It's no fun for anyone if your guests arrive on time and have to entertain themselves in the living room while you rush around getting ready. Make sure you give yourself adequate time to prepare so you can enjoy your guests from the second the doorbell rings.
It's embarrassing for you and disappointing for your guests when there isn't enough food to fill bellies or drinks to keep everyone satisfied. When in doubt, over-prepare to ensure you'll have enough of everything to make everyone happy.
If there is no way for you to know a certain friend is a vegetarian or a distant cousin is gluten intolerant, then obviously there is nothing you can do about being ill-prepared, and no one will fault you for it. But having to apologize for preparing many dairy dishes for someone who has told you several times about his or her issues with lactose is awkward for everyone involved. So before you lay out the menu, take some time to consider each of your guests and whether any of them has unique needs when it comes to food.
Constantly saying "I apologize for the mess" goes only so far. Do yourself and your guests a favour by cleaning your place several days before the actual event. That way, when the big day arrives, all you'll need to do is a few touch-ups, and you'll be ready to go.
Your friends care about you, so of course they will be excited to see your children and catch up with them. But when your kids start trying to drag them off to play video games or begin monopolizing conversations, it may be time to draw the line. The last thing you want is for your guests to feel like babysitters, so encourage your children to take part in conversations but without being obtrusive.
The guest list is an important component of planning a good party. You want there to be enough people with things in common so that conversation can flow easily, but without over-packing the place and making it impossible for people to be heard.
Having a hostess who's trapped in the kitchen isn't fun for anyone. You'll be frustrated that you aren't out talking and having a good time, and your guests will be disappointed they haven't seen you. Avoid this unwanted situation by doing as much prep work as possible in advance. The only time you should have to spend in the kitchen is either to fix someone's drink or to do a quick check on cooking times.
Before the party begins, make a mental list of who knows who. You want everyone to get to know each other and have fun, but this can only happen if all your guests feel comfortable. Make things easier on everyone by getting introductions done early.
Depending on the size of your event, getting everything done single-handedly may not be possible, and that's OK. It's better to seek out the assistance of your children, partner or a close friend than to get frustrated by trying to do it all yourself.
Hosting a party is stressful, and having some negative emotions is only natural. But when you let yourself become grumpy, it's hard for others to enjoy themselves. Make the experience a pleasant one for all involved by not taking frustrations out on your guests. When you show you're having a good time, your guests will build off your energy, and a good night is sure to be had!
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