From Easter family dinner to Mother’s Day brunch, the season of Spring entertaining is upon us. Whether you host a party of 30 or an intimate dinner for three, crossing your t’s and dotting your i’s really pays off when the doorbell rings. We have a few simple tips to get your home, and yourself, ready.
Prepare a Guest List
Spontaneity has its place. But whether you send embossed invites or just create a Facebook event, having a headcount can make the difference between a good time or a disaster when it comes to preparing your space and refreshments. Get your numbers nailed down, but always plan for a few unexpected faces. Think about the size of the event and who you invite as well; some types of parties work better at scale, and some friends and family should not be mixed.
Take Special Considerations Into Account
Anytime you plan on serving food or drink, think about who is going to be there and if there are issues to prepare for. I find that it always helps to tack on a request for any allergies, sensitivities or dietary requirements with an RSVP. You may not need to change the whole menu, but make sure that you have something that they can partake in.
Arrange a Party Floorplan
While keeping your furniture and decor as is makes sense for smaller gatherings, larger events might benefit from a little shake up. Think about opening up your space–outdoors or in; it is spring after all–in order to ensure that people can move easily, with no traffic jams. Watch out for tripping hazards like rugs or steps that guests might miss. And be sure to clear excess decor from tabletops and other surfaces for convenient placement of drinks and hors d’oeuvres.
Keep Libations Flowing
However you may arrange things, make sure they always point to the bar. Then, make sure that bar is ready to go as long as you need it to. At a party, running dry is a true faux pas. On the other hand, a full bar can be expensive and hard to keep up. Creating a signature drink or theme can help streamline your liquor cabinet and save you time. Basics like a good whisky, gin and vodka are always great to keep on hand as you can easily build a number of drinks off them.
Be Ready for Overnight Guests
If guests imbibed a little too much—or were planning on staying overnight anyway—you can still continue to be the perfect host even after the party is officially over. Stock a basket or tray with some basics like mini toothpastes and soaps, as well as some healthy snacks, bottles of water and perhaps a dose or two of ibuprofen. Pair that with clean towels and you have a five-star welcome.
Once you’ve taken care of these items, the most important tip we have is: Enjoy yourself. While we all want to be the perfect host, part of your guests’ enjoyment is knowing that you are having a good time yourself. Make sure to plan events that won’t keep you “on” the whole night, so you can also enjoy the great party you planned.