Entertaining is an essential tradition for many families, but even small parties can be a challenge when there is a lot to do to get everything just right. Whether you are planning an intimate dinner party for a small group of close friends, or a large gathering for the entire neighborhood, these entertaining ideas will make it a party to remember.
Make Decorations Easy
A few decorative touches are essential to spruce up your space for a party, but there’s no need to go overboard. A nice tablecloth as well as an abundance of candles are often all you need to prep your home for a party. For extra atmosphere, use a lot of tea lights to create mood. They’re inexpensive and easier to clean up than regular candles.
Plan Your Playlist
Set up a playlist on your computer or stereo ahead of time. Choose jazz, big band, or other music that is classy but unobtrusive. Start mellow, then crank up the energy as the party wears on.
Urge Guests to Mingle
Set up furniture in a way that encourages flow. Create at least one large open space in the party area, as well as several different spots to sit and talk. Pass hors d'oeuvres so guests have to circulate and talk to one another.
Have Guests Serve Themselves
Set up a buffet or open bar so guests can plate up their own food and mix their own drinks. This saves the host a lot of running back and forth to the kitchen, and makes the party flow much better.
Prep food and decorations the night before whenever possible. Mix sauces and put meat in marinade so you have less to cook the day of the party, but also do tasks like setting the table and getting out serving platters so you’re less rushed before the big event.
Have Comfortable Seating
If you’re inviting a lot of guests, upholstered chairs may be at a premium. Add cushions or pillows to un-upholstered chairs to make them more cozy for guests.
Relax and Have Fun
Be sure to make some time for yourself before the party begins. Have a drink with your spouse, listen to your favorite music, or take a long relaxing bath before the guests arrive so you’re ready to receive them.
Even if everything doesn’t go exactly as planned, your party is sure to be a success if you are committed to having a great time.