As seasoned celebration enthusiasts, we know that planning a party is no easy feat. There are meals to cook, guests to entertain and a seemingly endless to-do list! Not to mention the ridiculous amounts of cleaning, organising and planning that goes with it all. After putting the effort into organising a party, you want to be able to enjoy it—after all, parties are supposed to be fun! And there’s nothing worse than a stressed-out host to put guests on edge.

While playing the party host can be an overwhelming experience, there are ways to reduce your stress-levels and make for an easy-breezy event. We’ve put together some tips below to help you chill out and enjoy the experience. Now, here’s to your next party, sans the stress!

1. Stick to your favourite recipes This isn’t a time to try out the super-complicated recipe you’ve lusted over, but never tried before. Stick to the old favourites that you’re comfortable cooking.RC_BridalShower_MonikasBridalShower_51 Monika’s Bridal Shower | Photography by Angela Rose, Butterfly Bones Photography

2. Do as much as possible before the event

This one’s simple—the more you do in the lead up to your event, the less you have to worry about on the day! Set the table and dress the space during the week prior to your party, so you’ll have more time up your sleeve on the day of your do.RC_Shower_JessicasKitchenTea_08 Jessica’s Kitchen Tea | Photography by G6K Photography

3. Ask your guests to bring a plate

Eliminate a huge layer of stress by simply asking your guests to contribute food or drinks. You can trust they’ll enjoy the food they bring along, and they can even cater to their own dietary-requirements. Talk about a double-win!RC_Birthday_Elis1stBirthday_05 Elis First Birthday | Photography by James Billing Photography

4. Let your guests serve themselves

Set up a bar for your guests to use, so you don’t have to play bartender all night. Letting your partygoers make their own drinks and serve their own food will free you up to mingle and enjoy the event.View More: Ashleigh’s Kitchen Tea | Photography by Samantha Macabulos

5. Use vendors

Bring in the professionals! Party planners, caterers, photographers and stylists can take responsibility for different aspects of your event, leaving you with less to worry about.RC_Party_SharonsBridesmaidsProposalParty_23 Sharon’s Bridesmaid Proposal Party | Photography by KADphotography 

6. Keep the kids entertained

If you have young children attending, set up activities to keep the kids busy. Kids games and activities, or even just having a lounge area for the little ones will keep them occupied and out of your hair.RC_Birthday_Lyndall's60thGardenParty_41 Lyndall’s 60th Garden Party | Photography by Ducky Professional Photography 

7. Just go with it

Unexpected drop in guests? No problems. Your cake didn’t quite work out? Don’t sweat it. Your guests won’t expect perfection—if something goes wrong, just laugh it off!RC_Party_GlitzYearsEve_17 A Glitzy New Year’s Eve Party | Photography by Kristina Lee Photography

8. Relax and enjoy!

Set aside some time for yourself to wind-down before the party starts. Relax and recharge your batteries so by the time your guests arrive, you’re ready to have fun!RC_BabyShower_AlexisBabyShower_08 Alexis’ Baby Shower  | Photography by Alana Landsberry