Any reason for a party is a good reason. Whether you’re celebrating a very special affair such as wedding or anniversary in grand style, or simply in the mood for sharing a good time with those you care about, having a party is one of the best way to socialize and enjoy life. The art of entertaining well depends on planning and experience. If you’re a first-time party giver, you’ll probably have few doubts in organizational ability.
The art of entertaining well depends on planning and experience. If you’re a first-time party giver, you’ll probably have few doubts in organizational ability. Don’t fret, simply opt for an easy party outdoors such as a picnic or a barbecue. which involve a minimum fuss and bother. Each time you entertain, you’ll gain more confidence until you can branch out into something more complicated. The experienced host much like more of a challenge, such as a fancy cocktail party or a formal dinner dance.
WHAT SORT OF PARTY CAN YOU AFFORD?
As with most things in life, the type and size of your party depend on your finances. When you set down your party budget, list all the expensive items such as food, drink, decorations and flowers, invitations, equipment rentals (chairs, glassware, cutlery, lighting, etc.) and proceed to eliminate those you can. If your mother, sister, or next door neighboor has particularly splendid garden full of blooms, they ay let you select a few for decorative purposes, and you’ll probably be able to borrow extra seating from friends and family.
Drawing up a guest list to suit your budget can be difficult. How do you possibly not invite one couple when you decided not to invite others? This is always a personal dilemma but if you’re tactful and graceful, you shouldn’t harm to many friendships. Consider scaling down other areas of expense in order to accommodate an extra guest or two… often. It’s the only real solution.
THE RIGHT MIX OF PEOPLE
What makes some parties buzz with excitement and fun while others tend to fizz out in unfulfilled expectations? Mostly, it’s blend of the people that determines the life of the party. Too many talkers and not enough listeners can result in a loud and obnoxious group who are continually fighting for center stage, while a thoughtful bunch of philosophers will mostly like to spend the night mumbling into their beards! interests, lifestyle, and age groups till you have a marvelous medley in all walks of life- then watch the conversation crackle!
If you’re an inexperienced host, do yourself a favor and avoid a large gathering; invite only those friends and family you feel comfortable with. If disaster does strike (and one day, dear reader, it will), at least with a team of friendly faces around you, you will be able to grin and bear it!
An informal party calls for a little more than a quick telephone call or a casual mention at your next encounter. More formal occasions-weddings, engagement, and christenings, for example, will always call for a letter or an invitation card. You can make these yourself if you have the time and creativity; your guests will be pleased with your extra thoughtfulness and find it an invitation hard to refuse. Make sure you specify all the vital information: date, time, address, time, type of the party, attire (formal, informal, fancy dress, or ‘come as you are’), telephone number, reply address, and a RSVP date. If you hold your party in an unusual venue that may be unfamiliar to the guests, it is always wise to include a map or directions. Try to issue mailed and telephone invitations on the same day, so that no one may feel they’re an afterthought. And if you do suddenly remember someone you had left off the list, don’t try to make excuses; just issue a casual ‘Are you free on such-and-such for a little get-together I’m having? Don’t make a fuss and you’ll be saved from embarrassment.
Always be prepared for entertaining children. They usually don’t want to be part of the adult’s party so try to give them something amusing of their own. Videos and popcorns can be very useful.
If you have children of your own, ask friends to bring theirs along- this way you don’t have to worry about your brood getting bored and your guests will save on the babysitting costs.
Babies should be in a convenient bedroom away from the noise but near the parents, who’ll probably spend all night popping in and out to check on them.
People and parties inevitably mean noise- sometimes more noise than you have anticipated! Show your neighbor some consideration by observing noise pollution curfews if they apply in your neighborhood. Ask rowdy guests to move inside the house where more noise can be absorbed; issue guests with parking suggestions if street parking is a problem, and make sure they don’t encroach on your neighbor’s property. The best neighbor-taming method is to invite you immediate neighbors to join in-they may decline the invitation but appreciate it anyway.
CONSIDER A THEME
Consider special effects for both formal and casual occasions; you can go all the way and ask your guests to dress up appropriately, or simply use the theme as a way of linking food, music, lighting, and venue. Possible themes might be Sixties, gangster, Western, jazz, any nationalities, color (black and white), buffet, formal, beach, or picnic. If holding a costume party, make sure you give your guests plenty of time to invent their costumes. Remember, a theme gives people something to focus on; it can make planning easier for you and the party much more unusual exciting for your guests.
There’s no need to spend hours in the kitchen in order to provide spectacular fare: all you need is the right mixed of food and a little care in its presentation. Visualize the food and drink you intend to serve as a painting- look for balance and harmony in color, taste, and texture. Choose exciting and different ways to garnish plates and serving dishes as this can make all the differences to give the ‘eye appeal’ of the food, no matter how tasty it is.
Your main guidelines for menu planning should be based on the occasion itself; what’s good fare for one party may be inappropriate for another. Never experiment with new dishes on the day and night of the party- always stick with tried and true successes (but not the same dish over and over to the same guests,please!) or have a test run a week before.
Combine interesting flavors and colors, and watch for too much soft or too much hard food served together.
Do try to make things easy for yourself by doing as much preparation ahead of time as possible. All-important mood setters like lighting and music should be thought about well in advance, leaving no room for a last minute panic. Decorations such as flowers can be arranged the day before. Easy-to-prepare-and serve foods will leave the host more relaxed and able to enjoy the occasion just much as the guests. Many dishes can be frozen successfully, leaving only garnishes be added. The better the planning, the greater your enjoyment will be.