If a party happens and nobody puts it on Instagram, did it really happen? It’s a slightly depressing rhetorical question, but these days, if you’re unable to attend your friend’s birthday party or that colleague’s housewarming, odds are you can get a front-row seat to the festivities on Snapchat or Instagram Stories. And if you’re going to go through the trouble of plating a stunning meal, setting a special table, and decorating your house, you might as well get some likes out of it, too.

Planning for a ‘gram-worthy party isn’t just about the host’s gratification either. Your guests probably want to tout that they’re at a dinner party that has an actual champagne tower or share how cool it is that their pomegranate martini matches the bouquet of red lip helium balloons cleverly placed next to the bar.

Unless you’re deliberately going for a tech-free gathering (a fantastic idea!) the phones are inevitably going to be out. So make the most of it! Here, David Stark, event planner extraordinaire, shares his tips to making your next party live on in Instagram lore.

Words by Virginia Van Zanten at Food52