Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Planning a party .....

Party plans....it can be a lot of work but with a few of these tips it can be a lot of fun and successful!!!
Over the years I have been involved with planning different kinds of party events, in fact at one time in my life I started a small company called "I Do"... catching name right? Well I did party and event planning. It seem like most of all the events involved food so I also started catering and that business was called "We Cater to You"...After posting these tips I came back to add a tid bit...If you are hosting a party, reunion, reception or any other kind of event where there are children set up a children's food table...they will love it!!!


This is Madelyn at my Son's Wedding luncheon....she still talks about the little kids table!!!



1. Give your self plenty of time....You should start planning 6-8 weeks before the event no less than 4 weeks. Trust me on this one, this allows you plenty of time to think the party out from beginning to the end. Get your detail list started and break down your to do's.  It also allows you the time to gather the supplies, come in under and at your budget, and enlist plenty of helpers...

2. Enlist help! Trying to get everything done by yourself can be stressful. Delegate duties to some of your friends...they're usually happy to help out, and it's a lot more fun than doing it alone! I have found that when I do this, those that I have help bring ideas and resources with them...

3. Choose a theme. A theme makes planning your party much easier, and it sparks your guests' enthusiasm. This includes the table and chair lay out, table clothes, plates, centerpieces, lighting, ect...

4. Pick a place, and time...

5. Plan out your games and activities, if you are going to be busy hosting assign this out to someone who is great at involving people in games.  Follow up with them and make sure they are aware of your party layout, tables, chairs ect.  

6. Decide on the menu pretty early in your party planning process and make a list of all of the food and drinks that you will need to purchase from the grocery store. Determine what type of serving dishes you are going to need and be sure you have everything. If there's something that you're missing, call a friend to see if you can borrow something, or add the item(s) to your shopping list.

7. Spread the word. As soon as you have the core parts of the party down (food, location, music, time, date) then start to invite your friends. If it is a big party you need a big place, for example a recent party I did we served 56 people, last year the same party we had 64. This requires a large area...if you are hosting a party for 20 people and your home is  2500 square feet, that's probably all the people that you will want to invite. Being over crowded does not make for fun!!!

8. Set the mood. This is one of the party planning tips that some people tend to overlook. Greeting guests at the door with a smile will help them feel comfortable right away. Decorating your party location to match your theme will spark your guests' enthusiasm, and dressing in the style of your theme will get everyone talking. I am a believer in Presentation.....!!!

9. Play background music to liven up the atmosphere. Make sure it's played loud enough to hear, but not so loud that it's a distraction.

10. Visit with all your guests!!! Let them know you are so pleased they attended the party, everyone loves to feel important. 

Above all enjoy yourself....you are the Hostess!!!



 Centerpieces do not have to be large, use smaller items and create groupings for larger table areas...
Any area can be transformed into a event with planning, this is a gym...
Start early gathering your items needed for your decoration, including the dishes you may be displaying and serving food in.
Presentation!!!
Make the food look fun, good, display it!!!



Gather the dishes you need for all the food, warming dishes work well for large groups...
Layer your place settings, serve a few courses, place settings should have appeal but also keep it simple...Some other ideas you can do is tie flatware with a pretty ribbon or fabric , or add a vibrant napkin for a pop of color...for this party simple hearts made with scrap booking paper and piece of chocolate adds to the theme for a Valentines party.

Remember Presentation!!!
At this dinner we served three kinds of soup, make food labels to inform your guest what foods your are serving...
We also had a bread bar, and salad bar with a variety of specialty dressings notice the bottles are all labeled...  
These are the spreads and butters used at our bread station, notice the place cards...
Having a variety of breads to choose from was a fun foodie idea!!! Every one loved it...


Groupings of smaller items add interest using tea lights...

Keeping a beverage table makes things easier of you...guest are free to get their own drinks. Use several punch bowls or pitchers so you don't have to refill the table often.



Make the food look great remember
Presentation!!!
To serve a busy group either serve from both sides to keep line going faster or for this party we started at the center (our meat carving station ) then proceed either  left or right...
Yummy bread station...
The soups were great...
Allow the crowd to mingle at the beginning...enjoying the mood




Mingle and enjoy your guest...






Make the games fun...put someone in charge of this!!!

The above pictures are from our Valentines Ward Party...For the past few years I have enjoyed  (with lots of help) doing a couples dinner. Rather it be for a large group or a small group in your home the approach of planning is the same....


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