The Knack: How to throw a party

Throwing a party is the equivalent to putting your name up in lights on Broadway. So think of all the facets that make a party memorable to you and adopt them; set out to create the style of party you would just have to attend!

Always go for a theme and enforce it. The planning, borrowing and scheming of outfits can be as much fun as the party itself. After all the hard thinking and acquiring of the outfit, your guests are already madly excited before they even step through your party door. Our "White Trash" party invited guests to dress strictly in white. No one unsuitably attired was allowed in to spoil the illusion of a sea of white.

Get the guest list right. Send out witty and exciting invitations to all the most fabulous/eclectic/celebrity people you know. We view putting on a party as staging a show, it's theatre and your guests are the players, so ensure they are suited to their parts.

Music and lights are hugely important. The ambience created by lighting alone sets the mood, making you want to linger or leave. It's your party, so play the records that you love, that keep you dancing all night. Be ambitious, it doesn't have to cost the earth and often it's the small details that can steal the show.

So the invites are out, the glitterati are coming and you as the host are running headless. Don't expect to have a wild time yourself. Your job is to ensure everyone else is having a fabulous time and if you manage to have one too, then that's a bonus

Deborah Ramswell works for party organisers PUSHCA Productions (0171-734 7110)

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