Party Planning 101: How To Be The Best Hostess

Planning any kind of event can be fun if you want it to be. If you wait till the last minute then you probably aren’t going to have fun planning it but instead get stressed. So plan ahead and allow for thoughts about what you want to do. Your goal is to have your guests feel comfortable and impressed! They are going to want to steal your ideas. What a complimant that would be.
Remember, there are different levels of planning an event. Some people can go to the extreme and some can still plan a great event but keep it simple and still get great results. That is all up to you. As long as you are thoughful and thinking of others then you are doing good. Don’t let the guest have to ask for water, you should be one step ahead of them.
There are times when its a last minute thing. In-laws are on their way over, etc… This is another thing you need to plan ahead on. Make sure you have a stock pile ready to go. Have a bag of chips or cookies in your pantry. Have paper plates, napkins and cups ready to go. You might not have a beverage but you have water and that is the healthiest drink you can serve anyways. Now if your house is clean is a whole other story.
Here are some tips to get that party started for you!

Party Planning 101:  How To Be The Best Hostess   #TodaysEveryMom

1) Themes/Decorations: Even the smallest get togethers can have a theme. If it is summer time serve summerish food and maybe fun themed paper plates and matching napkins. Don’t have a summer party with stews and dark colors for decorations. Keep it all flowing together. I like to figure out what I am having the gathering for and then I search on line for ideas if I don’t have any of my own. There is also a lot of places with free printables if you really want to wow your guests. You can have labels for you water bottles, cupcake toppers, invitations, decorations, etc… It really depends on the age, crowd and time of year to determine what type of theme you should have. Never be affraid to ask around or check online. Decorating should go right along with the theme. If you want to keep it simple then maybe just stick with decorating around the food area. You can go as crazy as you want with decorations but the trick is to stay with the theme so it doesn’t get to loud looking in your home. They say “less is more” but I am not sure about that sometimes. I love to decorate so any excuse I have I am decorating the place.

2) Food: Food can be tricky. You might love everything but your guest might not. You might like to try adventures stuff and your serving it to children. So make sure you are making food to fit the guests that are coming over. If you don’t know them then stick with the basics and then maybe add in a couple of specialty items for flare. No matter what you can never go wrong with vegy platter, chips & dip and meat & cheese trays. Everyone always seems to love those. It’s how you display them that takes you that one step further. Place them on different heights. Maybe on crystal plates with edible flowers scattered around. Or for those sports fans put them odd things like using a helmet (lined with tin foil). Taking a fake grass (turf) and placing that on the table as the table cloth and having clear serving plates to put the food on so you can see the turf underneith it. Another must have is food labels. I always like to have labels by each of my food. Even though they know what it is. But take for instance salsa, it could be mild salsa, so make a label that says “mild salsa” so everyone knows. Punch, you know what the punch is but no one else does. Does it have alcohol in it? What is in it? So make a label saying “Cranberry, Orange & Gingerale Non-Alcoholic Punch”. What kind of cheese is that? Is it spicy? Make a label. Also, if you can keep extra food in the fridge to replenish when its time. If you have any kind of dip that is dairy, keep it on ice so you know its not going bad. Trick for that is putting the dip in a bowl and then in a slightly larger bowl fill that one with ice and put then bowl of dip on top of it.

3) Beverages: Being a really good host means that your guest should never have to ask for something to drink. You should have it out a ready for them to help themselves. Just like with the food everyone is different and so you really need to think of others when having beverages. If you are going to have liquor and children around, try keeping a seperate area just for the liquor. Also, keep the beverages away from the food so you are not causing chaos around the food. Everyone usually tends to hang out around the food so keeping them seperate allows for a better flow. Coffee is also a good option to have. Make sure to have creamer and sugar available. Always, always have a pitcher of ice water. You can’t go wrong with water.

Some fun ideas:

~Football: Chips & dip, Hot wings, Nuts, Beer, Hot dogs, Paper plates & napkins in the colors of the team.
~Play Date: Pop corn, Different kinds of sandwiches, Boxed juices, Flavored waters, Pretzels, Fun Paper plates & napkins
~Ladies Night: Variety of wine, Cheese & crackers, Fondue, Vegy platter, Chocolate truffles, Ice tea, Real plates, Coctail paper napkins
~Kids Birthday Party: Pizza and/or Hot dogs, Vegy platter, Fruit platter, Cookies, Punch, Paper plates & napkins to go with birthday theme
~Family/Reunion: Pre-done meals that you can freeze and reheat(allows you to mingle and not slave in the kitchen), Vegy, Fruit and Meat & Cheese platters, Variety of cookies, Little bowls of nuts and pretzels through out the house, Punch, Soda’s, Wine & Beer,
~Bridal/Baby Showers: Variety of salads, Fruit & Vegy platters, Mini cupcakes, Candy bar (different candy in different sized shaped vases in the colors of the themed party w/ tongs), Paper plates, Napkins & Cups in the color of the party, Painted teracotta pots (to match the theme) w/ flowers in them and give them to the guests as they leave but also decorate with them in your home.

Must haves and optional items:
~ Hand sanitizer by the food area
~ Extra toliet paper in bathroom
~ Little dishes with nuts or pretzels around the house
~ Crafts/Activities for the kids (give them something else to do besides watching tv
~ Salt & Pepper by the food
~ Tongs and serving untensils for all food (even chips)
~ Candles for the bathroom (vanilla is a safe scent to use)
~ If you have guests traveling a long distance pack them a little gift bag with goodies for the road tripback (water bottles, snacks, gum, etc…)
~ Toothpicks and breathmints
~ 2 garbage cans near food table (one for recycle and one for garbage… label them)
~ Music in the background
~ Keep guest entertained (slideshow of pictures, photo albums layed out, board games, movies, outdoor games, Wii, etc… )
~ Smoking section (if you have guests that smoke, let them know where they can smoke in a nice way by saying that you put an ashtray for them and show them where)

In conclusion, if you are not having fun planning events then the problem is that you are not planning them, you are waiting till the last minute which is causing you stress or chaos in your life. When you can throw a event and everyone is happy and no one had to ask for anything then you did good. If people asked you how you did something and said that they want to do that too, then you did great! Just try to think about times that you went to someones house where they were not a very good hostess and how uncomfortable it made you feel. Try your best to make your guests feel like they are at home. You want them to have a wonderful time and in a way brag about your gathering. Maybe give you a nick name of “Martha Stewart”.

About Leslie Pleasants

Leslie Pleasants is the founder of Today's Every Mom. Inspired by her own busy life with kiddos she set out to create a spot where Moms of any stage or age could find relevant and resourceful advice.

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