Author Topic: The Basics of Good Hosting -- Parties  (Read 30242 times)

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Venus193

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The Basics of Good Hosting -- Parties
« on: December 28, 2009, 12:06:04 PM »
Casual or Cocktail Parties

1.  Invite guests at least two weeks in advance so they can plan accordingly. 
2.  Advise them regarding directions, parking issues, public transport instructions, and smoking rules upon acceptance.
3.  Keep any extreme allergies (like nuts) or medical issues in mind when planning the menu.
4.  When preparing your home be sure to clear away anything fragile or extremely valuable if it's in a vulnerable place.  Now is not the time to display the Ming vase.
5.  Be sure the bathroom is clean and you have adequate bathroom tissue, soap, and hand towels.  If your cats' litter box is there, be sure it is clean.
6.  Keep pets in the spare bedroom if necessary; most will flee the activity anyway.
7.  Keep your level of mess tolerance in mind when planning the menu.  Chicken wings, clams casino, and spare ribs create more mess and garbage because of the bones; you may want to stick with deviled eggs, caviar on toast points, and sandwiches on cocktail rye.
8.  Choose foods that require minimum attention once they meet the heat so that you spend as little time in the kitchen as possible.
9.  Don't skimp when shopping for groceries and drinks.  Purchase bags of ice if your freezer doesn't make enough at once.  And if a guest volunteers to bring more, graciously accept.
10.  If you're not having anything catered, do as much food preparation as possible in advance.  You should not be cleaning, trimming, chopping, marinating, or mixing as your guests begin arriving.
11.  The bar (if applicable):  Don't be obsessed with having every mixed drink ingredient; creating a cocktail theme works well and provides adequate variety.
12.  Have chips and veggies (or whatever) on the table when the guests begin arriving.
13.  With a few major exceptions (e.g., Super Bowl Sunday) a moratorium should be called on computer use or television during the gathering.  Background music, however, is usually desirable.
14.  Wear relatively comfortable shoes if you are running back and forth with trays or anything else.
15.  If you don't have paid help, don't allow garbage to pile up too much before beginning to get rid of it.  Make a garbage run at the halfway mark or have your SO do it so the end won't look like Armageddon.
16.  Enjoy yourself!

magdalena

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Re: The Basics of Good Hosting -- Parties
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2009, 12:10:09 PM »
Perfect list, PERFECT!

..I want to come to a party thrown by you, Venus (well, I always wanted to meet you anyhow, so this is no news!)



Venus193

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Re: The Basics of Good Hosting -- Parties
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2009, 12:19:02 PM »
I'd like to meet you, too, and most everyone here!

I wish I had a bigger place to be able to give large parties... and formal ones.   

magdalena

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Re: The Basics of Good Hosting -- Parties
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2009, 12:20:13 PM »
Me too, Venus!
And I wish I was closer to you all. Even if I hopefully get a bigger place in two or three years, I'll still be an ocean away :(



Lisbeth

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Re: The Basics of Good Hosting -- Parties
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2009, 12:39:12 PM »
Pod to all!

17.  Introduce guests to each other, and do your best to keep in mind relationships between guests.  Social units should be invited together; if you know that guests are incompatible, either don't invite one of the parties or do your best to keep them apart.
18.  Be prepared to have anyone who drinks too much or acts out escorted away-including by the police if necessary.
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Nurvingiel

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Re: The Basics of Good Hosting -- Parties
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2009, 01:14:18 PM »
Great list. I'm going to keep this in mind for our New Year's Party.  8)
If I had some ham, I could have ham and eggs, if I had some eggs.

lolane

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Re: The Basics of Good Hosting -- Parties
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2009, 08:39:07 PM »
19. If guest need to throw things away or separate recycling (cans, bottles, etc.) into a different receptacle, please make sure the trash/recycling areas are obvious and please make sure they have room. I personally hate carrying around a disposable napkin or plate looking for the garbage can, only to find it overflowing with items.

Wordgeek

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Re: The Basics of Good Hosting -- Parties
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2009, 11:06:57 PM »
#8 is particularly useful. It keeps the stress level down.

I like to have all the food prepped and then just replenish as necessary.

Stranger

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Re: The Basics of Good Hosting -- Parties
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2010, 10:44:16 PM »
Brilliant suggestions!


sparklestar

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Re: The Basics of Good Hosting -- Parties
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2010, 11:18:43 AM »
Have taxi numbers ready for when people are leaving.

If cold, salt the pavement/steps to your home.

sparklestar

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Re: The Basics of Good Hosting -- Parties
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2010, 11:23:30 AM »
If you know someone is coming who doesn't know anyone else, keep an eye out and introduce them to a few people when they arrive, or go one step further and assign a "buddy" to keep an eye on them and make sure they aren't left out.

PeasNCues

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Re: The Basics of Good Hosting -- Parties
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2010, 11:26:53 AM »
If you have dogs which you are not comfortable separating into another room/outside, be sure to keep an eye on them through out the party for correction as needed. Not everyone is confortable correcting other peoples' animals.
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blarg314

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Re: The Basics of Good Hosting -- Parties
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2010, 03:53:03 AM »

Have a convenient place to store shoes, coats and bags.

For drinks - if you are having an open bar and want to avoid excessive drunkeness, don't put out random bottles of hard liquor and mixers. Instead, have a variety of less potent drinks (wine, beer) as well as a few pre-mixed (and not too strong) cocktails - Mojitos, daquiris, etc.  Also provide a good selection of non alcoholic drinks. Avoid shooters unless you want the police called.

If you are cooking yourself, have at absolute most 2 dishes per person preparing that need to be heated or assembled during the party. 1 per preparer is better. Everything else should be prepared in advance.

If you live in an apartment or are having a big house party, a quick note to the neighbours can be polite and avoid problems. Let them know that you are having a party that night, but things will quiet down by X time, and to contact you if there are any problems (this depends on the neighbours of courese - inviting them can work well too).

For 2) - I make up a non public webpage that has the address and phone number, a map, instructions for parking, taxies and public transport and anything else that might be useful. Guests can print it out easily, and I don't have to retype everything for the next party.

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.



mechtilde

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Re: The Basics of Good Hosting -- Parties
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2010, 04:25:03 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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Venus193

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Re: The Basics of Good Hosting -- Parties
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2010, 07:47:14 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.

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