A party can only be as great as the guest list.  No matter how delicious the food or free-flowing the drinks, a gathering won’t be fun and memorable if the crowd doesn’t have the right energy. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when deciding who to invite to a party:

Make sure everybody knows somebody, but nobody knows everybody.  This is a bit of a cliche, but I find that it’s a valuable one. If every guest encounters at least one familiar face, it prevents things from being awkward, but when every guest is also meeting some new people for the first time, that keeps things exciting.

Invite singles and couples.  A party filled with married people can get dull fast, especially if the couples have been together for years. A mix of swinging singles, newly paired up couples and long-time married people is ideal.

Don’t invite all of your wallflowers at once.  We all have a few: Friends who are caring, funny, great conversationalists over a one-on-one lunch, but who clam up at large social gatherings. Of course you can’t exclude these friends from your parties, but try not to invite more than one of them to the same soireé, unless you have two shy single friends who you think might make a great couple. Then guide them both to the same corner and see if things get interesting!

Mix different worlds. Avoid inviting all lawyers, or all entertainment industry people, or all parents with children the same age as yours. While those gatherings of similar people can be easy and comfortable, they are rarely memorable. Mixing artists with business people with your favorite yoga instructor prevents been-there-done-that conversations, and if all of your guests are people who you like, then they’ll have more in common than you might think.




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