No matter what type of celebration you’re planning, you want it to be great. But what actually makes a party great? Music? Food? Decor? Location? It’s debatable. But rather than just give you my opinion, I thought it might be fun to ask some of the industry’s most respected experts.  So, without further ado…


Author of Inspired Weddings: Designing Your Big Day with Favorite Objects and Family Treasures


A party is successful and “great” when the experience is effortless and seamless. As a designer I feel like I did my job and did it well when guests arrive and take in the overall ambiance and later the fabulous details. Magic happens when there is a singular, cohesive experience that carries someone from arrival to departure. That can be as simple as a great color palette, really elaborate floral arrangements or beautifully conceived floor plan but in the end the goal is the same. Guests should feel as if they are part of a gorgeous, artful and unique experience rather than obsessing over how many tulips or peonies were used or how many lounge vignettes are filling the space. I love when things feel perfectly executed and wonderfully effortless at the same time.

christian oth

There are so many factors that go into a great party – Many things need to be considered here, good food and drink, decor and perhaps something “special” that is either the party’s theme or the main event and of course, great music! I would say the latter is the most important element – a good band or DJ is a big must for the party to have a good vibe.


A great party has an unexpected element that brings a personalized touch to the party. For example when planning the menu design a course that is in honor of the host – something that reminds them of home/childhood or a special life occasion.


“Event planners & lighting!! Planners allow clients to full enjoy every moment of the day, instead of being bogged down by the details… and lighting is the key to bringing your beautifully created event space to life– both allow us to capture the energy & emotion of a GREAT event on film.”


Its a tough question. When guests are excited to be there for the host and the vendors all work together to in a flawless execution, it’s a great event.

Below, a few of my own ideas about what makes a party great.

Top 5 elements that make a party GREAT!

Number 5; Your waitstaff are ambassadors for your party. Do not skimp on the quality or number of staff, and add extra people for coat check and the bar. Don’t forget bathroom attendants.

Number 4;
Music makes the party. Period. Whether it’s a DJ or a band, pick a pro and don’t micromanage the song selection too much. They’ll get your guests on the dance floor if you let them.

Number 3: Everything in life is timing. Parties are no different. I’ve lost track of the amount of stories I’ve heard about guests eating dinner at 11 o’clock at night, or sitting at the table waiting for their food to arrive. A well planned flow, created with the consensus of all vendors involved, makes the day feel effortless.

Number 2: Your guest list is the foundation for your party. Surround yourself with people you love and people who love you. Don’t invite people out of obligation. They are usually the guests that don’t dance, complain the music is too loud and leave right after the cake.

Number 1; If you want to enjoy your own party, then be active participants. If you want your guests to dance, then get on the dance floor! If you want your guests to sit and eat, then sit down at your own table. Your guests will follow your example. And you will have more fun if you act like a guest, instead of worrying about the schedule and what is “supposed to happen” next. Leave that to the pros and just enjoy yourself.

What do you think makes a party great?

What makes a party great?