Planning on welcoming spring in by having a get together? Or maybe your whole extended family is coming to spend Easter weekend with you. Whatever the reason, hosting a party can be a huge undertaking. We are here to relieve you of some of that burden so you can enjoy the party as much as your guests while also receiving the greatest of compliments when the party comes to an end.
1. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. If someone is generous enough to offer his or her help, take it. They can help put together a cheese board, light candles, or do dishes, so you can focus on those last minute details. Ditch the martyr mentality and toss them an apron.
2. Allow for more time than you think you need. No matter how put together you are, always schedule in a little bit of cushion when hosting an event. So if you think you need an hour, give yourself an hour and 15 minutes. You’ll be so glad you did.
3. Set the lighting and prepare some nice aromas before the guests arrive. Get those delicious smells going to kick start everyone’s appetite by lighting scented candles and slicing up fresh citrus for cocktails. Turn the lights a little lower than you think is appropriate, and light votive candles to compensate. The glow of candlelight is universally flattering, and your single friends will thank you.
4. Always invite one or two friends over a little earlier to help decant wine, mix cocktails, and sort of populate the room before the rest of the guests arrive. Not only will having your pals around help you de-stress, it will also make it less awkward when that random “plus one” shows up right on the dot. That’s also a good time to show them how to use your Sony Cyber-Shot Digital Camera from Buydig.com so they can take some shots of the party for you.
5. To keep things simple, don’t attempt any new dishes for the party. It’s best to stick with recipes you could make with your eyes closed and save the experimenting for another time. Also, for every cooked dish you do, prepare three that are make ahead or assembly only.
6. Steer clear of dishes that require too much babysitting to get to the table. Menu items like risotto or other dishes that require constant stirring or checking means you’ll be stuck at the stove and miss all the fun.
7. There’s a reason restaurants play music: along with filling awkward silence, it immediately makes people feel relaxed, comfortable and ready to have a good time. Play some music in the background of the party to do the same.
8. Pulling off the perfect party takes a lot of work and doing it well can definitely get in the way of the host having any fun. Make a point to step away from the kitchen or let someone else take over for a few minutes while you pour yourself a drink and mingle a little with your guests.
9. If you’re planning on having alcohol at your party, beer and wine are usually fine. However, if you want to have an extra cocktail to serve, focus on one you can mix in advance like sangria or margaritas. The Cuisinart Smartpower 15-Piece Portable Blending/Chopping System from Buydig.com is perfect for making margaritas or smoothies for your non-alcohol drinking friends.
10. If you are serving alcohol, be sure to set out some pre-dinner snacks to go along with them. A simple cheese plate will do the trick. The Cuisinart 2-in-1 Food Processor makes slicing and cubing hard cheeses easy.
11. Hosting a great dinner party is as much about the packaging as what’s on the plate, so take the time to set a proper table. We’re talking flowers, napkins, name cards, the whole bit.
12. When making dinner for a large group, it’s never a bad idea to make more than you need. Worse case scenario is that you’ll have leftovers to give your guests to take home. It’s a small gesture, but one your guests will appreciate.
13. Always serve dessert. Even if it’s a simple store-bought cake embellished with fresh fruit, or some ice cream with some chocolate syrup drizzled on top, your guests will appreciate it.
14. Watching a host obsessively clean while trying to enjoy yourself can be a real buzz kill. To help manage the mess, clean as you go and make sure the dishwasher is empty before the party starts. Feel free to do a bit of tidying up while mingling, but save the deep cleaning for after the guests have left.
15. Take a breath and make sure to have fun. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the process of throwing a party that you forget to actually take part in the party. Enjoy your delicious food, sip a refreshing drink, and take the time to savor an evening with close friends.
Whether you’re throwing a big holiday bash or an intimate gathering, you want your guests to have a good time. We have given you 15 rules to follow to make this happen by being the perfect host.