Friday, March 13, 2009

great party essentials

Photo Credit: Allen Armstrong

what makes a party really great? well, it definitely depends on the type of party it is, but there are definitely a few things that make the truly awesome parties stand out from the pack, regardless of what kind of party you are hosting.

read on for what i think are party essentials...

1. great location- i'm not talking about renting out a trendy or pricey venue. by location i mean choose the spot in your party place [be it your house, backyard, wherever] that is the most user-friendly. make sure it is easy to navigate and well laid out. are the washrooms close by? do you have to go up and down stairs [a no-no if your guests will be drinking!]? if you are outside, will you be able to plug things in if necessary? did you stuff your food and beverage area in the corner? think about your party place from the guests' point-of-view.

2. great music - try not to fill your party playlist with songs that only you know or songs that detract from the mood of the party. make sure your iPod or CD shuffler has some music for everybody and then just let it play. if you are hiring a DJ or band, look for one that will play a little of everything, or a style that you know everyone at the party will enjoy. try not to obsess over the music!

3. great food - obvious! a big party is not the time to try out a complicated recipe you've never made before, especially if the dish is meant to feed everyone there or is integral to your theme. make sure you know how to prepare the food you are making; do a trial-run if necessary. make sure you have back-up eats if the food situation goes awry. fresh vegetables and dip, cheese and crackers, chips, frozen sausage rolls, jalepeno poppers, chicken wings, bacon wrapped scallops, shrimp rings, frozen meatballs, spring rolls and frozen french fries are all wonderful things to have on hand anytime you are entertaining just in case!

4. great host - relax! your guests definitely do not want to be ushered from planned activity to planned activity on a rigid timeline. let your party ebb and flow around loosely structured events such as games, dining, gift exchange, whatever the case may be for your party. have back-up plans for games in case they don't go over well. don't fret about minute details once your celebration is in swing. keep an eye on the door to watch for guests as they arrive. mingle and introduce friends that don't know one another. do make sure you are monitoring important things like alcohol consumption for both you and your guests. take note of the designated drivers. you are responsible for your guests when they leave your home. if they have had too much to drink, ensure that you have arranged alternate transportation [have cash for taxis] orsomewhere for guests to stay [either in your home or elsewhere]. oh- and leave the cleanup until after the party!

what would you add to my list? what are some essentials to a great party?


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