By nothingbutnet, Mar 30 2017 02:41AM
Planning and Preparing For Your Celebrations
1 Figure Out What Type of Party You Want to Have
Before you prepare anything, you should decide what type of party you are going to have. When you have a guideline for your party, it will make all of your decisions simple. Do you plan on hosting a themed party or are you just going to be having a big blowout with all of your friends? Are you going to have a small intimate get together or a big party that your guests won't forget. If you figure out what type of party you are going to have, it will help you figure out who you are going to be inviting, what you need to buy, and what you are going to prepare. If you aren't going to work with a catering company, you need to make the right decisions on your own.
2 Creating the Guest List
When you are making your guest list, make sure that you invite only as many people as you can handle. When you are sending out invitations, you should assume that everyone you invite is going to attend. You don't want to invite more people than you can handle, hoping that there are some people who won't attend. If there are guests who cannot attend, you can always send out more invitations later. You should always ask your guests to RSVP. This will help you to plan the food, drinks, and party events. Be sure to let people know if they are allowed to bring a plus one or if family and friends are welcome. Finally, consider the type of party that you want to have. If you want your guests to have close, intimate conversations, you should limit the list to 8 to 12 guests. If you want a bigger, more wild party, you should invite many more guests.
3 Party Invitations
When you are sending out your invitations, you should let your guests know if there is a dress code. If you are planning a classy party, you should add "black tie" or "formal wear" in the invitation. If you are having something casual, write "come as you are" or "casual dress". You need to let people know what to expect so that your guests don't get too dressed up or that they don't dress up enough. If you are planning a Halloween party, make sure that your guests know if they should wear costumes or just dress in fancy clothes. If you don't want to be obvious with the dress code, you should describe the party accordingly. You could describe the party as "a nice dinner and an evening to catch up," This will let your guests know that they shouldn't dress too fancy or dress down too much.
4 Preparing Your Home
If you are having the party at your home, make sure that the house is thoroughly cleaned. You don't want your guests to think that you are messy or that they are intruding on your life in any way. If there are certain rooms that you don't want your guests to enter, you should keep the doors closed. Make sure that your bathroom is stocked with plenty of toilet paper and in plain sight. You should also clean out an area for your guests to put their coats and their purses. Finally, make sure that the dishes you are going to be using are clean and ready to be eaten off of.
Unless you are planning an outdoor picnic or a dance party, make sure that there is enough seating for all of your guests.
You don't need to have decorations to have a good party, however, they can create a party atmosphere. If you are going to hang decorations, make sure that you put them up early. You don't want to be hanging decorations when your guests arrive.
Finally, if you are planning a big party, you should put any delicate or breakable items away. If things get crazy, your precious belongings will be protected.
5 Food Considerations
It is important that you have enough food to last for the entire party. If you are not hiring caterers, it is up to you to plan accordingly. You should have food out at all times, especially if people are drinking. You can do something simple, such as putting out chips and dip, cheese and crackers, or pre-made veggie plates. If you are going to be serving a meal, you should have snacks available while your guests wait for the courses to come out. You shouldn't feel the need to cook all day for your party. You can buy foods that just need to be heated in the oven. You also can buy pre-prepared foods to make things easier. You can also hire a party food catering company.
Make sure that you don't put all of your food out at once. You can fill up a few bowls and then refill them when necessary.
To be sure that all of your guests can safely enjoy the food, you should anticipate for dietary restrictions. If you don't know if your guests have any, make sure that you have a gluten-free option, kosher food, halal food, and vegetarian substitutes. If you are planning to serve anything with nuts, be sure to label the dish to protect guests with nut allergies.
If you are doing the cooking, make sure that you give yourself enough time to prepare the finger food. You should always cook more food than you need. Cook for an extra 2 to 3 guests so that you won't run out.
Make sure that you have a variety of drinks available. If you are going to be having adults and children at your party, you should make sure that you have soda and juice available as well as alcohol. If you are planning to serve alcohol, you should make sure that you have two types to accommodate different tastes. You can serve beer and wine or beer and mixed drinks. Also, make sure that you have enough lemons and ice on hand. It is a good idea to keep the hard liquor out of sight, but still accessible to your guests. This will keep your guests from drinking too much, too early. If you are serving beer or wine, they can stay in plain sight since they don't contain as much alcohol as hard liquor.
7 Be Prepared
It is best to give yourself an hour or two extra to prepare. You might realize that you forgot something and you would need to go back to the store. You also need enough time to shower and get dressed. If you build a nice buffer between when your final preparations and when your first guests arrive, it will keep you from getting stressed out. If you are ready and relaxed when your guests arrive, they will feel relaxed as well.
Being A Good Party Host
1 Stay Calm
It is important to remain calm and cool no matter what happens. You want to be warm and friendly to your guests at all times. You don't want your guests to feel as though they are stressing you out or that they are a burden. At any party, drinks can spill, you can run out of food, and the conversation can stall. If anything like this happens, you should remain friendly and welcome. Your guests should feel like they are part of your home and not a burden. If they feel like they are a problem, they will want to leave early, which can ruin the party.
2 Greet Your Guests
You should greet each guest at the door when they arrive. They will feel more welcome. You should offer to take their coats or show them where they can put their coats down. If you invited guests who have never been to your home, show them where the bathroom is and where the drinks are. If you are still preparing food and you don't have time to talk, give your guests a drink and point them in the direction of the party. Let them know that you will be joining the soon and remember to smile.
3 Spend Time With Each Guest
A good host will try to spend a few minutes with each guest. When you have everything prepared and the party is in full swing, give each guest a minute or two of your time. You don't need to purposely go from one guest to another to get this done as soon as possible. You should do it naturally. Just try to have at least one good, memorable moment with each guest before the party ends.
4 Keep Your Guests Engaged
You should check on your guest occasionally. You should introduce guests who have never met and make sure that they are part of the conversation. If there are guests off to the side on their phones or if you have shy guests, try to get them involved with a group having a conversation or get them to join in an activity. If there is a guest monopolizing the conversation or talking about unsavory topics, it is up to you to steer to conversation somewhere else.
To mix things up, you should ask someone to help you with something. When you are done, steer them to a different group. This will make space for someone from another group to take their place. It is a good idea to ask shy guests to help you out. They will appreciate the attention and the option to look busy if they don't want to get involved in a conversation.
5 Adapt As the Party Evolves
If your guests are dancing and enjoying loud music at the beginning of the party but then the dance floor is empty later, put on some calmer music and move the chair closer together. Offer coffee and dessert to help your guest relax. It can also go in the opposite direction. If guests are starting to get tipsy, you can put on some dance music, turn it up, and clear the chairs away so that your guests can dance and get crazy for the second half of the party. Just remember don't try to lead the party, let the party lead you.
6 Clean Later
You don't want to spend the whole party cleaning up after your guests. Your dirty dishes can wait. Make sure that you have room in the trash for your guests' empty bottles and cups and relax. If you are running around cleaning up, your guests will think that you are ready for them to leave. After you have enjoyed the party and you are ready for your guests to leave, you should start cleaning up. This is a gentle hint that you want people to start clearing out.
Getting the Party Started
1 Planning the Music
Make sure that you have upbeat music playing in the background when your guests arrive. Playing music at a party today is much easier today than it used to be. You can use an iPod, a music app, or a music website. Choose upbeat music but not something pounding. If you want people to dance, make sure that you have an area cleared out and play house, electronic, or pop music. If you don't have the time to play DJ at the party, ask a friend with good taste in music to handle the task. If you don't want to bother your guests to choose the music, Pandora and Songza will never disappoint.
>90's Hip-Hop and R&B: This is a great music choice if the majority of your guests are young.
>Motown and Soul: This is a good choice if you have a larger crowd of different ages. Most people love Stevie Wonder and the Temptations.
>Big-Band, Jazz, or Swing: If you are having a classy dinner party or you want people to have conversations, Count Basie and Frank Sinatra are excellent music choices for the dinner portion of the party.
2 The Lighting
It is best to dim the lighting in the room. You can use candles, light the fireplace, or use white Christmas lights to give the room a warm, dim glow. If you are going to use candles, use scented candles to make the room smell nice and also provide mood lighting. Bright lights often make people feel self-conscious, especially if it isn't natural sunlight. When the lighting is dim, people will feel more relaxed and they will let their hair down and have fun.
3 Provide Activities
It is a good idea to have activities planned to stimulate conversation and loosen up your guests. The beginning of the party can be awkward, so you should plan a game or an activity. The activity would depend on the type of party that you are having. If people are drinking, you can play beer pong or quarters. If you have a pool table or a dart board, they are great activities. If there is a game on television, you can put it on or create a slide show to be playing in the background. It will give people something to talk about if the conversation starts to die down. A few other ideas include:
>Taste test or contests using the appetizers you prepared
>Introduce people who have never met
>A dance floor with speakers nearby
>Conversational games such as Never Have I Ever, Truth or Dare, or Desert Island
4 Don't Force the Fun
You should let people have fun on their own. You want people to feel comfortable and pushing the fun will just make people feel awkward. Let your guests contribute in their own unique ways. If you are pushing people on the dance floor, pushing them to play games, or constantly asking your guests if they are having fun, they won't be able to relax and enjoy themselves. Things won't start off great from the start, but if you provide good food and drinks, and the right atmosphere, the party will start all on its own.
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