Spotlight Events founder Paige Petriw shares her top tips for a standout soiree.

1. Plan for Baggage 

“Condos often don’t have an entryway closet,” says Spotlight Events founder Paige Petriw, “or they have a really small one.” If your closet space is minimal, plan to use the den or bedroom to stow guests’ coats, bags and shoes.

2. Consider Catering

“Catering doesn’t mean you need to have a chef in the kitchen and servers circulating your condo,” Petriw explains. For more casual soirees, ordering pre-made platters of food will keep you out of the kitchen come party time.

3. The Spread 

“People will hover around the food—it’s just kind of natural,” Petriw says. Distributing platters on the coffee table, sideboard and kitchen counter will maximize space and encourage guests to spread out and mingle.

4. Dim the Lights 

Turn off all overhead lighting in favour of more atmospheric lamps and candles. Petriw’s one exception? “If it’s a really nice fixture, like a chandelier, just dim it down.”

5. Avoid Empty Glasses 

Petriw suggests setting out punch bowls and bottles of wine so that guests can help themselves to another drink. “You don’t want someone to sit there with an empty glass feeling awkward,” she says, and some guests will be uncomfortable asking you to serve them.

6. Make Some Noise 

For Petriw, a party isn’t complete without background music. “But err on the lower side for volume,” she advises. “It’s surprising how loud it gets once you have a whole bunch of conversations in the room. You don’t want people to have to yell over your music.”

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