Tips on throwing a good party

  1. I figure I can't be the only one who is unsure of those minute details that make a party flow better. Those little things that my husbands thinks I'm crazy for obsessing about, but I think he's crazy for not thinking they're important!:nuts:

    And, I know that there are several of you that come by the 'party-throwing-gene' innately, :drinkup: so I'd love your tips. I thought this thread might be used throughout the year for diff. party-throwing questions.

    I don't ever throw large parties...25 people or so max and mine are mostly indoor due to either too hot or too cold. I do Bunko with the gals once/year, and have Christmas at my house each year, among a few other similar things like hosting one of those parties where someone sells something.

    My immediate question is, is there a best place to put the hor d's? A best place to put the cups, plates, napkins, silverware? A best place to put the alcohol, soda's and water?

    This is the part that always throws me...the 'layout', I guess.

    I have a good size kitchen, and a good sized island and an eat-in dining room attached to the kitchen (does that make sense?)

    I have a bunko coming up in August. Can anyone give me some tips re: my questions as well as any other tips you have to share to make a party flow and be good.

    (Sorry this ended up being so long and windy)
  2. I usually mix the first drink or two for each of my guests, you could also hire a bartender. I find that people tend to hang out around the food and drinks, so I'd place them in areas that would encourage a mingling. Its also important to introduct guests who don't know each other with some little fact that gets them talking.
  3. Are you going to play ambience music?
  4. Absolutely! Make sure your guests are greeted and made to feel welcome right off the bat. A hug and a beverage is perfect for that! :yes:.

    I have an entertaining book called "It's Just a Dinner Party," by Ron and Julie Malloy. They have a pretty refreshing style when it comes to entertaining and yet it's pretty basic stuff: focus on your guests' comfort first and foremost!

    here's a few things they say about party planning and space:

    1. hot rooms make people sleepy.
    2. unless your view is hideous, open your curtains and blinds, even at night.
    3. remove decorative pillows from couches if you expect people to sit down.
    4. if you don't put out coasters, expect rings on your table tops.
    5. know this: your floors are going to get dirty :smile:
    6. Check for all kinds of smells, including food and pets and air out accordingly.
    7. Be sure the space is as neat as you want it to be.
    8. if you prize any particular items in your home, put them away (or don't allow yourself to fixate on them).

    One thing I've done after a party is to make note on how things got rearranged, chairs, ottomans, etc. I try to arrange at first to encourage conversation, but make special note how they were moved. The way my guests moved them was the better way and I do that the next time! :wlae:

    Have a wonderful party!!
  5. Our house on the main floor is "loft style" where the kitchen is open to the dining and main living area. We have a very large island in the middle of our kitchen. I use that as our space for the mini-bar, cutlery, dishes, napkins and buffet style, for serving the appetizers and main meal. (It’s really that big of an L-shaped counter that allows me to do all of this). That way each person can come back for more servings or drinks if they so desire. It's accessible and quite accommodating. I also have a mini-bar off to the side of the living area, which is stocked with more food and drinks. So, the guests can help themselves when they are ready. It's a little more private and allows the guest to fill up, without feeling that they are being watched.

  6. good booze and easy access to it. good food. good friends that bring good booze and good food.
  7. This is my arrangement's all open and/or runs together. I usually put the food on the island, but where do you put the alcohol, the plates, the glasses? On the island as well? On the dining table? Around the kitchen counters?

    OMG...I just realized....I need to buy a 'Partying for Dummies' book!
  8. Thanks everyone...keep em coming.

    So far so good....
    music: always (usually jazz)
    booze: given
    clean: absolutely

    I get hung up on how to place the food and all the other stuff. Do you put the beer in a cute tub or on the counter or in the fridge? Wine glasses by the wine but also by the other glasses and non-alcoholic drinks?

    Maybe hubby is right...maybe I do worry about the stuff no one cares about. Give me your thoughts anyway....!!! :smile:
  9. A) Michele - you don't need booze to have a good time (LOL - who am I kidding? I'm drunk right now!) :drinkup:

    B) Can I come to your party? I looked it up and airfare to there is only the price of a mono speedy.

    C) What the FUNKO is BUNKO?
  10. Put the beer in a couple of tubs, otherwise people will be opening and closing the fridge door all night. And don't get sh*tfaced at your own party! Learned that one the hard way...
  11. Party-Throwing for the Poor

    As soon as you know the date, begin enlisting friends to help out. You will need at least one bartender, someone to be in charge of food: replenishing, discreetly handling the inevitable spills and splashes, monitor chafing dishes and/or popping things into the microwave if needed - just generally keeping the buffet table in a bounteous and inviting condition. You will also need someone to serve as "DJ," to be in charge of CD changing, requests, etc, as well as a couple of floaters - sort of Assistant Hosts, who can keep an eye out for shy people who might need to be introduced around a bit, put purses or wraps in a safe place, etc.

    If alcohol will be served, you'll also need a couple of "designated drivers" just in case someone might need a ride home.

    Do all your inviting as far in advance as possible, and make sure that guests understand that costumes, colorful national, drag, or otherwise, are not obligatory, but very welcome.

    Invite your guests to bring a food and/or beverage from their home country, or their favorite country. This will not only cut your costs dramatically, but will guarantee a variety of collations more unique and lavish than any amount of money could buy.

    If you will be inviting people from many different "worlds" who don't know each other, the cheesy old trick of taping the name of a famous person to peoples' backs really works!

    Go to the dollar store - Dollar Tree is the best of all the dollar stores, you can get huge "silver" and "gold" serving trays, paper plates, napkins, table covers, both vinyl and paper, that are every bit as elegant as the ones sold for $10 at the party store at the mall. (That's because they're the same ones) ;) Get some in the prettiest and most elegant pattern you can find, as well as some in a solid color that harmonizes with the patterned ones and your decor. While you're there, get some decor. Don't be afraid to mix and match themes and/or cultures. Tropical Fiesta, South Asian wedding, Hawaiian Luau and Traditional Circus, for example, look very festive together. Elegant chaos, Hall of Wondrous Beauty - When your guests enter your home, they should "Oooh," "Ahhhh," and go "Huh?"

    Have different spheres. There should be a rollicking noisy space with loud music, hip-hop, reggaeton, bhangra - where people can dance, a quiet conversation space with soft music low volume, classic but accessible, Vivaldi, Beethoven, soft, comfortable seating with conveniently located horizontal spaces for cups and plates, and a video space, more of that comfortable seating if you've got it, foam mats and big pillows if you don't, where people can relax and watch TV or movies.

    The food and beverage area is always a tough logistical challenge, and even more so in a small home. People will congregate there and talk, and about the best thing you can do is try to get them to do it far enough away from the table so that newcomers can reach in and get some kim chi for their Moo Shoo burrito. Don't put any seating in that area, but do have enough available horizontal space to cut down the danger of spills, as things may get congested.

    If alcoholic beverages of any kind will be available, people are going to smoke. Even people who "don't smoke" are liable to do so at parties after they have had a couple of drinks.

    Even if you yourself smoke like a chimney, it's thoughtful - and safer - set up a realistic smoking area, maybe on a porch or deck, and put plenty of large ashtrays everywhere, preferably ones that can be filled with sand, just to avoid the risk of mishaps, and give guests who are really bothered by smoke the option of not being in a room filled with it.

    We The Poor tend to live in small spaces, and we who smoke tend to not realize just how quickly even just one or two smokers can render that small space unpleasant, even unbearable, for people who have a strong aversion to cigarette smoke.

    Of course, as the host/ess, you will have all the various duties and responsibilities that come with that, and that includes having fun. It won't be a good party unless you are enjoying it as much as your guests are, so do everything as far in advance as is practical, and once it is all ready, and people start to arrive, so when that happens, revel in the fact that you DID do it all in advance, and set a good example and the tone for the occasion by enjoying your party, your guests, and yourself!:yahoo:
  12. Being from New Orleans, my first suggestion is just have some good stuff for the people to drink. I've never thrown any type of party myself, but if people drink they are happy no matter what.
  13. Maybe offer little gifts or doorprizes? I love going to parties where they give things away......Good luck, i hope its a great party !!!
  14. Fun people, lots of food and drink, good music and you should have fun, not stress.x
  15. :roflmfao:

    I'd like to know what a Bunko is too! :yes: