After hosting a few parties for family and friends, I’ve learned a few tips on avoiding the last minute running around before guests are suppose to arrive. As a host you should be relaxed and ready to party with your guests. You can still do the spontaneous dinners or cocktails with friends and still have fun at your own party.
Every person has there own style for hosting a party. I personally like to plan a simple gathering with no more than 10 guests. You want to have enough guests that can mingle among themselves while you open the next bottle of wine, but not too many that you feel you are leaving some guests unattended. Here are some quick tips to planning a stress-free party.
• Make it Simple and Small: Your stress starts building up when you are trying to get too many things done at once and you are trying to cater to every taste and flavor. Keep your guest list small and simplify your menu with things that can meet every person’s palete. Instead of a full on dinner with appetizer, salad and entrees, keep it simple with three appetizers, a meat that can be served cold (like smoked salmon or Ham) and little bite desserts.
• Get your Guests Involved: Plan for a Potluck style event, suggest your guest bring their favorite wine to share or make it a fun Make Your Own Pizza Party in which guests bring different type of toppings and you provide the pizza dough.
• Limit the Drink Menu: Keep your drinks simple by either having just red and white wines or having a signature drink and bubbly water. Set up a table with your selected drink choices and all the things needed for the drinks so your guests can serve themselves. Limit to no more than 2 types of cocktails.
• Make a List: Write everything down and plan ahead. Once you have your guest list, write down everything you plan to have for the party and give yourself at least two weeks of preparation for a small event. If you plan to host 30 people, double your planning time and delegate duties to others by using external help like catering services.