By Bailey Swilley

Published on October 27, 2015

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Photography by a beautiful mess

by Bailey Swilley

Limit your guest list

If it’s ladies night, let the girls know that no plus ones are allowed. If you want to do a couples night, make it just a few couples. Being “exclusive” is sometimes necessary in the name of a tiny apartment! 

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Assign what you want people to bring

Decide early on if you want your friends to bring food/snacks or games and if you don’t, be sure to let them know to just bring themselves in order to avoid unwanted stuff taking up space.

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Have a two game max

Don’t overwhelm yourself or your guests with a multitude of options. Pick games based on your friends’ personalities and play one or two until you guys get tired of it.

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Stick to non-sticky foods

Have snacks like pretzels, cheese and crackers, and crudités. Skip brownies, wings, chips, and anything that requires finger-licking or wet napkins. Extra stuff, extra mess. No thanks! 

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Skip the stand-up/sit down games

Skip Twister, Pictionary, and Charades and opt for board or card games like Cards Against Humanity so everyone can stay seated in one place. Trivia games also work well.

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Serve wine/beer only or have a signature cocktail

Don’t let the drink situation get out of control and keep it from being the focus of the night. In fact, discourage BYOB but make sure you provide libations your crowd will like.

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Have a seating plan. Seriously.

Before everyone comes over, have a clear idea of where you want your guests to sit. This might require some creativity. Now’s the time to bust out poufs for the floor and put breakables and large, unused items into a closet or bedroom.

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Have your designated areas prepped

As soon as guests arrive, let them know exactly where to put their coats and bags and where you want them to congregate for the game. This way, you won’t be shuffling everyone out of your kitchen all night in order to get the games going.

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Have dessert

Once the game energy has died down, have something prepared for your guests to do so they don’t feel like they have to bounce immediately. Bite-size treats are perfect for this – mini cakes or cookies anyone?

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Photography by martha stewart living

Don’t stress!

This isn’t the time to be competitive. Have fun, take it easy, and play!