Organization is key to make hosting any soiree a breeze. Planning a party or event shouldn’t be stressful and doesn’t have to be intimidating. If you stay organized and plan ahead it can be a fun stress free event.
There are several questions to ask yourself to get started: What is the date? How many guests will be there? What is the location? What type of party will it be? What is your budget? Is there going to be music or entertainment?
Have you ever left a party having those “good feeling vibes” ? Whether it was the guests, the lighting, the food…you can’t put your finger on it but you know the party could have gone on forever and you wouldn’t mind. That is true hospitality. You don’t realize you’re getting it until after you’re already feeling totally comfortable. One way to figure out the secrets of a superb host? Start with that end result feeling.
You can use the party planning PDF in this post to help guide and stay organized:
- Make list of people to invite.
- Mark the date on your calendar.
- How are you sending invites?
- Plan the menu + beverages
- Make shopping list (food, paper goods, decorations).
- Plan cooking schedule: Determine what can be made ahead and frozen, day before, and that day, and what you may be buying already prepared.
- Plan the layout of the rooms. (Make sure any food tables are not right on top of each other (think about the flow of people from place to place)
- Plan lighting + music
- Check supplies + serving pieces
Lets face it, now a days there seems like a hundred different types of craft beers and random signature cocktails (that nobody ever heard of) has become the norm at any function. So how are you supposed to know what everyone is drinking? To make fantastic, creative cocktails, there’s no need to stock your bar with lets say every brand of expensive vodka and every single color of any liquor ever made. A half-dozen base spirits and a few mixers will not only allow you to turn out a surprising number of classic cocktails, but also give you enough to tinker with to come up with some cool drinks of your own. Organize in sections + with colorful trays, + you have yourself a self-serve cocktail area. For cocktail parties, allow for a pound of ice for each guest, as well as roughly three drinks per person for a two-hour party.
The Extra Mile
Here are some extra things to think about (which can go hand + hand with that ultimate hospitality feeling)
- Coats +/or umbrellas
- If grilling, check the tank, charcoal, lighter fuel, bug spray, and citronella candles
- Ice, ice bucket, ice tongs, or scoop
- Wine, beer, and soda chilled
- Wine , bottle opener, + any garnishes for drinks
- Napkins (2-3 per person)
- Paper towels
- Plates (appetizer, salad, dinner, dessert)
- Glasses (water, wine, mixed drink, beer, soda, coffee); some beverages can use the same type of glass
- Coffee + tea and everything that goes with it
- Garbage bags
- Extra toilet paper
If You Can’t Make It Ahead Don’t Make It
There is nothing worse than throwing a party and not enjoying it! We love what the Barefoot Contessa says about party prepping! “Now I make a menu for a dinner and look at it and say, can I make this entire dinner ahead? If I can’t, I start substituting dishes that I can! It doesn’t mean the entire thing is made in advance and simply reheated. It means that the majority of the dishes can be prepared before guests arrive and the only last-minute cooking instructions can fit on a single Post-it note!” We absolutely agree! There are plenty of recipes that can be altered to make the days before the party. This is where writing it down comes in handy!
Set The Tone
How’d It Go?
Take a mental + physical note
After any shindig, it’s smart to record in your Ladypreneur Life Organizer how much was left over and what people liked and didn’t like. This information will be a big help when planning the next party. Think of your party journal as a reference to look back on when you are trying to remember someone’s favorite drink. Think about the hit you will be when you remember it for next time! Now that is hospitality!
Now that you’ve got the party basics down, planning your next event (whether it is a holiday, birthday party or a themed party such as the Super Bowl) it will be a bahama breeze 🙂
P.S. we have already blogged about the perfect holiday planning so you can also check that out here