Party time! But wait--if you're the host, there's a lot to do before, after, and during to make sure your party's great for you and your guests. From party priorities to food rationing, here are 7 great tips for any party host.
Make your soirée the talk of the town—and enjoy yourself while you're at it!
If you’re hosting a party that requires you to hire someone like a clown, face painter, or bartender, head to your local college first. There, you’ll find hundreds of young people who will do the job for a lot less than a pro. Put up an ad near the cafeteria, and stop by the careers office to see if they have an online “bulletin board.”
If you’re mailing out invitations for a formal party or event, stick them in the mailbox on Wednesday, so that they’ll arrive on Friday or Saturday. People respond more quickly to mail received on the weekend—so you’ll get your headcount finalized sooner!
Wondering how much food to make for your big soiree? Wonder no longer. At a cocktail party (no dinner served), 10-12 bite-sized portions per person is a good bet. If you’re also serving a meal, figure on four to five bites per guest. For dip, figure two tablespoons per person (plus veggies or crackers for dipping), and for cheese, get four ounces for each person.
A Party Is About the People…
A party is about the people, not how much you spend on it. Before you throw a huge bash, write out your priorities in terms of what you think is most important to spend your money on (for example, the least on decorations and the most on food). Then figure out how much you’re willing to spend on the highest item on your list, and work your way down. Friends always ask, “Can I bring anything?” and you shouldn’t be afraid of asking your good friends to bring a dessert or appetizer. And don’t forget—potlucks and picnics are cheap and always popular.
Card Table Trick
This simple trick offers peace-of-mind when several folding tables are placed together to form a bigger table. Use cleaned-out coffee cans as holders for adjoining legs from different tables and rest assured that your grandmother’s hand-blown glass punch bowl is safe.
Extra Garbage Space
Having a party and need an extra trash bin for your guests? Just repurpose your hamper. (Your dirty clothes will be fine in a garbage bag in the closet until tomorrow.)
Keep the TV Going
During parties, our giant TV suddenly becomes a dead spot in the room (when normally it’s the center of attention!). Pop a movie into the DVD player and let it run on mute. Play a scary movie if it’s a Halloween party, or a Christmas classic if it’s a holiday party. Or play movies from your teenage years or favorites amongst your group of friends. And if it’s your birthday, of course, it’s your pick! Once you’ve picked your theme, pile the rest of your DVDs that fit it on top of the player and change the movie throughout the night.