Many parties are celebrations of events such as wedding anniversary, birthday, graduation, inviting new friends etc. Whatever the occasion it is most important to have a clear outline of the party theme before beginning to work or plan for a party. The goal is to be a good host and make it memorable for the guests.
Grandma’s experience and tips will help you to establish a structure for planning all the party details.
Plan on spending: Depending on the type of party and number of people plan your party. Snacks, lunch/dinner items, drinks and miscellaneous items are all should be part of your budget. The style of celebration will also dictate whether you need outside help.
Make a list: Guest list, items needed for the party, dishes, all tasks that need to be completed – put everything in a note book and review the list.
Guests: Bringing people together for small parties such as dinner is not always easy. Make a list of people who you want to attend the party. If these people are strangers to one another it is important to mix individuals who are likely to get on well together or at least to express an interest in one another. This makes the party fun and interesting.
Food and drink: Whether party is small or big, decide on refreshments – snacks, finger food, buffet or proper sit-down and serving to eat. Make sure that the food and drink you serve are suited to the occasion and there should be adequate amount of food. Plan the menu as needed. If there are children then look into some foods that are suitable for kids. Kids are allergic to some foods and avoid any allergy causing foods in your menu. In case your menu has something that can cause allergy, put a note near the food.
Invitation: Printed or handwritten invitations should convey certain important information clearly to the recipients. Date, time, venue, address, direction, phone number, occasion, gift or no gift and your name along with RSVP – these specific information avoids any confusion for the guest.
Line up help: You can handle everything alone. Assign work to your family members and if needed, tap into other resources – friends or someone who is willing to work for some bucks!
Serving vessels and linens: If you are planning to serve using your own China, silver, crystals and cups – wash and dry. If it is a small party and you are using linens – laundry the linens if needed. Make sure you have all the platters and serving pieces you will need.
Shopping: From garbage bags to soft drinks – list all the items and finish shopping 2-3 days before. This will give you time to think and review the items you bought. Miscellaneous items – Ice, Ice cubes, space in refrigerator, drinks, extra napkins, coffee, tea bags, cream, sugar, salt & pepper, butter, lemon etc. that are essential for your party.
Music: Use soft music in the background for dinner kind of parties. Depending on the event select the music. If it is kids birthday music should be bit upbeat and playful.
Cookware and serving utensils: In case you do not have enough utensils and cookware then consider buying inexpensive pieces from a discount store. Label each dish to remember what you are plan to use it for during the event day.
House cleaning: One or two days before the party take a look at house and clean things. Remove stuffs that are on the way and make space for people. Do whatever touch ups that are needed. Clean the bathrooms, keep fresh towels, toilet papers, fill soap bottles and remove any medicines that are kept in the bathroom cabinets.
Decoration: If the party is simple then, decoration need not be grand. If not, plan the decoration based on the theme.
Pets: If you have pets – Take care of them. Many pets are afraid of crowds and get scared. Make proper arrangements so that, pets will stay away from the crowd.
Greet guests: On the day of party get ready at least an hour before. Check the house and arrangements. Finally receive guests as they arrive. Acknowledge the guests and be a pleasant and good host.
After the parties, keep a note of expenditure, food items served and what was good, not good etc. This will be a big help in terms of savings when you plan your next gathering. These notes will be a reference to look back on when you are trying to remember the best part of the party was and what you need to do in the next event or next time.