Looking ahead to my upcoming weekends, it dawned on me that while the holidays are over, the parties are not.
In fact, my weekend social calendar is booked for weeks with various parties. Kicking off this festive train of events will be a housewarming party and then the mother load of all parties, THE SUPERBOWL!
While thinking about these revelries it occurred to me that hosting a party is no easy task and without proper preparation can seem quite daunting. There are so many little details that go into the party from making sure the venue is clean, to planning the perfect menu, and then executing that menu.
With a few simple tips even the most novice of party planners will make their events fabulous and fun!
First, it is CRUCIAL to make a list and a plan. I highly suggest trying to start the planning aspect of your event two weeks from the actual date.
If the event is more casual, this is the perfect time to make your guest list and send out e-vites.
If the event is more formal, you may want plan three to four weeks out from the event.
In addition to the guest list, two weeks out from the event is the perfect time to generally plan what you will have for food, and to take an inventory of supplies you will need such as, plates, utensils, cups, napkins, etc.
In addition to making your list and planning the logistics of the party two weeks out, this is a good time to begin cleaning up your house.
I know this may seem crazy since you will probably be making messes in the weeks leading up to the party, but if you do a deep clean early then you can focus on just maintaining your house which will ultimately save you time and stress later.
The second tip focuses on the menu. It is important to have a variety of items. Not only will this help cover the different tastes of your guest, but it will help with the timing and execution of the food on the day of the event.
You want to make sure to choose some foods that you can prep the night before. If the dish takes a lot of chopping and dicing, this can be done the night before to save time on party day.
Varying between hot and cold dishes enlists less cooking time, which ultimately helps with the timing of the food preparation and the temperature of the house.
Something I learned from hosting a few parties, especially ones that involved heating food in the oven, you don’t want the oven on when guest arrive. It only makes for a warm house which can be uncomfortable.
A few of my favorite go to party dishes include:
- Veggie plate with: carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers with varying flavors of homemade hummus. Easy and inexpensive.
- Bruschetta with crostini’s.
- Hot caprese bread
- Buffalo chicken dip with chips or crackers
- Bacon or prosciutto wrapped asparagus
Lastly, I recommend keeping things simple.
This applies to all aspects of the party whether it is formal or casual. Making things easier on yourself will help things run smoother during the preparation and the event itself.
For the menu, if you have never made the dish before, don’t let the party be your trial run.
If you do happen to run into problems, it will set you back.
Keep the place settings simple.
Your focus should be on your guest and enjoying time with them. No need to sit with your friends while silently worrying about the mess and dishes that still have to be cleaned up.
If you can get away with using recyclable paper or plastic plates do it! Clean up will be a breeze and taken care of in no time!
Obviously, so many little details go into planning a party, but hopefully with these tips your event will flow with ease and grace.