The dinner party. The get-together. A gathering. It could be argued that having a good time has been around since the first human ancestors created crude tools. Even 2.5 million years ago, we can assume there were groups of people socializing and indulging late into the night. Fast forward to now where technology dominates and casts a shadow on not living in the present. That should be the goal. Be present. Be kind. Have fun.

Of course, what we present here isn’t the only way to host a good time. We just want to pass along some fine ways and essentials to throw a party. Let’s open that door, shall we?

First things first, time of day is everything. Golden hour is our preferred time as it's that part of the day where the sun begins to set and makes for some golden moments. Not only does the idyllic hue of dusk spark the turndown of the day, it creates a relaxed state of mind. A sunset, however you dice it up it seems kitschy, yet it’s one of nature’s finest creations — enjoy it with friends.

Next, we like to kick things off with drinks upon arrival. Either have it ready to go as they pass through the entryway or have a concoction awaiting within the kitchen. It says to your guests, I’ve been waiting for you and I’m happy you’re here.

The mood is set by the music. Put on something that’s sung in a foriegn language and keep it at a listenable volume. This allows your guests to hang out without being distracted by the music. The vibe of the room remains meditative to the atmosphere and doesn’t drive the party. Need a little assistance in the music department? Try out one of our Discos de Dandy playlists since we did the work for you.

The kitchen. Let’s face it, this is where the party usually gravitates. It’s where the drinks flow and the food is made, so plan the kitchen accordingly. Create an open bar vibe with your favorite liquor, mixers, fruit, and accessories. Everyone likes to pretend to be a bartender. Make the bar be an open invitation to show off the talents of cocktail auteurs or amateurs. Friends always have a cocktail recipe in their back pocket, it might be a new one for others.

The feng shui of the kitchen for the party should be open. Since kitchens are usually closed off, do your best to create an uncluttered area. Lay out the appetizers for all to enjoy on the kitchen countertop or nearby table. Pull out some recipes, (from an old cookbook, not your phone) that are easy to handle as a guest and cook. The reason for the cookbook approach, it can be a good conversation piece, plus it could harken some nostalgia for the senses.

Next, the cast of characters to invite. In a group of friends, everyone has their strengths. Make sure a good storyteller is invited. They will capture the group with stories travels and good endings that spur more conversation. The wild card friend is a must. This is the person that you never know what they came with or where they will take you. Suddenly, he or she has the entire group blasting fireworks off into the sky or getting everyone to join them in the pool.

The backyard. At some point, your guests will be looking to get some fresh air outside. Create an atmosphere with music and subtle lighting. If a pool is in the house, turn those pool lights on. Have some chairs readied for group chats and side tables for drinks. Pass on the tiki torches and go with something that shows you care about the nighttime vibe even when there’s no party. We prefer string lights, or something as simple as candles.

Drinks have been drunk. Good conversations have been had. Smiles and laughs all around. But, there could be more. For the end of the night, have a place to go if that’s where the night is headed. Maybe it’s the local watering hole within walking distance, or somewhere to catch some live music and dance. Having an after-party plan is still part of your party.

Hosting is what you make of it. Simple ingredients create memorable experiences. If the makings are just right, then the memories will remain and friends will always come back for the next one.


Christopher Balogh’s work has appeared in The Atlantic, VICE, Sport Fishing, and other outlets.
 chrisbaloghfoto.com | @chrisbaloghfoto

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.