The Ultimate Party: Hosting a FLAWLESS event
Great events, the ones where everything goes off without a hitch, everyone has a good time and people talk about long after the event is over, are the result of lots of planning, preparation and hard work.
As we have mentioned throughout this guide, there are proper steps to be taken in order to make that happen.
BEGIN WITH THE TIMELINE Creating a timeline is cruicial as it helps the planner know exactly what needs to be done and by whom every step of the way. It makes it easier than trying to put a party together in a hurry, at the last moment and even gives you guidelines as to whom you can delegate tasks to, who is responsible for what, and when.
HAVING A BUDGET IS ALSO CRUCIAL So often I hear party planners say they have gone over budget with an event simply because they did not take into account all the necessary components of the event. Having a budget will help you stay reasonably within a monetary space you can be comfortable with. And with one you can see in black and white exactly what putting on an event will cost. From the smallest dinner party to a lavish affair, they all take money. With a budget you can decide what you really have to have and what you can “give up” if need be and still have a successful event.
ITS ALSO ABOUT THE PEOPLE Inviting the right people is important to the outcome of the event. Really look at your guest list and see who will help make it a success. I always think about my guests and try to invite “someone for everyone.” Look for people who would likely have some common interests. After all, as the host or hostess, you will be busy with everyone and won’t have as much time to spend with people individually as you may desire. Having the right mix of people will keep your party flowing and the guests entertained.
HIRE HELP No matter how small the event, if you really want to enjoy your guests at the very least have someone to help with clearing dishes, cleaning up and serving courses. You will be amazed at how much more EVERYONE will enjoy the event.
THE FOOD & DRINKS will really make the event spectacular. Don’t skimp on the main dish, make it memorable and if possible something people would not normally cook for themselves.
CREATE A SIGNATURE COCKTAIL to kick off the event. If you have it in your budget, hire a bartender. Its these little things that people will remember and make a point of coming back every time you have an event.
CREATE THE RIGHT PARTY ATMOSPHERE The music and décor should match the theme or occasion.
ATTEND OTHER EVENTS TO GET IDEAS of what you works and what doesn’t. Take notes, take pictures (if appropriate) and see how you can incorporate those winning ideas into your own events.
10 MORE TIPS TO MAKE IT AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER
- Hire a Sitter. If you are having an “adult” party hire someone to tend to the kids (in another room or another building). While kids are wonderful, it can make some adults uncomfortable because they worry about tripping over them (if they are toddlers) having to clean up after them or even entertain them. Especially if they were not asked to bring their own kids to the soiree…
- 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), and a bottle of something sparkly for nondrinkers.
- Let people help. Some people come to a party to relax and unwind. Others look for reasons to be useful and help the host. Find ways to let those people help such as filling nut bowls and drink glasses.
- 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.
- Talk to people. Be conversational. Linger. Even if it’s a more 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 for some. And it certainly changes the mood.
- Include people in your 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 to each person (or couple as the case may be). It could be a small bouquet of flowers, a 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!