#1 HIRE A SITTER: If you are having an “adult” party, hire someone to tend to the kids. Children are wonderful, but they can make some adults uncomfortable because they worry about having to clean up after them or entertain them. Especially if they were not asked to bring their own kids to the soiree..
#2 CHAMPAGNE. ANYONE?: Always keep a cold bottle of bubbly on ice, in case someone wants to make a toast (or just likes to drink champagne). As well as a bottle of something sparkly for the nondrinkers.
#3 LET PEOPLE HELP: Some people come to a party to relax and unwind. Others look for a reason to be useful and helpful to the host. Find ways to let those people help, such as filling nut bowls and drink glasses.
#4 LIGHT A FIRE: Candles give the party an atmosphere of elegance. White or ivory are the best. A fireplace in the winter makes people feel at home.
#5 TALK TO PEOPLE: Be conversational. Linger. Even if it’s a formal dinner party, don’t be in a hurry to clean up after dinner. When you do it may signal the end of the evening and it will certainly change the mood.
#6 INCLUDE PEOPLE IN CONVERSATIONS: Think of it like a foreign language. If you have a handful of guests who only speak one language and the rest are bilingual, be sure to speak in the language everyone will understand. The same is true of topics. If you only talk about work and you have guests who are not part of that scene, they will feel left out because they did not have the same experiences or may not feel comfortable contributing.
#7 MORE PEOPLE, LESS CHAIRS: If you’re hosting a cocktail party, make sure there are more people than chairs. This will encourage guests to mingle more because they have to circulate.
#8 CREATE A SEATING CHART: Don’t leave seating arrangements to chance. Either have formal place settings with names or direct guests where to sit at your dinner table. This way you can pair people with those they know and some they do not know or don’t know well. Put shy people with others who can help carry a conversation not next to another person who is shy or reserved.
#9 WRITE ON BOTH SIDES OF PLACE CARDS: Place cards should include first and last names, legibly printed or written. This way those seated across from one another can learn the names of one another.
#10 A SOUVENIR? : Make sure your guests don’t leave empty handed. When the party is about to end or as guests leave, be sure you have a nice party favor or trinket to give each person. It could be a small bouquet of flowers, keepsake box, a small box of chocolates, a bell, an ornament. Whatever suits the occasion.
And most of All , Have Fun! After All, It is a party!
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