Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

The Basics of Good Hosting -- Parties

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Auntie Mame:

--- Quote from: Nurvingiel on February 07, 2010, 11:08:13 PM ---
--- Quote from: KeenReader on February 07, 2010, 10:31:19 PM ---
--- Quote from: Nurvingiel on February 07, 2010, 01:31:13 PM ---I think it is okay if you use your computer to play the party music. But people shouldn't be, say, posting on Ehell during the party. ;D

--- End quote ---

I think that if the computer has party music or other entertainment, it can be part of the agenda.  But otherwise, if it's people using it individually or a subset of the people there are using it, then no.

--- End quote ---
Oh yes, definitely. You just queue up the playlist and then turn off the monitor. Maybe attend to it once or twice if the music needs to change.

--- End quote ---

This is what I do.  I put together a fun playlist on my laptop (usually about 5 hours of music), put it on random and repeat and then set it up in an aout of the way corner.  Never had a problem with people hopping on it to surf the net or do other things. 


--- Quote from: Venus193 on January 19, 2010, 06:47:14 AM ---
--- Quote from: mechtilde on January 19, 2010, 03:25:03 AM ---20  Before the guests arrive, take your coats off the hooks and put them away on a bed somewhere so that the hooks are all free for guests' coats, and they don't have to rummage around on a spare bed looking for their coat at the end of the party.

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That's a good one.  I would even vote for vertical coat racks.

--- End quote ---

As an alternative, the removable hooks that 3M makes that sticks to the wall is terrific for extra coats. They also come in all sorts of styles and colors, so you can put up the decorative hooks that appropriate for the feel of the party, then take them down. They're also reusable, just need to get fresh sticky strips.


--- Quote from: blarg314 on January 19, 2010, 02:53:03 AM ---For 3) - For a party, I find that the best thing to do is prepare a variety of foods. Have some stuff that is vegan (which also handles vegetarian, lactose problems or kosher/halal restrictions), some that has no nuts, some that's wheat free, some that's soy free. Label the 'safe' items. That way everyone can find something to eat without you having to obsess over the details.

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I live in an area with a lot of vegans and vegetarians and my family has issues with allergies. Seeing all of the delicious looking and smelling food and not being able to eat during a dinner party is not fun.

As for computer use, I do urge setting it up so the speakers are a part of your party, but not the computer if at all feasible. If people are tempted to browse the computer it might help if it is out of sight or in a non-public area of the house.

And my family are landlords, so while extra coat racks are great (especially in winter), do try any adhesive products out in a less obvious area and try to clean them up as soon as possible. The next tenants and the deposit will thank you.

Iris lily:
I am becoming increasingly tired of lack of clarity in invitations.

I attended a birthday party, one of those big bashes for an adult birthday, held in a catering hall. The invitation said "1:00 to 4:00 pm." 

I figured they would serve cake and punch. Perhaps some light savory such as small sandwiches. I assumed it was a drop-in event to attend any time during those posted hours. There was no mention of food service on the invitation.

We arrived at 1:30 pm. They opened a buffet of meats, veg, potatoes at 2:00 pm. This is just odd. Everyone at my table had eaten lunch and so, ate only enough to be polite. Wish the invitation had been more clear. Not surprisingly, other friends arrived after 2:00 pm, puzzled by the food service.

That said, I know that I could have called the hosts to find out more about the party. And it seems rude to question this event of hospitality. But I feel as though I didn't give this party full attention, especially since we had  plans for later in the afternoon and we left after being there about 1.5 hours. I don't think the hosts expected everyone to stay for a full 4 hours, yet that what a full meal and open bar would imply.


We got an invitation from someone else, hosting a retirement party. This invitation says "6 pm" with no mention of food service.

But because we've been to several parties at their house, we know this means:
*drop in after 6 pm
*drinks and heavy appetizers will be served
* leave any time

But if they were expecting us for a sit down meal, I wouldn't know that.

"I am becoming increasingly tired of lack of clarity in invitations."

Same, IrisLily!

My friend got married last year in a very small ceremony with just their immediate families. They waited until this year to have a reception (which I am not particularly a fan of), on the 4th of July.  They chose a place that used to hold my high school's prom, so I assumed it was somewhat formal. It turned out that it was a very relaxed, casual picnic, where most people were dressed in their red, white and blue,  in a pavilion that was also on the property. No mention of it whatsoever on the invitation.

I would rather end up overdressed, like my DH and I were, than under, but it bothered me. It could have easily been mentioned in the invite or on the RSVP website. There were people present that were very formally dressed and I could see their embarrassment. I had other people tell me they called the couple to clarify, but I didn't want to bother the couple while planning and preparing. Had it been mentioned somewhere, they would not have received dozens of calls and so much confusion that day.

On another note, I am tired of receiving supposed invitations to events through word of mouth, like my MIL says "cousin is having a birthday party on Saturday and you are invited." Apparently it's normal in his family, but if they can't bother to call me themselves, they must not care if we are there or not. Also, I am a huge fan of actual mailed invitations (with details!. A text is not a proper way to invite someone to a first birthday party.


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