In one of my all-time favorite movies, “Ten Things I Hate About You,” some characters advertise a party by printing off a multitude of flyers and throwing them down a staircase at their high school.
While this provides for a pretty cool visual effect, it’s probably not how you would have advertised for a party, even in the 90s. But the days of stuffy formal invitations or simple word of mouth are gone. Parties, like everything else, have gone digital.
Anyone who has a Facebook page can create an event page, and then invite their friends to it. You can set different privacy settings (for example, should your friends be allowed to invite their friends?).
Facebook events are a good way to advertise your party to the people you want and add photos, directions, what you need folks to bring, and so forth.
Twitter has claimed the symbol-formerly-known-as-the-pound-sign and dubbed it the “hashtag.” This creates a continuity when you Tweet and allows other Twitter-ers to connect with one another.
So Tweet about your party, but add the correct identifier in the tweet *(#dads50thbirthdaybash, #smithjonesreception, or whatever).
Now that we’ve covered advertising, it’s time to start preparing for the party. If you’re going to order food or drinks (kegs, anyone?), try ordering online. It can save you money and you could even bring in more interesting items that will create intrigue and interest in the party.
You’ve got to decorate for this party, so head over to Pinterest for party ideas. Guys, don’t be afraid of this crafty site. There are all sorts of manly projects on Pinterest that can help make you party even more awesome — like building an entire football stadium out of meat and cheese!
Or how about a “Macho Nacho Bar”? I’m not saying you have to do this if it’s not your style, but getting some new and fresh ideas for a party can be fun. This is also a great site for parents planning a kids party, especially if they have limited funds.
Upgrade your booze
Now, grown-ups, take a lesson here. Oprah says if you’re throwing a party, provide a “signature drink,” and let others bring beer and wine. Why? This saves you money.
You can buy all the ingredients in bulk and keep the drinks flowing. It also makes you look sophisticated. If you’re more of a wine person, upgrade the bottles by having decanters or aerators on hand. This makes the wine look and taste better.
But I’m just saying: pomegranate martinis are a definite winner, and make you feel like you’re partying with Ms. Winfrey herself. If that’s not your flavor, look up specialty cocktails and see if you can order the components online.
Now, this one’s going to be for fancier get-togethers. Some people like to have special events catered, but how do you know if the caterer is any good? Take to the web, of course.
There are lots of sites that provide reviews, but it’s also important to look at the company’s website. If it’s outdated and hard to navigate, or doesn’t give clear pricing, I’d stay away from it.
Also, look up what you want on the catering menu. Make sure it matches nicely with the drinks you’ll be serving and there are options for people who have special dietary needs. You know your friends: if you know a lot of vegetarians or people who’ve sworn off red meat, filet mignon is probably not the way to go. Having guests post dietary restrictions on the Facebook event page is a good idea.