Simple Tips on Hosting a Party for 50 People

by jessicaturner on March 25, 2014

simple tips on hosting a party for 50 peopleThis post was sponsored by Aladdin. All ideas and party planning tips are my own.

Something I never thought would happen actually happened.

Matthew and I both were writing books in the same year.

His was due first, and mine was due 6 months later. Needless to say, life has been a little crazy for the past 12-months and we have not seen our friends as much as we would like.

how to throw a simple party for 50 peopleSo when Aladdin contacted me about sending me some new products to use as the catalyst for a party, I was in. Just because was good enough, but because I love a theme, I decided that “Our Books are Done” was super appropriate. (Technically, I actually still have edits to do on my book, but the manuscript being turned in and Matthew’s book being done seemed good enough to me!)

how to throw a simple party for 50 people

I invited about 20 of our closest friends + their kids. In all we had close to 50 people over on Saturday and it was  incredibly wonderful.

With my dad being here last weekend and then working all week, I knew the party couldn’t be elaborate. Here my tips for keeping things simple, while still throwing a great party.

How to throw a simple party for 50 people
Don’t overdo it on the food:
Our menu was simple: Meatball and BBQ chicken sliders, a green salad, macaroni and cheese, fruit and chips + cake balls, chocolate cupcakes and strawberry cupcakes for dessert. I kept things low-stress by doing the following:

  • Prepped food ahead of time: I made all the desserts (cake balls and cupcakes) the week before the party, then froze them. I also cut the fruit on Friday. This made things much easier on Saturday.
  • Bought premade food: We bought the meatballs from Sam’s to make meatball sandwiches (I used a half bag). This made the main course SO easy. I also bought bagged romaine lettuce to make the salad easy to assemble (one bag). Chips are an easy option too!

how to throw a simple party for 50 people

  • Used the crockpot: I used the crockpot to make this yummy BBQ chicken (I made 5 times the recipe)

how to throw a simple party for 50 peopleAlso, be sure to label all the food. It make it really easy for people to decide what they want, plus it looks adorable. I love DaySpring’s new Daily Grace Collection line for entertaining because of the chalkboard elements.

how to throw a simple party for 50 people
Offer lots to drink:
Drinks are an important part of a big party, so be sure to have plenty on hand.

    • Use dispenser and pitchers to offer a variety of drinks:  We had sweet tea in a big Aladdin dispenser – sweet tea and mason jars go hand in hand in the south! Two gallons was perfect. Since I’m a northern girl, I don’t drink sweet tea, so we also did raspberry lemonade punch (raspberry lemonade + sprite + raspberry sherbert).  We also had flavored water in smaller Aladdin pitchers.

how to throw a simple party for 50 people

  • Label glasses: When you have so many people over, it is important to have a way to label glasses. Everyone received their own Aladdin mason jar to drink out of at the party – and they were such a hit! We had masking tape and sharpies for everyone to write their names on their cups.
  • Create a separate drink station: It is nice when you can separate the food from the drinks so that you don’t get a bottleneck of people. We had drinks in the kitchen and food in our dining room.

how to throw a simple party for 50 people
Keep Decorations Simple:
When you have a lot of people, you don’t need a lot of decorations – just a few focal points really make your party pop! (I’ve got a separate post about the decorations coming soon.) Since it was a book-themed party, I got a few free old books at our used bookstore and went to town cutting them apart. I made chains, buntings and more. All of it was very simple and came together  quickly over the course of a few nights.

how to throw a simple party for 50 people

  • For our party, I used an Aladdin glass dispenser for my food table centerpiece, along with a few old books with the pages folded. I also made a runner using a bunch of pages.
  • A photo spot is an easy thing to create and people always enjoy them! I have one at every party I throw. For this party, I taped a bunch of book pages to a big board and then leaned it against a wall to make a simple and fun photo spot on our deck. It was a fun spot to take memorable pictures from the party.

How to throw a simple party for 50 people

The party was a huge success. We had so much fun with our friends, the kids had a blast and everyone LOVED their Aladdin mason jars.

I hope this encourages you that a lot of people can still mean a simple and fun party. :)

For more party inspiration, check out my other party posts on Pinterest.

Do you throw big parties? If so, what tips do you have for keeping things simple?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Trina - Baby Shopaholic March 25, 2014 at 8:44 am

Your party looks fabulous! Great tips! I will be hosting my Aladdin party this weekend.


Diana Trautwein March 25, 2014 at 7:40 pm

Great ideas! Love checking in here once in a while and remembering when I used to entertain a lot. (But of course, when I had small kids, I didn’t also manage a full-time job and a hugely popular blog. You’re a genius, my dear!) LOVE the mason jars and the blackboard signs – so your lovely post is selling things, too! The large parties I do now, I usually cater — different life stage/different energy level/different financial capabilities – but I’m always looking for ideas about menu/decor/sources. Thanks for all of this!


jessicaturner March 26, 2014 at 5:27 am

Ah, catering! I am sure someday I will do the same. Right now, I like the menu planning and all the cooking that goes with it. :) Thank you for all your kind words.


Nicole Feliciano April 14, 2014 at 12:07 pm

So much to love, but the book centerpieces are my favorite detail.


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