Sunday of L.A. Pride weekend is a day to celebrate, and as an event producer, I can tell you that throwing a successful Pride house party is actually quite simple. Here are my suggestions for a guaranteed fantastic time.
The Gang’s All Here
The most important aspect of any celebration is to gather a great group of people. Family and friends are the key ingredient for creating a great celebratory atmosphere, so start the planning process with an Evite or Paperless Post invitation. Spread the word and let everyone know that this year Pride will start with a brunch at your place followed by a trip to the Boulevard and to the festival.
Decide upfront what kind of party you want to have—a big blowout or an intimate brunch, and invite accordingly. Also, encourage your friends to invite someone new, as this is a perfect time to get your flirt on and meet someone in person rather than on the computer or within 1,225 feet of where you are standing.
Make Your List, Check It Twice
As a great host, make sure you’ve done all the prep work before your guests arrive, so you can focus on them. Keep a master list of all that needs to be done, and get it done ahead of schedule so that your party runs smoothly. Do not try to shop, prep food, clean your place and have everyone over on the same day! Plan ahead, choose recipes you can make in advance, keep things simple and have fun!
Eat, Drink and Be Mary
Great parties always include great food and drink, so keep that in mind while planning your menu. I suggest starting early on Pride Sunday—throw a brunch and create a menu that both fills your guests up and also absorbs any alcoholic beverages that may be consumed. Create a couple specialty drinks, serve mimosas or some sort of spiked Pride Punch with ice cubes in rainbow colors—or create a signature drink with a fun name like the Swagger-Tini or a Gaytorade Cocktail. Encourage your guests to move around and get to know each other. Place the bar at one side of the party space, the food at another and provide plenty of space in between to mingle.
It’s A Group Effort
Learn to delegate and ask for help. There’s nothing wrong with asking your guests to help you throw the party. As host, you can provide the venue and make the party more of a potluck-type event. Hosting a party is a lot of work, so send out an email with various items—like dessert, chips and dip or alcohol—and assign to your friends the task of contributing.
My friend Brit’s contribution to the annual Pride Party is a quick stop at 7-Eleven for empty Big Gulp cups, complete with lids and straws, for the perfect to-go cup for the parade. His donation ensures that the party continues and that everyone remains
Party-Proof Your Home
Make sure all breakable items are stored somewhere safe—the fine china and costume jewelry should be locked up to avoid being broken, lost or stolen. Use your inner interior designer skills to rearrange your furniture for maximum mingling, flirting and cruising. A lot of people party-hop on Pride, and your guests will come and go, so plan for plenty of seating and standing while creating an intimate feel.
Hey, Mr. DJ, Put a Record On
Play music that fits the mood! Music is very important for setting a mood, so for Pride, create a playlist including songs that make you want to throw your high heels on and get down, or maybe something from your P-Town playlist that gets your guests in the mood and ready to wave a flag. Madonna, Beyonce, a little Katy Perry and Britney seem to do the trick on this special day of shirtless dancing and 15-minute remixes!
Host/ess with the Mostest
Be a great host to your guests by making sure everyone is happy and entertained. Introduce those guests who may not know each other, especially if they tend to be shy. Encourage conversation when introducing your friends by offering commonalities and just have fun. And don’t forget—this is Pride! It’s a day to celebrate, so be sure to have a fabulous time!
Brian Worley—wedding expert, reality TV host, co-owner of YourBASH! Event Production and designer of over 100 unique entertainment industry events—has over 12 years of creative event experience. Brian’s extensive background in event production, in combination with his unique sense of design, has led him to create some of the industry’s most innovative events. For more event tips and tricks, visit Brian’s blog at brianworley.wordpress.com and Brian’s website, brianworley.com.