12 Ways You Can Be the Perfect Party Hostess
Even with the pressure of blogs detailing every new food trend, Pinterest showing you carefully crafted decorations, and friends bragging about their perfect soirees on Facebook, you don't have to be Martha Stewart to throw a great party! Just follow these tips to be a “perfect” party hostess.
The perfect party host has a plan and sticks to it. If your party has a theme, plan how you will execute it through the menu, decorations, and party activities. Plan a schedule for every detail, from sending invitations to chopping onions. Test your recipes in advance to make sure you've allotted enough preparation time and everything turns out as planned. Plan your outfit and accessories in advance.
Consider the Menu
While you may enjoy experimenting with exotic food and drink, if your guests are children or “hamburger and beer” people, they may not enjoy it. If you are not an experienced cook, don't try to do more than you can handle. When working with a budget, plan food and drinks that you can comfortably afford. Look for sales on non-perishables and stock up ahead of time.
Prepare the Day Before
Tables and decorations should be set up the day before the party. Most baking and some cooking can also be done the day before and still remain fresh. If not, there may be preparations, such as chopping or assembling, that can be done the day before the party.
Don't Take on too Much
If you are planning a huge party, consider hiring a party planner. You can still do anything you really enjoy, but you won't be stressed about every detail. If you're expecting a large crowd, consider hiring bartenders and servers. If you are planning a small get together, know your limits and don't try to more than you can handle.
Get Up Early
Plan to get up early the day of your party. If you're rushing, you're more likely to make a mistake. Give yourself as much time to prepare as possible, as something unexpected is bound to happen!
If time and finances permit, get your hair, makeup, and nails done before the party. At the very least, pick an outfit you love and reserve time to do your hair and makeup yourself. You will look and feel great!
At a small party, greet every guest at the door to make them feel welcome and comfortable. At a large event, make sure you circulate and spend a little bit of time with each of your guests.
Every guest should be offered a drink within ten minutes of their arrival. Same goes for hors d'oeuvres, if they are being served.
Introduce Guests with Similar Interests
Introduce guests with similar interests. When creating a seating plan, seat each guest with someone they know and someone new with whom they have something in common.
You can't rely on guests making small talk to carry a party. Plan some entertainment, whether it's a party game for a small gathering, or a performer for a large party.
Join in the Fun!
Don't stress about the small things – your guests probably won't notice that you forgot to put out the napkin rings. Don't fight with your partner or yell at your kids in front of guests. Don't spend all your time in the kitchen. You threw a party to have fun, and your guests came to have fun with you.
Thank Your Guests
Be sure to thank you guests for attending your party. Send them home with a small party favor or leftovers.