I get asked all the time what I do to prepare for parties, whether it is an intimate dinner party or larger gathering. When I first started entertaining, I would get stressed out about it and feeling like I had to do it all. The truth is that your guests would rather have a host enjoying themselves than one that made everything perfect. Over the years my husband and I have found a passion for opening our home to others and by doing so we have gotten in a groove of preparing for parties. These are steps and tips that have helped us, and ones we naturally do every time we have company over, so I hope you find these helpful!
The Day Before The Party
- Set your table(s). This includes your dishes, flatware and glassware, flowers, and décor.
- Pick out and wash your serving platters and glassware for all the appetizers and any cocktails you’ll be serving.
- Chill your beverages that need to be refrigerated (mixers, sparkling waters, white wine, etc.) so all you have to do is pop them in an ice bucket right before guests arrive.
- Make the dessert(s) or pick them up from the bakery the morning of your party.
- Go to the grocery store and prep all of the food in advance. Try to select menu items that are easy to make for a big crowd (even if it is only 4-6 guests) and make as much of it ahead of time as possible. If you are doing a potluck, let your guests know what they should bring in advance.
- Tidy up the house. You don’t have to go overboard but just make it an inviting space (or have the cleaners come!).
The Day of the Party
- Run the dishwasher and unload it. Trust me on this one. You don’t realize how many dishes you go through, and this allows you to throw everything back in the dishwasher for easy clean up after the party.
- Take out the trash. You go through a lot of trash when you have guests over and you don't want to have to take out the trash in the middle of your party.
- Leave yourself some time to kick up your feet to relax. Use this time to take a nap, get showered, changed, etc. so you are fully present and enjoy your own party. The vibe you put off is the vibe of the party so make it a good one!
- Assemble the bar and all the appetizers.
- Set the mood. Light some candles, turn on some music and pop some wine open.
- Put your party shoes on and have fun!
I hope you find these tips helpful the next time you host a party! Comment below with your best tips :)