There’s a lot of things to keep track of when planning a party. No matter what kind of party you’re throwing, from birthday to bachelorette parties, you must remember to protect your guests.
Even if you’re planning on totally boozing it up, non-alcoholic drinks are an absolute requirement. Designated drivers are going to appreciate it, and the option will encourage alcohol drinkers to moderate their alcohol consumption with other beverages. The selection can be as simple as water, or you can offer soda, coffee, tea, juice or other drink.
Just make sure no one is under the impression drinking these beverages will sober them up. If you’re drunk before that cup of coffee, you’ll be drunk after it. Hydration does, however, stave off things like hangovers.
Insist on “Invitation Only”
When you plan a party, the number of attendees is a major factor in your decision-making. That’s why you ask for RSVPs. But while a couple of unreserved friends showing up might not be a problem, them bringing their own friends quickly turns into a nightmare.
You invited people into your home because you like them and trust them. You didn’t put all this effort into an event to be saddled with strangers you don’t know, don’t like, or don’t trust.
If your friends are so sure their buddy would be a great fit, all they need to do is contact you ahead of time and ask. It’s not your fault if they couldn’t extend this basic courtesy. It’s an uncomfortable task, but give uninvited visitors the boot.
Have a Plan
You should have an idea how you’re going to respond to common situations. If a guest attempts to go home drunk, what do you do? Pay for a taxi? Have a friend drive? Offer a place to crash? What do you do if he refuses these options?
Call the Police
Sometimes, no matter how well you plan, things get out of control. If this is the case, call the police, and don’t feel guilty about it. If your guests are behaving so badly that you’re considering this option, they have gone well beyond violating your hospitality, and you don’t owe them a thing.
When possible, issue a warning. Either they leave, or the police are being called. Them promising to “settle down” is not good enough. If they’re that out of control, you need them out of your house.
A lot of responsible party planning involves keeping control of the situation. Set clear boundaries: where people can go, what they can do, and who is welcome. If your boundaries are violated, be polite but firm. Guests need to either honor your wishes or be unwelcome. Keeping control of your party will let everyone have a much more enjoyable evening.