Monday, October 12, 2009

10 No Fail Party Tips

We ran across these 10 Party Planning Tips that we love from fellow celebrity event planners Lara Shriftman and Elizabeth Harrison and we of course added to them. These are great little reminders to keep in your entertaining file. Enjoy.
Over Invite: Let’s face it sometimes guests flake. Maybe they had a bad week at work or they are so exhausted from running around with their children all week or they have unexpected guests in town; whatever the reason, no shows and last minute cancellations are bound to happen. Plus, some of your guests will leave early and some will arrive late; so, when you put together your guest list, invite five extra people for every 20 guests on the list. (You can play with this formula, but you get the idea!)
The Guest List: The key to a great party is having an interesting mix of people. Everyone likes to see their friends and mingle, but it is always fun to meet new people. Expand your social circle by browsing your email or asking your best friends or co-workers to invite a few friends. We have even hired actors to create a thrilling scene at our parties. See "Master Thespian!" in Twist Past Tips.
Money Matters: Once you have decided to have a party and selected a theme and the number of guests, it’s time to set a budget. Decide what is most important to you - is it crystal glassware? Flower arrangements to die for? Or insanely clever invites? Be prepared for overage by reserving 10-15% of your budget for anything you might forget and those last minute ideas that drive up the cost.
Location: Pick a fabulous location that your guests will love such as a new and trendy bar, maybe a friend's home that your friends are dying to see, a horse stable, an ice skating rink, etc. Be creative here. A classic location is your own home, so don’t rule out this location. Just make sure your house is in order before your guests arrive.
Timing is everything: Always give a start and end time to a party. If you keep the night open ended, people will trickle in all night long whereas if the invite states 7:00pm-10:00pm, guests are more likely to arrive early and stay longer because everyone will be there around the same time. Also, avoid having a long time frame or you will offset the flow of guests. For example, with a four-hour party, you will have a fantastically crowded 3 three-plus hours, but if you have a party that stretches from 8:00pm-2:00am, people will come and go all night long, leaving tons of downtime.
Thirst Quenchers: Make sure to have plenty of non-alcoholic beverages for the designated drivers, mommies-to-be and your other guests who aren’t in the imbibing frame of mind.
Greet Guests with a Cocktail: If we are having a party catered we always station servers at the entrance of the party with a tray of drinks both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. We are always fans of having a signature cocktail for each occasion to give it some character.
Go Mini: If you are having a cocktail party, think small in regard to food…small bites that is. There is nothing worse than balancing a plate of food, silverware, and a drink. You want you guests mingling so pass bite-sized (1-2 bites is ideal) hors d’ oeuvres like tiny sandwiches or sushi.
Salty & Sweet: Diet is a dirty word and a party is a place you want your guests to indulge a bit. Offer a decadent balance of savory treats like Coconut Shrimp and French Fries and sugary treats like Mini Cupcakes and Candy.
Dress Rehearsal: You’re the host and your job is to look fabulous, so make planning your outfit part of the party planning check list. A week before the party, pull out what you are planning to wear and review - if you need to purchase anything you will have plenty of time. Lay out your outfit the night before the party as well and make sure you have everything you need right there and nothing is left to the last minute.


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