Planning a Special Party for your Friends

11791624_MLAnyone who throws a party wants it to be special and memorable. In those few minutes before the guests arrive, most people worry about a party’s potential for success. Here are a few suggestions to help ensure that everyone, including the host and/or hostess, has a good time.

Mix it up: Don’t hesitate to invite a mix of different people to your party. Friends from work, neighbors, single, married, young and old can all find enough in common to enjoy each other during a party. Inviting a variety of people helps create interesting conversations and keep your party lively.

Plan for groupings: Use small tables, appetizers, chairs and lighting to create different spaces for people to congregate. Some may feel comfortable chatting with one or two people while others gather in a group of six to eight or more. If your seating arrangements are versatile, people will develop their own conversational groups.

Watch for wallflowers: If someone is feeling shy, it’s up to you to bring them into the group. Start with a one-on-one conversation then introduce them to someone else who is friendly and approachable.

Time the appetizers: If everything is out at the start of the party, some things will run out quickly while others may get inappropriately cold or hot. On the other hand, if you find yourself spending the entire party in the kitchen with last-minute food prep, you won’t be able to enjoy your own party. Plan and prep all the appetizers before the guests arrive, but pace the food so that it comes out fresh throughout the party. If there is a special event such as a birthday, plan the cake and singing for the middle of the evening when the most people will be there.

Let people help: Some people would rather hang in the kitchen fixing drinks or food rather than mingle with the others. Plan some simple jobs for people who want to pitch in.

Remember that everyone comes to a party planning to have a good time. Your job is to set the stage and let your guests relax and enjoy themselves. And make sure you have fun too!