Tips for Throwing a Party

Balloon image via Hipster Mum

Throwing a party does involve a fair amount of work, but there are a few things you can do to make things easier on yourself. This post feels especially fitting with Thanksgiving in a couple of weeks and Christmas/New Years right around the corner.

Pick a tried and true recipe for your main course—Not only will you be sure that it will turn out, you’ll just generally feel more confident going into the dinner. I think it can be fun to experiment with a new recipe for some of the sides or even dessert, but save yourself the worry with the main dish that it won’t be good by ensuring that it will be.

Set the table the night before—I cannot stress this one enough. I’ve done this the last few times we’ve hosted something, even smaller gatherings, because it makes me feel so much better on the day of the event. It may feel silly to set everything out ahead of time, but it gives you the opportunity to play around if your idea doesn’t come to fruition the way you hoped…or if you realize you need to pick up an item you forgot, like napkins or something. This also allows you to focus on the cooking and any last minute clean-up you may need to do.

Know your drink audience—Are they beer people? Wine people? Cocktail people? All booze is not created equal, and you will feel like a million bucks when your guests arrive, and you can offer them a drink you know they’ll enjoy.

Let people help if they offer—They offer because they genuinely want to help, so let them. I always used to turn people down if they offered to help or bring something. I realized, though, that I really could use their help, and it would bring them joy to be able to provide something. So now I almost always say, “Yes!” Let them know what they can do to help—bring a loaf of bread, a salad, a dessert, come a little early to help you with dishes, whatever.

Ask for an RSVP—This tip may not work for your particular get together, but if it makes sense, ask for an RSVP. It will make your life easier when deciding how much to cook, how to set the table, etc.

Pick a simple dessert—Most people, in my experience, only want a little bit for dessert because they have filled up on appetizers, drinks, and the main course. Going simple with the dessert will allow them to have a little without feeling stuffed and save you disappointment if they don’t eat much. Store-bought desserts can be a great option here. Something you make the day before is also good. This could also be a great time to enlist a friend who loves to bake for help. Otherwise, my personal favorite idea is to get a few different kinds of chocolates, break them pieces into bowls, and put a little flag or sign out identifying the type of chocolate. Or instead of a cheese plate, have a chocolate plate. People can get a little something to satisfy their sweet tooth with little effort on your part. Plus, it’s a fun excuse to buy unique flavors to try out. Oh, and if you plan to offer coffee, set up the coffee maker before guests arrive. That way you can just press the button and get a pot going.

I’m sure there are a ton of great tips out there. These are my personal lifesavers. Do you have any tips you’ve learned to make hosting easier? I’d love to hear.

{Image via Hipster Mum}

What do you think?