Put on a party that people will still be talking about next year – know who to invite, what to serve and play the perfect tunes.
Craft an A-list
Choose a mix of couples, singles and people of varying professions. Don’t be afraid of mixing your social circles: your wackiest school mate may just hit it off with a former colleague – this will keep conversation light and prevent talk from sinking into inside jokes and nostalgia. Avoid conversation topics such as religion and politics – if you are still suffering from awkward silences, bring some fun board games into the mix. They’ll help break the ice, or make sure to invite an entertaining friend who can lighten the mood and add some laughter.
Stuff their faces
A good ol’ fashioned South African braai is the cornerstone of all great parties, backyard or otherwise. Make sure that you have enough bread rolls, snacks and salads for your guests to enjoy. Then, when people inevitably ask, “What can I bring?” tell them you have catered for the basics, and it would be great if they could bring some meat. That way you would have balanced the buffet and your guests will know they’ve contributed. Apply the same concept to the bar: make a big-batch cocktail like sangria or margaritas for the girls, and ask the guys to bring some beer.
Perfect the Playlist
The perfect playlist consists of a few songs that your friends may know to pique their interest. This should be counterpointed by the latest, most cracking tunes you have in your secret music stash. This will keep them grooving, show them how insanely cool you are (make sure to drop lines like: “Oh, yes the Festival Bootleg Remix is way more jacking than the Origina Mix”) and kick them into sixth gear without them even realising it. If that doesn’t work bring out the tequila, get new friends or both.
• Waldeck – “Make My Day”
• Bonobo – “Days To Come”
• Noze – “Danse Avec Moi”
• Mr Scruff – “Get A Move On”
• Parov Stelar – “Jimmy’s Gang”
• James Copeland – “King of the Swingers”
• Goldfish – “Washing Over Me”
• Bassfort – “Dixtrit”
• Pupkulies & Rebecca – “Burning Boats (Masomenos Remix)”
•The Do – “Too Insistent (Trentemøller remix)”
• Télépopmusik – “Breathe”
*tips from Monique Goosen, account director at The Unusuals, Events Management Company, and song picks from dance music duo, Goldfish