Party 101: Throwing Your First Party
Youíve finally settled into your new place, and youíre ripe for entertaining. Itís time to throw a little shindig. Parties are a fun way to show off your new home, spend time with friends and even make new ones. All it takes is a bit of planning. Get it together early, and itíll leave you that much more time to actually enjoy the party.
- Formal Versus Informal:
- Decide whether it will be a formal occasion or a casual get-together. For a more formal party, get things in gear about a month in advance. However, for a casual occasion, a couple of weeks should suffice. In either case, choose the date and type of party you wish to have before you do anything else. If youíre a first time host, itís best to start with a simple party.
Be creative with your gathering. It can be theme based, such as your favorite movie or television show, a holiday or filled with game playing. If you donít want too much pressure, throw a potluck party. Itís your party; itís all up to you. Go wild with decorations to develop the theme or use none at all. Relish the opportunity to make it an occasion that is uniquely yours.
Now youíre ready to consider who youíll invite and how you wish to invite them. If itís to be a formal affair, mail invitations. For something more casual, a phone call or e-mail is adequate. For both types of parties, you should request a response and follow up if you donít get one.
The Menu:Wondering what to serve? If itís a grand affair youíre planning, you should plan an elaborate menu and use dinnerware. However, for a laid-back party, you can feel comfortable dishing up yummy appetizers and using paper dinner plates and plastic cups. Plan your menu carefully and start your grocery list early. Chances are youíll think of something to add on a daily basis.
A week or two before the party, do some general cleaning. If there are any dishes you can cook ahead and freeze, now is the time. The day before the party will be filled with shopping for perishables, decorating and doing a final cleaning. Youíll appreciate having less to do at the last minute.
In the hour before your gathering is to begin, set out non-perishable hors d'oeuvres and beverages and take care of any last minute cooking. Put out the ice bucket and remaining perishables just before your guests arrive. If you choose to play music, turn it on at this time. Remember to play a wide variety to keep everyone happy. For added ambience, light a few candles.
Be a great host. Have fun and your guests are more apt to follow suit. Introduce guests whenever you can. If youíve got energy and delicious food, your party is destined to be a hit. Hereís to you and your party!
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