Whether you have decided to host a New Year's Eve party the day of, or a bridal shower the weekend before, last minute shindigs can be so much fun.
Theme nights keep a party focused.
80s Brat Pack movies. Kids' board game tournament. Academy Awards bash. Super Bowl Sunday. These parties pretty much plan themselves. If you want to have guests over last minute, finding a theme can be a way to simplify decision making. Serve refreshments and find basic decor that fits your theme.
Keep universal party supplies on hand.
You really don't need much for an impromptu gathering. Extra oversized pillows can convert into casual seating on the floor. A few quality playlists can make sure your background music in on-point. A stack of crowd-pleasing movies and games can stand guard against boredom and conversation lulls.
Food stations are your best friend.
The easiest way to save time in the kitchen is to create food stations rather than make an assortment of dishes yourself. Pizzas, tacos, salads, baked potatoes, and pastas are all simple and affordable options. If you are hosting a brunch you can use this same principle with pancakes, yogurt parfaits, or scrambles.
Apply the same logic to DIY projects.
Especially if you are hosting just the ladies, DIY crafts and projects can be a really enjoyable activity. Again, gathering supplies is similar to the food stations--a lower amount of preparation time because guests participate in the assembly. For budget friendly DIY ideas, search for projects that require a low amount of different supplies. And because a party often includes varying DIY proficiencies, make sure to keep the crafts easy so that people can be social. This sequined monogram above is basic enough that anyone can do it!
Don't be sloppy with the guest list.
It's tempting to just go through your contacts and randomly text people when you are throwing a party later that night. But make sure you aren't inviting a bunch of drama queens that won't get along. Your guests don't have to all know each other (in fact, it's often a more interesting party if they don't), but when it comes to a spontaneous gathering, you definitely want to make sure to have guests that are adaptable and entertaining.