only be improved when you switch off lights and let flames do the talking (why do you think candle light dinners are so romantic?).

Party favors

You may not be Oprah, but you can leave your guests with an amazing memory. No one is expecting free stuff at a party (besides, maybe, food and beverages). Everyone loves free stuff, so if you provide them with a gift bag, they’ll be both surprised and grateful.
It doesn’t need to be anything fancy, or even expensive. If you’re doing a themed party, or birthday, you can give out little tidbits that echo the theme. If you’re throwing a goodbye party, you can give out little souvenirs to remember you by. Be creative!
party favors

Centerpieces

centerpiece
Here’s another idea that may seem in concept crazy, but in execution doesn’t have to be that complex. Especially for dinner parties, having a centerpiece ties everything together, and adds a dynamic to the table. On top of being pretty, you can make one that is interactive or useful. In other words, they don’t need to be floral. Examples could include games, snacks, candles/lighting (see above), cute objects, or even photos.
In the case of centerpieces, simple is actually the best option.

Suit up!

As our beloved Barney loves to say, you can make any event classy by adding a suit to the occasion. In fact, you can make everyone wear a suit (or dress) and it will instantly bring your event to an entire new level. It might be fun to add this suit-twist to parties that do not particularly call for it. For examples, if you’re doing a random get-together or small birthday, you can ask your guests to arrive all dressed up. It adds some flair.
suit up barney

Fancy Solo Cups

fancy solo cups
You read that right. There are now super-fancy Solo cups.
Okay, I admit it, that last one is kind of a joke. But don’t discount it!
As Red Cup Living puts it: “it’s not just a cup. It’s a lifestyle.” Hell, they even trademarked the saying.
Among the “fancy cups,” you can discover: a 12-ounce cocktail cup (great for sub par appetizers), a coffee mug (for the secret alcoholic), 8 and 14-ounce wine cups, and margarita cups. Best of all, there’s also a 2-ounce “shooter cup” with a lanyard. You wouldn’t want to lose the little guy.
Although fairly pricey ($10 for a cocktail cup), they are apparently reusable and dishwasher safe. I’m sure you could do better at IKEA, but you would lose that “ironic hipster” vibe.

Hopefully by now, your party is the top of the crop. What are some ways you have found to “class up” your own events?

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