Decide on the number of people you want to invite. Then consider the linger vs. mingle factor. A small number of people in your home and/or attending your party has a different impact that a large number. This may seem obvious but when you look around your dwelling consider how many will fit and where. A small number of people will allow your home to have more room for everyone to sit down. This would be appropriate for a dinner event where you can comfortable sit around a table and eat and linger.
A large number of people impacts you differently. Guest numbering more than 12 typically means they can’t gather around a table comfortably. A larger party works better for buffet style dining where people are for the most part standing. This will equate with standing and mingling.
Consider who will be included in those numbers too. If you plan to have two couples over for dinner, do you want to pair two who don’t know each other? If so, you need to ask yourself if they are likely to enjoy each other’s company. What about couples who are long time friends? Will they ensure a stress free fun time? These are just a few thing to ponder before the invites go out.
A large group of friends who know each other well and whom you can rely on to help with a few details makes a bigger party much easier. If you host a large group where you don’t know most of them very well you won’t be sure what to expect. You’ll be unsure how they might (or might not) assist you by bringing an appetizer or bottle of wine. If they’ve never been to your home you won’t know if they are comfortable in a kitchen or if you were to request them to put some ice in the ice bucket whether they’d just at the chance to be of assistance or if they would balk that you even requested it.
If a party is a fun, lively, happening party to you whether the crowd is big or small, helpful or not, predictable or unknown, then you have nothing to worry about. You are going to go with the flow. Being breezy and unpredictable is no big deal to you. If, however, you are the type who is more structured and scheduled or is concerned that a guest might over indulge and behave like a slob then don’t go the more “unknown route”. If it’s going to put you in a dither, then prepare a bit. That’s why you want to ask yourself these questions.
Food is the next step in throwing a party but requires an article all its own. So before you even broach the question of food, make sure to consider who will attend and what they might (or might not) expect.