Entertaining - Planning a Party
Tips for planning an unforgettable party
Design the party to suit your personality. If you're
more comfortable with a casual buffet than a formal
affair, that's the way you should plan it. And if
the hostess is relaxed and having a good time, the
guests will enjoy themselves, too. Even when things
don't go exactly as planned, a hostess who can rise
to the occasion will impress guests with her flair
for enjoyment and spontaneity.
Be sure to greet all of your
guests. They must feel you're truly glad to see
them. If the salad wilts and the dinner rolls burn,
your guests will hardly notice if they feel welcome.
To avoid the harried-hostess feeling, you must allow
for ample planning and preparation well ahead of
time. You might discover that planning the party can
be almost as much fun as the party itself.
Make lists of things to do with a
Keep updated guest list.
Keep list of tables, serving
pieces or other supplies you may need to rent or
Do cleaning and polishing tasks
well ahead of time.
Place special food orders well in
Allow some extra time for the
unexpected -- it always takes longer than one thinks
to get things organized. Some built-in time could be
Five Ingredients for a Perfect Party!
Plan thoroughly so you know exactly what you need.
Invite congenial guests who enjoy
each other's company.
Serve plenty of well-prepared
food. Don't skimp on quality.
Set an attractive table - it
shows you care enough to make an extra effort.
Enjoy yourself. Your guests will
take their cues from you.
Decide On What Type Of Party
Depending on your personal taste, budget, and space,
what kind of party will it be? A formal sit-down
dinner? Outdoor barbecue? Or an appetizing hor
Server-yourself setups encourage
mingling, and with a wide array of finger foods, you
eliminate the need for individual seating.
Within your budget, a wide range
of choices is available in food selection (from
steak to hamburger), beverages (from champagne to
party punches), and even centerpieces.
Choosing A Theme And Creating
Centering your party around one focal point gives
you reason to coordinate everything -- from the
invitations and decorations right down to the food.
Your color choice and background
music can reflect your theme.
Many occasions suggest an obvious
theme. An upcoming trip to Hawaii provides a perfect
excuse for a Hawaiian luau, complete with tropical
fruits and flowers.
Birthdays call for kids' party
themes that interest the celebrant -- whether it's
baseball, dinosaurs, or cartoon characters.
Almost any personal experience
can become the reason for celebration. Your theme
could be based on a holiday such as Christmas or a
special event such as Election Day.
Although a theme can make
planning easier, it's not necessary to follow one
every step of the way. Use your own good judgment,
because it's really the guests and food that will
make your party memorable.
Telephoning and face-to-face invitations are
appropriate for casual, even spur-of-the-moment
Written invitations herald the
excitement of a more significant event.
Create your own personal invitations. Consider a
small plastic sandwich bag filled with confetti,
tied with colorful ribbon and mailed or delivered to
invitees for a New Year's Eve party.
Invitations should be mailed out
two or three weeks in advance. For wedding
receptions or larger parties, mail four weeks in
advance. Always put an RSVP with a date by which
you'd like replies.
Flowers and candles or groups of candles
Use what you have on hand.
Display an antique vase or unique pottery piece,
with fruits, nuts, shells, or greenery.
Creative uses with fruit. (i.e.
for a teacher's luncheon, place shiny red apples,
cored and filled with small clusters of flowers at
each place setting.
Baskets filled with a variety of
breads and cheeses. A basket of decorated eggs or
jars of jelly beans makes for a simple, yet colorful
Think seasonal. For a fall menu,
arrange purple grapes with pears on a cake stand
with tendrils of ivy spilling over.
A spectacular dessert can serve
as a centerpiece.
For formal parties, place cards are very helpful.
These can be as simple as a white folded-over card
with a guest's name on it or as fancy as a small
trinket/party favor with a name tag. Once again, let
your imagination and resources be your guide.
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