Have you ever wanted to host an extravagant party with a long guest list, only to realize that you live in a studio apartment in a bustling city? Fear not! Busy cities have no shortage of restaurants, bars, and other places where you can host elaborate festivities. Whether you are throwing a bachelorette party or high tea celebrating your mother’s retirement, you’ll be able to find the perfect location to host a terrific get together. Here’s how:

Plan Early

Start your party planning weeks before the date. Since you aren’t hosting at home, there may be a few more details that you need to iron out. Visualize the party you are trying to throw. What type of party will it be? Is it a five-course meal in the private room of a restaurant? Cocktail-style with room for dancing? Once you’ve determined a date and time, figure out the theme that you’d like to pull off and plan the details around that.

Visit the Venue

After you’ve got the outline down, do some research and come up with a list of possible restaurants and venues to hold the event. If you’d like it to be a private affair, look up restaurants with private rooms. If you’re looking to hold a more casual event, look for venues with big, communal tables. After you’ve got a list of possibilities, go pay them a visit. Try to replicate the conditions as much as possible. If you’re scouting for Sunday afternoon tea, visit the venue on a Sunday afternoon. You’ll get a much better idea of the place. Weigh the pros and cons of different locations and settle on one location.

Go Over the Details

Meet with the manager of the establishment on a business day to go over the details of your party. Check if they are okay with you bringing food in from elsewhere (cake, for example) and decorating the space in advance. They may be okay with you stringing a banner somewhere, but not with setting candles down the table, so make sure you have a back up plan. Let the manager know the amount of people you expect to show up, so they can ensure enough manpower.

Make Invitations Clear

Don’t beat around the bush when it comes to the invitations. If you’re aiming for a group dinner where everyone pays for their portion, casually invite them to come along rather than sending out a formal invitation so nobody shows up claiming they’ve been mislead. If you are hosting the party and paying for the guests, go ahead and send out those formal invitation cards.

Personalize It

Design a Custom Menu

If your event is a sit-down dinner in a restaurant, meet with the chef to ask if they can either design a custom menu for you or curate their existing menu to just a few choices. You could have appetizers served for everyone, then have guests choose their salad/soup and entree from two or three options. Finally, serve dessert. This way, the kitchen staff won’t have to be prepared for every single menu item and your guests will still get to choose what they feel like eating. If you’d like to class up the event a bit, print menus out on cardstock paper if the restaurant isn’t doing it for you.

Decorate the Venue

If you’ve got a theme, this is where to make it count. Go ahead and ask the restaurant if you can come in a couple hours earlier to set up. Bring some centerpieces, flowers, ribbons, whatever you need to make the event your own.

Communicate With Staff

If there are any last minute needs, be sure to communicate with the restaurant staff. If your sister forgot to tell you she went vegan, make sure the kitchen staff knows to prepare a vegan dish. If you’re surprising the birthday person in an hour, get the restaurant staff in on it and have them let you know when the special guest shows up.

Go the Extra Mile

Even if the party isn’t in your living room, you’re still the host. Go the extra mile and introduce people to each other, and make sure their glasses are full. Point out the location of the bathroom and let everyone know if there’s an afterparty. Your job here is to make sure everything goes smoothly, so be ready for anything!