How to Throw a Successful Lunch Party

Lunch parties are a less expensive alternative to a dinner party, and an overlooked idea whenever people are thinking about hosting a festive event. Lunch parties are more casual, and can be easier to arrange because it won't compete with guests' evening plans. Host a lunch party for the holidays, as a company event, or just for fun.

Choose a theme for your lunch party. Pick a theme that you can have fun with, such as a beach-themed party.

Send out invitations at least four to six weeks before the lunch party, which will give guests plenty of time to plan ahead for your event. Choose colorful invitations, create fliers, send out an email or verbally invite everyone by phone. Regardless of whether the lunch party is for co-workers, friends or family members, it's essential that you ask guests to RSVP so that you know how many people will be attending.

Set a budget for the lunch party once you know how many people will be attending. To throw a successful lunch party, you'll need to provide guests with a variety of tasty food options without putting yourself into a financial bind.

Prepare a menu that features food appropriate for lunch, such as sandwiches, salads, vegetables and appetizers. It is also important to have a variety of foods available to ensure that you can accommodate everyone's diets and food preferences.

Select appropriate beverages for your lunch party. Water, iced tea and soda are fine choices. Decide whether to serve alcohol. If you are on a tight budget, you may elect to not serve alcohol, which can be costly. Additionally, if you are hosting a lunch party at work, serving alcohol may not be appropriate. If you do choose to serve alcohol, keep them light and refreshing, and avoid hard liquors and dark wines, which are typically more potent.

Purchase decorations that accent your theme. For example, if you are throwing a beach-themed party, serve beverages in sand pails filled with ice, or fill vases with seashells to use as table centerpieces.

Prepare the food, which can be done the night before or the morning of the event. If you do not have time to prepare food, schedule a catering service a week before the party, and ask them to deliver the food at least a half-hour before the start time of your event. Since you will have a variety of foods, arrange the plates on the table buffet-style.

Entertain your guests. It is not necessary to have a disc jockey at your lunch party, but do liven the mood by playing music for your guests. Set up a table for card or board games so that guests can sit down and enjoy their lunch over a game. If you are holding a picnic lunch party, choose outdoor games that will encourage guests to socialize.