It’s all about the catering, basically. Get ready to party like it’s Ron’s birthday – which it is.

When you come from a family of 9, every day’s a party, right?

OK, perhaps not, but you’d certainly have enough ready-made (if unwilling) event planners, decorators, and caterers on hand. So we like to think Ron Weasley would throw a great little shindig – with a little help from his friends (and family.)

The invitations

First thing’s first – your invitations will set the tone for the whole event, so no Howlers. We appreciate the Muggle world offers quicker methods of communication, but if you want to make your guests feel special you just can’t beat a good old-fashioned embossed invitation, delivered by Owl Post. Maybe find a reliable owl to do the job first, though. Errol would be too slow, and you don’t want a Pigwidgeon-style mess on your hands. You need a bird that’s regal and reliable. Hedwig would be great.

The dress code

Outfit-wise we imagine Ron’s parties to be anything-goes sort of affairs, but still, nobody wants to show up looking like their Great Aunt Tessie, so it’s worth taking time to consider your clothing ahead of any big do. Mouldy lace cuffs, no. Smart dress robes, yes. Singed eyebrows, no. A magical accessory of your choice, well, why not? The decision is yours, but we’ll just remind you Ron’s not really a fan of maroon. May we suggest a nice midnight blue?

The music

As a (usually) easygoing kind of guy we reckon Ron’s party playlist would cater to most musical tastes, but we’re pretty sure Nearly Headless Nick’s Deathday Party favourite – an orchestral piece featuring thirty musical saws – would not make the cut. Instead, we suggest sticking on some Weird Sisters. Ron himself might have spent a large portion of the Yule Ball in a sulk, but the Weird Sisters certainly got most of the party guests up and dancing. And if Dumbledore booked them, they must be good.

The entertainment

Not everyone knows a pair of jokers as capable of setting off a colourful firework display as Ron’s brothers Fred and George, but – whatever the occasion – fireworks certainly make a fantastic party pièce de résistance. If you can’t get your hands on a set of Weasley’s Wildfire Whiz-bangs or Dr Filibuster’s exploding fireworks, regular Muggle fireworks can be just as impressive. But do make sure you follow all the correct safety procedures. Sparklers and firecrackers and Catherine wheels might be pretty, but no Wizard Wheeze is worth risking your party guests’ safety for.

The presents

We’re not sure gift-giving was one of Ron’s skills – anyone fancy a copy of Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches? – but when it came to presents, he did understand the importance of knowing your audience. He didn’t give Harry that book in front of his mother now, did he? Basically, when getting someone a gift, just make sure it’s something they will like and not something you will like. Sounds simple, we know, but let’s not forget Ron was once given a thick gold chain bearing the legend ‘My Sweetheart’ that literally revolted him. Perhaps he and Lavender were better suited than we thought: she definitely didn’t have the best gift-giving skills, either.

The food

And now we come to the most important part of any party. Yes, we’re talking about the food. Ron was lucky to have his mother, Molly Weasley, as caterer-in-chief for most of his parties – you know, the woman who frequently fed a family of 9 (plus assorted guests) meals to rival even the most extravagant Hogwarts feast, all of which she prepared almost entirely single-handedly. But we appreciate not everyone has a chef in the kitchen, let alone one armed with a magic wand. Still, it’s important to consider your party menu ahead of time. Preparation is everything, even if you do have magic at your disposal – as Ron himself discovered on the Horcrux hunt, nobody can conjure tasty meals out of nothing. So what we’re saying is, get the supplies in…

The after-dinner chocolates

…with one exception. You can take Chocolate Cauldrons off the party food list. Ron had a very bad birthday experience with a box of Chocolate Cauldrons once. We wouldn’t want to remind him of that.