Throwing the Perfect Party

Be Prepared
Try to have all of your party prep done ahead of time, so that when your guests arrive the food is hot and you can spend time with them instead of working in the kitchen.
This can be accomplished by checking how long your food takes to bake, and then planning your cooking times.
I usually have mine pre prepared, I will make my hors devours and put them in the fridge covered and ready to go in the oven.
This can even be done a day ahead.
And then I start to toss them in the oven so that I can set them out a few minutes before my guests arrive.

Any preparations that I can do ahead, I will. If I have paper fans to hang, they are hung the day before.
If I am making a cake, I do it the day before.
I do everything the day before as much as possible so that the day of the party,
I’m not exhausted and can just focus on last minute details. It also gives you time to solve unexpected problems.

Pick a cute theme and stick with it.
You don’t need to decorate your entire house to be successful either.
Creating a beautiful display around your serving table is perfect, and then any other details are just extras.
Just make sure that you have a plan for how it will look.
When I throw parties I bring out all of my serving dishes ahead of time.
I set them on the table and arrange them according to height, or shape and step back to see how it will look.
I always decorate the day before so that I have time to make sure it all looks right.

Be a Good Hostess
-Greet each of your guests at the door
Try meeting all of your guests at the door and offer to take their coat or assist them with any items that they may have brought.
As guests trickle in you may miss meeting a few at the door but be sure to connect with all of them and let them know that you are glad they came.

-Make Introductions
If you have a guest who is new to the party make sure to introduce them to the other guests.
It is job of the hostess to initiate introductions when standing in a circle of friends.
If you are throwing a large party you may not be able to initiate all introductions but if you know they don’t know anyone it’s best to make sure they can start somewhere.

-Manage Refills
If there are any foods that need to be replaced or if your water needs to be refilled be sure to keep an eye on those during your event to make sure they don’t run out.

-Watch for people who seem like they feel out of place
I always scan the room to see who seems to be enjoying the party and look for those who are being quiet.
Sometimes just talking to the person, or introducing them to others and getting a conversation started can help.
At my daughters birthday this last year, there were two girls crying saying that no one wanted to play with them.
I sat them both down and started a conversation about something else and within minutes they ran off playing together.
Sometimes people just need a little push in the right direction.

-Cater to food allergies
If there is someone in your party that you know has a food allergy or special diet be sure to have a plan for what they can eat.
Let them know what things you have prepared for them that don’t contain whatever it is they are allergic to.

Make Enough Food
I’m pretty sure that the absolute worst thing that could ever happen to a guest, is showing up to a party starving and not be able to eat.
As a hostess I think I would consider that the ultimate failure to run out of food.
There is nothing more embarrassing except maybe having a messy house.
I always over plan a little bit because there are some people I know who like to pile their plates high.

Have a Clean Home
You never know who is going to be needing to use your bathroom upstairs.
Just make sure your house is clean, or at least looks that way.
I went over to a friends house one time after she had just had a baby and it was clean.
I said “How is it possible that you have time to do it all?” She opened her oven where she had stashed all of her dirty dishes and we had a good laugh.
Sometimes when you are throwing a party, you just don’t have time to take care of everything at once, but you can at least have everything appear to be in order.

Plan Good Activities
Games can add a lot of fun to your party, but you need to cater to your audience and theme.
There are so many different kinds of parties.
Consider the size of your group when you are planning and whether or not everyone will be able to participate.
Sometimes providing games for children to play while the adults are talking is also a good idea.