The 9 Essential Elements of a Great Party

Katie Sweeney

Hannah Thomson for Vogue

I recently went to an extravagant party in honor of the Super Bowl. Ex–football player Joe Montana was there, and so was former Tonight Show host Jay Leno. Many of San Francisco’s top chefs and best bartenders served up scrumptious bites and cool cocktails. A replica of the Golden Gate Bridge stood tall in the main hall, and live seals swam in a tank, greeting partygoers with wet kisses as they walked into the grand event. There was so much hype around this party that I assumed it would be the best one of my life—and yet it wasn’t. Since then, I haven’t been able to stop wondering: What makes a party great? I’ve narrowed it down to nine essential elements. Without these things, a party can be good, but it won’t have your guests waking up the next day thinking, That party was unbelievable! To ensure your guests can’t stop talking about your sensational event even weeks after the last bottle of bubbly was popped, these are the nine crucial components of any smash-hit party.

What elements do you think a successful party needs?

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