Are you new to hosting or are you a seasoned pro? Hosting parties can sound fun and exciting but can turn into a chaotic mess if you don’t follow a few guidelines. It’s important to remember the reason behind the party. Is it to bring family and friends together to build happy memories or are you trying to impress your co-workers? Is this something that you feel obligated or inspired to do? What ever your reasons, here are some tips that will help you along your way:
Choose a date & time for your event that works for YOU.
Since you are the one who is organizing this amazing event, it should be for what’s best for YOUR schedule. As an experienced hostess, I can assure you that there isn’t a date that will work for everyone. People get sick, things come up, and people are super busy. If there are 1 or 2 people that are helping you or you want to be there, then mesh your schedules for the best time. Do not delay in planning your event though. If it is for a holiday, people’s social calendars begin filling up a month prior. At minimum.
Choose your location and get it booked, if applicable.
If the location of your event is not at your house, then you will have to reserve an event center, restaurant, or bar. To make a reservation, you will need to have a good idea of the head count for an appropriate quote. Many event venues require deposits at the time of booking, if not the whole payment. If you are booking around a holiday, timing is critical as many corporations begin reserving their spaces in September or October. It is best to find out if there are cancellation policies in the case of an emergency of family COVID breakout.
Create your guest list and invite NOW.
The sooner your desired guest list is created and invitations are sent, the better. Giving guests time to make accommodations and to getting it on their schedule is not only considerate but it also ensures that your attendance will be optimal. Provide essential information such as dress code, items to bring, and any special instructions. Having an RSVP deadline will also create a sense of urgency and you will get minimal last-minute add-ons. This also will allow you the time needed to rent tables, equipment, reserve a caterer, etc. in a timely manner.
Plan Your Menu.
Menu planning doesn’t sound complex until you actually sit down to do it. If this event is a pot-luck type event, then you may only need to plan a few courses on your end. It’s still an excellent idea to have a sign-up requirement at the time of RSVP as well as a sign-up sheet to keep an organized menu. Trust me. No one wants to go to a dinner where you have five sides of green bean casserole and yes, it happens all the time. If you are having your event catered, then the per person price will be based on the courses you choose. Your menu will also determine which wines you may want to showcase and pair for your event. Should you require a bar tender, that information would be very helpful.
Get Assistance If Needed.
A host’s attitude, tone, and vibe can make or break a party. You don’t want to bring negative energy to an event that you have worked so hard to plan. Stress can play a factor on your party mood and you should minimize it every place possible. Make your task list, look at your schedule, and determine what things you can delegate and outsource. Time is money. Help a local business who needs support, especially around the holidays. Let them take the burden off your shoulders and you will have a more enjoyable party planning experience.
Though there are always some bumps in the road and things don’t always play out the way we plan. Give yourself some grace and remember that it’s only a party. Everything will work itself out in the end. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Go back to the original purpose of hosting and enjoy the experience along the way.
If you are planning your holiday party late in the game, check out my resource list for your emergency needs: Local Holiday Resource Guide!
Catch the replay of my Facebook LIVE covering this topic here: 5 Tips for Successful Holiday Hosting. Don't forget to leave a comment or offer feedback for the audience!
Do you have any other tips? Have you tried any of these out? Let me know what works for you!
Until next time, keep life zesty!