We may be a long way from the days of jellied meats and delicate cupcake icing, but the art of entertaining is still very much in vogue. If you're having a party, whether formal or informal, and you don't know where to start, we've got you covered. It's easier than it sounds: a little organization, a little food, a little drink, lots of topics for conversation and activities for later and you will have it all. for a great party and entertained guests.
Part 1 of 4: prepare for the party
Step 1. Organize the party space
Start by organizing the party area. You will probably want to move the furniture around to create as much space as possible and to ensure that people can stand and sit while being able to easily chat together. You might consider creating a quieter area for chatting, slightly outside the rest, so that people who want some quiet time can get it.
- Try to separate large spaces into smaller sections, to facilitate conversations between small groups that naturally form during gatherings.
- If you're short on space, move as much furniture as you can against the walls, or move some furniture to another room that you won't be using to make more room.
Step 2. Clean up the space where you are going to receive your guests
When you have arranged the space to your liking, start cleaning. You'll want to make a good impression on your guests. What to clean depends on where you are going to receive it, but here are some essential tips:
- take out the trash and anything that might smell bad
- mop and vacuum the floors
- clean windows and windows
- tidy up the mess
- thoroughly clean the kitchen and bathroom
Step 3. Think about places that are easy to forget
There are many places that are often forgotten to clean, and a party is the perfect excuse to make sure those places don't get overlooked. Try to be meticulous when cleaning, picking up items that you usually leave lying around and making sure you have cleaned all areas usually covered by furniture.
- For example, many people forget to clean under the toilet seat before a party. Guests might not notice it, but guests are bound to see the dirt accumulated underneath!
- Another often overlooked area is the front garden of the house. This is where guests make their first impression, so make sure it looks clean, pleasant and tidy.
- Also, don't forget the inside of the refrigerator. People will open it to get drinks and they won't want to see dried gravy on one of the floors.
Step 4. Remove any items you don't want in the presence of your guests
Once everything is clean, you could make a mental list and decide if you want to remove certain items. There are a lot of items that you don't want to leave in the presence of your guests, for many different reasons. This includes fragile, valuable items, and items that could cause controversy. Store these items until the party is over.
For example, your grandfather's pocket watch might be on display in a case in your living room. If you don't know the people who come to your house, it may be a good idea to store it in a less visible location
Step 5. Install some decorations
Once you have a solid foundation for your party environment, add some finishing touches to really wow your guests. This is where decorations come in handy. You're probably used to birthday balloons and fake Halloween spider webs, but don't think that these are the only options when it comes to decorations. There are many other possibilities to choose from.
For example, say you are throwing a party for a friend who is going to move out. You could decorate the room with the theme of where he's going, so he knows you will all be with him in spirit
Step 6. Don't overlook the music you are going to play
Once everything else is ready, you are ready to organize your playlist. Music can make your party a success or a failure, so be sure to plan for the background sound. Make sure the music isn't too loud. People need to be able to get along.
- Try to match the music with the theme of your party or with the tastes of your guests. However, if you are unsure, try to choose music that is popularly liked. For example, Bob Marley or the Jackson 5 are perfect choices for a summer party, and Sinatra period music is ideal for winter gatherings.
- You can use some websites, like Pandora, to act as a DJ for you. It can save you a lot of trouble and make sure the music will be varied. You can also put radio stations online, they offer all kinds of music and for all tastes, so this is also a great option for a party.
- You can find tips for connecting speakers to your computer at wikiHow, if you don't know how.
Part 2 of 4: preparing and presenting the food
Step 1. Start with appetizers and appetizers
Snacks, appetizers and appetizers are crucial at a party. This is because these are foods that are easy to peck between activities and conversations. Eating a meal tends to occupy the mouth for too long and make interactions difficult. You don't even have to serve a real meal if you have enough delicious appetizers available.
Some really good possibilities are crackers and cheese, individual small pots of sauce, wraps or filled puffs. Don't forget the essentials either, like crisps and vegetable matches with gravy
Step 2. Offer larger foods
If your party is over mealtime, be sure to offer a little bigger dishes as well. If a person is hungry, he will loot the snacks, leaving nothing for others. Plan something quick and easy to prepare that doesn't cost too much.
For example, a "tortilla bar" is quick to set up and costs little money. It is also easy to cater for everyone's tastes and dietary restrictions this way
Step 3. Plan a dessert
Everyone loves dessert. Even if you haven't planned a lot of food, offering a great dessert is one way to make sure people have a really good impression of your party. Of course, you can just buy dessert from a store (splurge and buy something lavish), but you can also make it yourself.
Did you know that you can make a very impressive cheesecake with your blender and just a little milk, sugar, cottage cheese and cookies? Pour your preparation into a paste and serve with fresh berries, to impress your guests with minimal effort
Step 4. Plan the food carefully
When planning the food, try to know in advance how you are going to prepare everything. You should allow yourself plenty of time to prepare the food, to make sure you don't end up in the kitchen when your guests are present. Try to choose dishes that you can cook the night before or that can be made a day or two ahead and simply put to reheat in the oven when guests arrive.
For example, let's say you are hosting a formal dinner. You can marinate a roast the night before and let it soak in the juice after stuffing it with garlic. Prepare mashed potatoes the night before that you just have to reheat when your guests arrive. Add to all this an easy salad to prepare. So all you have to do on the evening of the meal is prepare the salad and put the roast in the oven an hour or two before dinner
Step 5. Make sure you have plenty to drink
Make sure you have enough drinks for all of your guests. Assume that each guest will have at least two or three drinks during the party. It is better to plan more, if possible. You will also need to offer many different drinks, as people have different tastes. However, take into account the theme and kind of party you are having when making these decisions.
- Daiquiris (with and without alcohol), mulled wine and Schweppes are some of the popular drinks.
- You can present your drinks in a unique way if you wish. For example, you can make an ice cream salad bowl to serve fruit punch.
Step 6. Once everything is ready, you can start to take out the food
For formal parties, everyone can be seated around a large table. For less formal parties, it is best to present the food on a table slightly out of the way. Just make sure you don't take out the food that can spoil quickly too soon. Fresh or hot food should not be taken out until the guests arrive.
- Displaying food on multiple levels or on floors can make it easier to access all dishes. Do not put food that spills easily at the bottom. You wouldn't want gravy spilling into the fruit salad!
- If your guests aren't seated to eat, try to choose foods that are easy to eat while standing. Some dishes, such as soups, can be too difficult.
Part 3 of 4: be the perfect host
Step 1. Welcome guests to your home
When people arrive, start by welcoming them to your home. Don't ignore them or rush to talk to someone else, even if it's a casual party. Your guests might not feel welcome or neglected.
Even just say, "Oh, I'm so glad you're here." Make yourself at home”is enough
Step 2. Show them around
If you have time, take them around and show them the rooms where the party takes place. They don't need to see all of your knickknacks, but it helps to tell them where they can find the toilets and food.
Also tell them where they can put their things, the house rules if there are any (no shoes in some rooms, for example) and so on
Step 3. Introduce the guests to each other
A good host will introduce people who don't know each other and help them start a conversation. Make sure a conversation is started before going to talk to other people.
For example, if you know that two people like the same musician, you can say something like: “Oh, Becca, you will like it: Julie has just gone to see Mathieu Chédid in concert. Julie, Becca is completely a fan of Mathieu Chédid. "
Step 4. Make everyone feel included
During the party, try to talk and interact with everyone. You're probably closer to a few people and you might be tempted to spend the whole evening just with them, but other guests might feel left out. Try to hang out with everyone, at least to find out if everything is going well or to offer them another drink.
Try to ask at least one question of each guest during the party. This will show them that they interest you and that you are happy with their presence
Step 5. Say goodbye to them at the end of the party
When the party is over, say goodbye to those who are leaving and thank them for coming. So people will feel appreciated and respected. By neglecting to say goodbye to them, you might hurt some people and they might have bad memories of the party (even if they had fun outside of it).
Part 4 of 4: make the party fun
Step 1. Find ways to have people have fun together
Of course, this is a party and you need to make sure that you have activities that allow people in attendance to talk to and interact with each other. However, you will need to adapt these activities to the number of people present, as well as to the interests and personalities of your guests.
- Offer group activities. If you have a lot of people, suggest at least one activity that a lot of people can do together. You could suggest a slightly cheesy dance competition, rent a karaoke machine, or hire someone to teach the group a dance lesson. Of course, you should think about your guests when choosing the activity you are going to offer. If they are shy ladies, for example, they might prefer to learn about making scrapbook albums rather than receiving dance lessons.
- Suggest activities to do in a small group. If you have a smaller group, there are more activities you can all do together. You could set up a dart board or put out board games. And don't feel like you have to limit yourself to Monopoly. Newer games, like Le Loup-Garou or Dixit, are great for small groups (around 10 players).
Step 2. Create spaces for introverts
Remember that not all of your guests will be outgoing just because they are at a party. By providing quieter spaces for introverts to escape to for a few minutes, you can be sure that everyone will enjoy your party. But, of course, also try to give them the necessary tools to feel comfortable around others.
Provide cards with topics of conversation. These cards will have one or two questions or one or two conversation topics. Place these cards near each guest's seat or in the center of a table in the room, so people can use them whenever they want
Step 3. Plan indoor and outdoor activities as needed
If your party is outside, you will need some outdoor activities. If your meeting is taking place indoors, you will need different activities. Having activities for any scenario can also be a good idea. Remember, if you are having an outdoor party and bad weather thwarts your plans, you will need to be able to offer indoor activities.
- For outdoor activities, you can offer carnival games, a juice bar or an outdoor cinema screening.
- For indoor activities, you can set up a photo booth (all you need is a camera, backdrop, and lots of props), organize a Secret Santa variant and offer a gift exchange or set up a workshop for temporary tattoos.
Step 4. Match the activities to the theme of your party
Choosing a theme for your party can also help you plan activities. For some occasions, the theme will be obvious (such as holiday season and the like). Otherwise, it's up to you to find a theme and associated activities that will appeal to your guests.
- For a 1920s-themed party, you can show a silent movie and host casino games. You can even make non-alcoholic cocktails if there are too many young people present to serve alcohol.
- For a party between men, get some cigars. You could choose tobacco specifically for the occasion and hire someone who can roll cigars to people who want them.
Step 5. Think about more formal parties
If you're throwing a more formal party, you'll probably need to take a slightly different approach to entertainment. Make sure to take this factor into account when planning your party. Formal parties tend to be an added challenge, because people are less likely to be social and friendly on these occasions. This means that you will need to make sure that the guests have conversation leads and activities that will make them interact with each other.
- You can make your guests play the paper game. You write the name of a famous character on a sticky note and stick it on the back of each guest. Guests should ask questions of others present to find out who they are.
- Small gifts for people who participate in activities are also a great option for formal parties.