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10 Party hostess tips

Molly Cerreta Smith loves writing about all things mommy, parenting, food, health and travel. When she's not staring into the face of her Mac, she loves to hike, read, do messy crafts with her kids and compete in BBQ competitions with he...

Be the hostess with the mostess

Throwing a party is often more complicated than simply sending out invitations and setting out a few appetizers. Here are 10 tips to help you be the hostess with the mostess at your next party.

Accommodate everyone.

Even if you are hosting a large gathering, make sure you have something that everyone will like. Serve soda, tea or coffee, and water for non-drinkers, and make sure there is something on the menu that vegetarians can enjoy.

Set the stage.

Arrange your entertainment area in a way that accommodates the agenda for the evening. For example, if you are having a sit-down dinner, you'll need a place setting for each guest. If the fare is buffet style or passed appetizers, you can group furniture into intimate clusters around your home. If you want people to dance, clear some space or set up a "stage" outside complete with white lights or even a disco ball for ambiance, and make sure the music is rockin'.

Check in with your guests.

Circulate throughout the room to see if anyone needs a drink refresher, a plate of food, or a sweet bite after dinner, and keep your eye out for solo guests to make sure they are mingling well with everyone. If someone looks lonely, swoop in and chat them up!

Mix and mingle.

Mingle with everyone. Your guests all came to see you, party girl! Don't get stuck in the corner with one group of friends all night. Make your rounds.

Give a gift.

Give them something to commemorate the night. You don't have to go all out with party favors, but a little treat is always welcome at the end of a great night. Fill little goodie bags with hand-dipped chocolate biscotti or homemade cookies.

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