How to HOST a fun MEMORABLE party – 6 key things to have

It’s party season for us because the weather is getting good! And of course the holidays too! I’m sharing how to host a memorable fun party and the key things I now have for every party I host!

  1. A fun theme
  2. Encouraged attire/costume party
  3. An activity 
  4. Florals
  5. Music
  6. Party Favors

Now let me elaborate!


A good theme helps with planning your decor, outfit, and gives guests some excitement on what to expect!

It doesn’t have to necessarily be over the top, but little touches. I’ll give examples with links to the party and you can see the way I added touches to make the theme shine:

These are just some examples of how the theme can make it special! I don’t know if every party needs a theme like maybe a baby shower or bridal shower do not, and holiday parties are definitely shine on their own!


I like to make it clear what attire I’m requesting from my guests. I once said “Holiday festive” and some friends came cozy because my other parties with a similar theme were casual and some came dressed up, and the ones who showed up cozy felt out of place and I felt bad so I now know to communicate clearly, “Dressy festive attire encouraged!” Of course I didn’t care what they came in wearing because I wasn’t clear.

Your guests would love direction on what to wear and you can use the word “encouraged” so it doesn’t sound so bossy!

princess Diana iconic costume outfit ideas - birthday party princess Diana red sheep sweater look -- see this Princess Diana iconic costume party red sheep sweater

An Activity

Most parties revolve around an activity, like a baby, bridal shower or an ornament swap.

When it came to having a garden party, I had a citrus quiz (because it was a citrus theme). When it was my 40th backyard soiree, I hired a silhouette artist to cut every guest’s profile!

For my Midnight Sun Twilight costume party, I set up an area for taking photos with a ring light for good pics, and a polaroid so they could print out their image, put it on a premade bookmark and use it as they read Midnight Sun!

If your budget allows, go for some prizes! I award one for best dressed (it’s a vote) or best dish, and a prize for the quiz winner! It’s always fun to spoil my guests and I enjoy shopping for fun prizes for them!


Don’t overlook florals, and you can spend $50+ at Trader Joe’s and come up with some great arrangements. You can probably also go into your backyard or ask a neighbor or friend if you can cut some branches, or bushes for the fill.

If you use a lot of bud vases with small arrangements they will look great! 

I suggest a stunning centerpiece by the food. You could also do what I did, which was use fancy candles (MacKenzie-Childs and cut citrus for the table decor).


A playlist is a must. I usually use the Anthropologie playlist on Spotify for dinner parties and Easter. 

My friend Lauren makes great playlists she shares for different seasons and parties, so you can check out her account here and browse her playlists! 


We used to get little party favors when we were kids, why not for fun parties?

If there’s a theme, it’s easy to decide on the party favor! For my citrus garden party, I found citrus scented hand soaps. 

For my birthday soiree, the activity was the party favor, the silhouettes!

I have a fun one for my 42nd birthday party coming up, I can’t wait to share that so you’ll have to come back to the blog to find out what it is!

At my Princess Diana party I gave out cookies in the shape of sheep to compliment my outfit, my Princess Diana sweater!

princess Diana iconic costume outfit ideas - birthday party princess Diana red sheep sweater look -- see this Princess Diana iconic costume party

Looking at the above photo still cracks me up because I’m like was that really me? In a wig haha!!

To check out more of my parties and inspiration, please visit this tag: entertaining and there’s also holiday entertaining



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Diana Elizabeth Steffen setting the table for her annual garden party


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Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive thrift shopper. You can typically find her in the garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next creative themed party. She continues to blog weekly.


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