My husband and I love entertaining our friends…Every time we decide to have a party I begin searching the web for party planning tips. Always in hopes of finding one or two *new tips to help me organize my time better or make the party more memorable. Most party planning websites start 4 weeks out…I am usually working on a 4 day time frame. Of course the bigger the party or more important the event you will need more time to plan. A casual get together doesn’t take as much planning. Either way you can plan a successful party…
Make a guest list…email, Facebook, text or call your guests. A great party is not determined by the number of people that attend but by the interaction of the guests who do attend.
Plan the menu...seated dinner, buffet or h’ordeuvres. The perfect dinner party is 6-10 people. If you have more than 10 people you will need to decide which way to go…all out and set up a buffet or scale back and serve h’ordeuvres.
Make a playlist that is upbeat and will be sufficient to last throughout the party.
Clean the house…dust flat surfaces, scrub bathrooms, clean out the refrigerator, take out the trash.
Take inventory of serving dishes, make sure you have a platter or bowl for each item on the menu. Don’t forget the serving spoons. Use disposable dishes and utensils wherever possible. No one wants to be stuck doing dishes at the end of the night or even worse wake up to the mess in the morning.
Stock the bar! Purchase an assortment of fruit juices, sodas and waters for mixers. Also, keep the coffee bar in mind when stocking up…you will need creamers, and flavored liquors such as amaretto and Baileys Irish cream.
*Check the medicine cabinet, remove personal items you wouldn’t want guests to see.
Decorate your table, dessert bar and drink station. I like to keep the decorations to a minimum; fresh flowers, candles and a pretty table covering and some reflective surfaces. I like to spread the food and drinks out through out the entertaining area. It helps to keep your guests from congregating in one area…
*Set up a clean up station…Place a box of salt, Wine Away (red wine stain remover), club soda, and a couple of rags in a wicker basket, and store a few in strategic places in case a nasty spill occurs.
Cook as much of the food in advance as possible…dips and desserts are best made ahead so that the flavors have a chance to meld.
Day of Party
Finish last-minute cooking, this should be minimal. You don’t want to be tied to the kitchen when your guests are arriving.
Display food…place desserts on dessert bar, a cheese boards should be put out at least 1 hour in advance of guests arriving. prep the coffee pot and put the first couple of hot appetizers in the oven so that when your first guests arrive the party can get started.
Get dressed…at least 1 hour before your party starts you should take a few minutes to sit down, relax and then put on your party dress. You have worked really hard for last few days and you deserve to enjoy yourself and your guests.
Now go and Greet your guests…