The key to becoming an effective host is to be prepared for anything that may come throughout the night. Proper preparation will always deter any party planning disasters. We have come up with five steps to easy entertaining, which should make the next party a breeze.

1. Send out invites:

The idea is to keep the attendee list to a manageable level. By knowing the total number of people coming, you are better equipped to shop for menu items and amount of alcohol to purchase. Personal invites will also keep out people you do not know and those you are not particularly fond of.

2. Enlist a greeter:


This will allow you to continue conversations with guest without having to be pulled away to greet new guests at the door. The greeter will also be good for taking coats on cold winter nights. The greeter can check guests’ coats while informing them of how the night will transpire. Again you do not want any surprises, so the greeter will be instrumental in setting the mood of the night.

3. Choice menu items that can be self-served:

Self-serve is the way to go for easy entertaining. Select menu items that are simple for guest to understand and eat in one or two bites. Keeping your menu to a small selection of light options will relieve the pressure of maintaining a heavy entree offering and most importantly, keep you out of the kitchen, to enjoy the party and your guests.

4. Create one signature cocktail:

Create a cocktail that revolves around your theme for the night. Signature cocktails are great, especially if you do not have a bartender available or you have a volunteer that will fill in as a pseudo bartender. Pre-make several gallons of the specialty drink before the party and store them in the refrigerator. Before guest arrive, pour the mixture into decorative carafes, set up the bar with glasses and serve. Signature cocktails not only keep the drink lines flowing, it also cuts down expenses.

5. Do not STRESS!

The most important part of easy entertaining is to simply “be easy”. People often get too wound up and stressed when hosting a party. Just remember, the point of having a party is to celebrate and enjoy the people you love. So start early, prepare and control your atmosphere. At the end of the day it is your space and your home, so you have the power to make it what you want it to be.

Parties ultimately do not have to be difficult or stressful. With a few steps, anyone can have a fabulous gathering that is easy, breezy and care free. Following the five steps will allow the host to enjoy his or her party and actually remember the events of the night. Now if all of this is still too much, you can always hire an expert. We happen to know of two talented planners that can make all of your party dreams a reality. Wink-

wink, LOL… So keep it simple, keep it intimate, keep it stress free and as always do it with style. Enjoy your party!

By Nicholas Mayberry