I love to host parties. I have learned quite a bit…mainly from my mistakes…about what to do and not to do when entertaining. Here are a few basic tips that will help you throw a great party.
1. My first and most important tip has to do with the bathroom. Yep, the bathroom. There is nothing worse than going to someones house and you have to search for toilet paper because there was not enough on the roll. Always make sure to put a new roll on before your party starts. One reason is it looks better, but it also will insure that you will not run out.
Another bathroom tip is to have a new/clean hand towel in the bath or paper towels. If you have a large party, check mid way through the party and put another hand towel out as the first one could get pretty wet from all your guests washing their hands. Also, make it very clear which towel your guests need to use. Either place it on the towel ring or on the counter next to the sink. If you have fancy…just for show towels…make sure your guests know those are just for looks. Want to know a weird quirk I have???? I hate towel racks with fancy towels! I know…weird! I think they irritate me because I can never fold the towels correctly and I think they are kind of useless. Now put up a hook and a Turkish towel…I am all over that.
Ok, back to entertaining tips!
2.Plan…Plan…Plan. I like to make my to-do list at least a month before the event. Sometimes I plan something last minute(not very often) but it happens. Write out your menu, guest list and to do list. Buy anything like paper goods as soon as possible. Also, buy anything you can freeze. Take inventory of your glassware. Once you have all of that squared away and purchased, the week before or days before, you can focus on buying the perishable food.Check your grocery circulars the week of your party to see which store have the best deals on what you need. I also like to do a mock set up of my drink and food area. That way I know what dishes I need to purchase. Speaking of dishes….
3.White Dishes-One thing I wish someone would have told me, as I was registering for my wedding, was to register for all white dishes. They are timeless and are great to use at any dinner party. I am also slowly replacing all my platters and bowls with white ones. It allows the food to shine and works with any theme!
4.Relax and enjoy your guests- I have to admit I fail miserably at this. I love all the planning and decorating for a party but I miss the mark when it comes to hospitality. Hospitality is different from entertaining. I can wow people with a great cheese platter but what really matters is making my guests feel welcomed. Make sure you are pretty much done with all the food 30 minutes before guests arrive. I like to hold off on dishes that may need to go into the oven until about 30 minutes after guests have arrived. That allows you to greet your guest and help them with their coats and/or purses(make sure you have a place for these). Then once you have greeted people you can put any items in the oven and have them hot and ready(this is for those items that only need a few minutes in the oven). Make sure if you have different groups of people at your party you are doing a good job at mingling. Give yourself a time limit if needed with each group. Be aware of anyone who may not know anyone. Introduce those who do not know each other and try to make a connection that will allow those quests to find common ground and have something to talk about.
I would love to hear any of your entertaining tip for throwing a fun and smooth party!