I really love planning parties. I love adding little details to make it memorable, trying new recipes and just gathering ideas, even if I never use them. I really should have been a party planner, to be honest.
But as I get older, and my time gets abbreviated, I have looked towards streamlining my hosting duties. I don’t to sacrifice ALL of the things I love about having a party, but I am trying to be a little smarter about how I incorporate them.
- Do 1 or 2 “special” items – Make a unique cocktail, or fancy appetizer. Put together one of those giant charcuterie boards that have been sweeping social media. Make a huge selfie area, complete with props. Prepare something that will stand out and wow your guests.
- Keep everything else easy – buy pre-cut veggies for a platter. Or heck, get an already assembled platter! Don’t bother juicing 10 oranges for mimosas…buy a carton! Make as many pieces ahead of time as you can. Not only will nobody notice…nobody expects you to do it all. So give yourself a break.
- Serve crowd-pleasers – I always want to try new and interesting dishes when I entertain….but they don’t always work out. After your 1 or 2 extraordinary dishes, keep the rest of the menu easy and generally palatable. That way, there will also be less to clean up afterwards, because everyone will eat it all!
- Host early in the season – this tip is specific to this time of year, but applies to a couple others as well (ok, Halloween is all I can think of right now). By having your party earlier in the season (and getting your invites out early, too!), you have a greater chance of people being available and in the mood to party (instead of being stressed and filled with lots of other obligations).
- Keep the guest list manageable – this one is especially tough for us, as we love a good party. But keep in mind the size of your entertaining space as well as other things like budget, and your own personal ability to juggle a crowd. Sometimes, less is more.
Hopefully this helps you if you are having a shin dig this month, or even in the future!!