Is your house clean? Does the food taste good? How many people did you invite? Do the guests know each other? What type of drinks should you serve? What should you wear? These are just a few of the many questions that a host has to deal with- no wonder why hosting a party is so stressful! My house has always been the destination for family holidays: Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthday parties. So, I may only be twenty-one years old but I know a thing or two about hosting a good party.
We have all been to our fair share of really awful parties. We walk away with a bad impression of the host, complaining about their rude manners and neglect of the guests. Parties are supposed to be fun (yes, even for the host) so here are a few tips to make your next party a success. A happy host= happy guests!
*Whether you are sending out formal invitations or inviting people over the phone make the invite clear. What occasion is the party for? Is there a dress code- casual or formal? What’s the time frame? The less unanswered questions your guests have, the better they will feel about attending your party. No one likes not knowing what to expect.
*If you are requiring RSVPs it is your responsibility to make sure that you have everyone’s answers. In a perfect world each guest would follow your RSVP date and respond but let’s face it- it’s not a perfect world! If there are lingering RSVP’s just make a quick phone call. A host’s worse nightmare is to not have enough food/drinks for all their guests.
*Make sure you have everything ready BEFORE your guests arrive. It’s ok to have a few odds and ends to do during the party, but people came to YOUR party to see YOU so remember to socialize.
*Dress up! It’s your party- wear something that makes you feel good. The better you feel, the more confident and relaxed you will be.
*It is the host’s job to make the guests feel comfortable. Start with greeting all your guests at the door. Your (smiling) face should be the first thing they see. Set aside a designated area for coats and purses and bring your guests belongings to that area for them.
*Make sure to introduce your guests to people they do not know, pointing out things that people have in common to break the ice that will encourage a conversation between them.
*Spend time with ALL of your guests, not just your best friend. Also, keep your eye out for people who are sitting alone and bring them into your conversation.
*It’s ok for the host to have a few alcoholic beverages at the party but try to stick to water as much as possible. No one likes a drunk host- save yourself the embarrassment.
*Be prepared for a crisis! When you want something to run smoothly, it never does so be prepared. Have cleaning supplies (club soda) and towels set aside ready for spills, etc.
*It’s really tempting to clean up as you go but try to save all the cleaning for when your guests leave. Your guests may feel like you are hurrying them along if you are cleaning up around them.
*When your guests are ready to leave show your appreciation (exaggeration is appropriate here). They took time out of their day or night to come to your party so show your gratitude by grabbing their coats and purses for them, walking them to the door, and remembering to thank people for any hostess gifts they gave you AGAIN (you should have already thanked them when they first gave it to you). Bonus: Try to remember exactly what they gave you!
If you follow this party etiquette, you will be the go-to party girl for all your friends (lucky you). The hostess can make or break a party- so be the best host you can be. The more comfortable your guests are, the better the party.
Happy holidays, party with ‘lipstick confidence’!