As soon as the doors open, the feeling of delight, laughter and exuberance fill the room. The walls are coated with an array of colors and the tables are lavished with party goods.

Brianne Vertrees, a woman with an enticing smile and a contagious laugh, is the founder and owner of the one year old event-planning store Merriment in downtown Wenatchee.

Vertrees has planned events all her life and she knows what it takes to host a good party. She has worked for companies such as Microsoft and T-Mobile, planning events for groups up to 1,500 people.

When it comes to hosting a party, some may feel very natural about it, and for others it may seem like the world is crashing very hard around them. Fortunately for those who do experience a bit of apprehension, Vertrees has shared a few secrets about hosting a party and how to actually enjoy it.

1. Pick a theme

“Having a theme will make all your decisions easier,” says Vertrees. By choosing a theme, you have already helped limit your choices. “It clears up your mind and makes things a lot less stressful.”

2. Choose a realistic menu

Make sure you choose a menu that is realistic for your party setting. Depending on the party you are hosting, choose to have some prepared food and some fresh food, such as a salad or prepared snacks.

3. Focus on your party, not your home

Instead of focusing on the cleanliness of your house, focus on the party. “It is never about the floor sparkling,” Vertrees says. “It’s a fun group of people, a relaxed environment that you makes you feel comfortable and a place where you learn new things by having conversation with people.” People will not remember the crumbs if they are enjoying themselves.

4. Parties are never perfect

“Always assume something is going to go wrong,” Vertrees says. “There is no such thing as a perfect party, wedding, or event.” If someone forgets to bring a dish, just have some extra food that could easily replace whatever is missing. “I always have one item that I could put together easily if something doesn’t work out. Even if it is just a bowl of watermelon or chips and salsa.”

5. Use Pinterest with caution

Pinterest can be a great guide to events, however, don’t try to make your event Pinterest perfect. “Pinterest is a fantastic place to get ideas, brainstorm, and find products,” Vertrees says. “But it is also a place to lose your self worth.” Vertrees says that there is too much pressure from social media to throw a perfect party and you lose originality.

“Take the pressure off yourself about having a perfect yard, or perfect kitchen or perfect whatever, cause that is not the point.” Enjoy yourself and the party you have created!