For all the parties we like throwing, big and small (usually small), I thought it would be best to put together a bag of essentials and always keep it within reach. What we have are hardly fancy but it's nice to get the little yet important details out of the way, right? Then you'd only have to think about the food and the people-- which ultimately make the party.
P.S. For party needs, I recently discovered Celebrations Party Central. Striped straws, metallic number balloons, pinatas, disposable nice-looking glasses-- imagine my delight!