Pat Sukhum celebrated his life with a „Jobless, Weddingless, Babyless Shower.‰ He invited 225 people and registered for gifts on a Target registry for things single guys need like cereal, deodorant and T-shirts (and an admittedly indulgent $5,000, 61-inch flat-screen TV).

The event was just one in a string of parties he and a group of friends have planned together the past several years. If you‚re planning a gathering of your own ˆ maybe to celebrate a job or wedding ˆ consider these party-perfect suggestions from Sukhum:

Get a group of people involved in the planning and setting up. „Our group really enjoys setting up the stuff together, and that‚s part of the fun,‰ he says. „And when we‚re together, one great idea leads to another.‰

Always have a theme ˆ and have fun with the ideas. Sukhum has helped host a New Year‚s party with a wedding crashers theme (attendees wore bridesmaid‚s gowns, garters and tuxedos) and a „Nerd Alert‰ party based on the cult film Napoleon Dynamite.

Have something fun to give out as a souvenir that relates to the theme. Sukhum gave ring lollipop-pacifiers at his „Jobless, Weddingless, Babyless Shower.‰

For large parties that include snacks and drinks, consider collecting $10 or some other nominal amount at the door. In Sukhum‚s circle of friends, the cover charge means the party planners will be reimbursed for buying the food and drinks. Leftover liquor, soda and other nonperishable items from one party are saved to use at future parties. Sukhum and his friends usually shop at Costco for bulk purchases.

Make music a key element. Sukhum and his friends like to set up an electronic keyboard for any musicians who want to play their own music. One of Sukhum‚s friends selects the rest of the music, with an eye toward „mixing it up‰ so there‚s enough variety to appeal to all guests.

Dance the night away in any style. Sukhum likes to dance to music from the 1980s but has taken classes in ballroom dancing. Some of his friends are great at break-dancing, and others enjoy swing.

Designate a „quiet area,‰ a place where people can readily talk and mellow out, along with an „active‰ room where the dancing happens.

Don‚t stress out too much during the party because „no matter what, it‚ll turn out,‰ Sukhum says. That goes for before the party, too. Focus on the fun involved.