Hosting a party can be a great opportunity to show of your style and hospitably. It can be scary hosting a get-together these days when people have less qualms about ditching previously made plans for their couch and Netflix with little to no guilt. With a couple of rules to live by you can ensure that your party will be the talk of your circle and have everyone coveting an invite for your next shin-dig!
Your invite should reflect the type of party your hosting. A formal dinner party should be accompanied with a formal invitation. Plus, who doesn’t love a great paper invite? If your shin-dig is a less formal house party then you can send out invites via email, Facebook or word of mouth.
Do not leave your prep to the last minute. Experienced party hosts know that planning a party can be almost as enjoyable as having the party itself and the best parties are the ones who’s hosts have been well planned and coordinated.
Plan your menu in advance and make sure that you’re not trying out any new recipes unless you know you can pull it off. Try to incorporate recipes that you can make a day in advance or the night before and try to have a variety of items so that guests with dietary restrictions can still find something to eat. Take on what you can and outsource what you can’t. If you make great apps but are at a loss for nice dessert treats than pick some up from your favorite dessert spot. It will lessen your stress and no one will hold it against you.
Clean your place a few days beforehand so all you have to do is tidy up before your guests arrive. Get a couple of scent warmers around the house so it smells extra fresh and delightful. First impressions are key and smell is super important in forming that opinion.
Stick to a Schedule
This should be key if you’re hosting a more formal get-together like a dinner party. Know that your invited guests won’t all arrive promptly at 6:00pm. Plan to serve dinner at a specific time and fill the time between arrival and first course with drinks and some light hors d’oeuvres. Your guests don’t want to be rushed to the table and you should want to spend some time with your guests beforehand.
Mix & Mingle
Set your space up so that it forces your guests to move about. You can do something like set up your drinks in the kitchen while the food is in the living or dining room. It helps keep the party lively.
A good host also makes sure to mix and mingle. Work the room and make sure you spend time with your guests. Work especially to make sure that your wallflower guests aren’t out there wilting. You can set up some games to get people together. Check out Cards Against Humanity to get the party really going.
Introduce your guests to each other if, to your knowledge, they haven’t met before. Give them each a little background knowledge about each other so that when you step away it’s easier for them to have a more in-depth conversation with each other.
Prepare for Problems
Even the best party planner can run into some snags. It’s possible that it’ll take you longer to put together your amazing spread or you haven’t gotten the bar laid out and your guests are starting to arrive. Without a doubt you have at least one or two friends who would love to jump in and help. Identify who those people are and don’t be afraid to get them involved to help you out of your jam quickly.
If it’s a good party you might have someone who’s imbibed too much. Be prepared to see this person off in a taxi, Uber or with another party-goer that’s good to go. Or, it’s probably not a bad idea to have a couple of fresh blankets and pillows available and tuck your friend in on the couch or an air mattress. A good host isn’t going to let someone leave and end up in major trouble because they had no business being out and about in that state.
What do You Think Makes a Good Host?
What are some of the things that you think are critical to being a good host? Do you have tips or advice for hosting a get-together? Have you ever bombed? What’s the worst experience you’ve ever had hosting a party?