It’s easy to get wrapped up in worry when it comes to planning a party, but jotting your thoughts down on paper can take away some of that tension. Think about your guest list. Who didn’t make it on the list last year that maybe said something about it to someone’s sister who told your friend who told you? Invite her and her husband this year. Try to put together a good group of positive people. Once you know who's attending and the invites are out a few weeks in advance, take a deep breath and plan for your own sanity. Here are a few tips in keeping your party planning calm, cool, and totally stress-free.
Pick a Theme This is more important than you might think. You’ll want to have some sort of foundation and established feel for the party. Do you want to engage your guests by making it an ugly sweater party? Think about your group. Are they likely to get into that sort of thing? Maybe you want to set a romantic atmosphere with a black and white affair. Themed parties are creative and make the planning process a little easier.
Tidy Up Spend some time dusting, vacuuming, and tidying up your home. Go through every room and make sure you feel proud of it. The bathroom might need the most attention. Make sure that toilet is absolutely spotless. Get in, around and under it. Tidy up your medicine cabinets and drawers. Light a candle. Put a fancy soap dish out. Replace the toilet paper and put an extra one somewhere near it. Your guests might be spending some time in there and will definitely notice whatever you didn’t. Love is in the details.
Stick to What You Know If you always nail that yummy split pea soup your mom used to make, go for it. Keep your kitchen happy by keeping your recipes neat and clean. Avoid dishes that call for constant TLC. If you need to spend your morning and afternoon stirring, flipping, steaming, grinding, beating, chopping, rolling, mixing, slicing, spreading, seasoning- you’ll lose your mind. You’ll also need to do another big clean-up after all that and that’s no fun either. If your dish calls for a variety of elements, prep the night before. Make it easy on yourself by leaving the last minute punches and stirs till the end. It’s nice to see the host in the kitchen but not all night. Another idea is to delegate a little. Ask reliable friends to bring desserts and side dishes.
Drinks Have a few drinks you know are popular and keep them chilly. Buy extra ice. If the party is deeper into December, maybe keep a couple bottles of eggnog or hot chocolate to spread the spirit.
Scents, Music, Lighting Scents: Having cookies baking in the oven right when your guests arrive is lovely. This will fill your entertaining space with swirls of buttery goodness. If you remember Alicia Silverstone doing this in Clueless, you’ll make sure not to burn them! Expect that your friends are starving. Keep every belly happy with hors d’oeuvres galore and a few signature cocktails. Like mentioned above, do any prepping the night before and pick things that you can just pop right in the oven. This keeps it easy for you and also keeps the house smelling delicious all night long.
Music: What kind of party did you decide on? If it’s a lovely dinner party, any music you play should be gentle and non-competing with guest conversation. If the party is upbeat and kid-friendly, play something a little zippy and bright. One thing to keep in mind though-keep the music quiet as guests first arrive and let it steadily increase in volume and speed.
Lighting: What sort of mood are you trying to set? Is it a later party that’s cool and sophisticated? Keep the glow dimmed. Are you trying to set a cheery atmosphere? Make the rooms joyous and colorful. Maybe you’d like to run out a few days before hand and get some café lights or candles to create a special, unique ambiance. This can work for any party you throw if you stick to that theme you chose.
Pamper Yourself It’s time to start thinking about yourself now. Your big night is coming and you want to feel fabulous. Let’s face it ladies, when you look good you feel good. This means your ends maybe need a little trim and your toes could stand come color. Go ahead and get it done. It also means that your outfit has to be perfectly on-point. Good thing is, we’ve got you covered in this department. Try one of our fabulous plus size party dresses and go ahead and wear those gorgeous new platform heels. Loretta orTracey would look amazing for entertaining. Need a little style inspiration? Check out our holiday lookbook then put a little lipstick on and do a couple swirls because you’re the host of the party of the year. Lastly, just relax and don’t take yourself too seriously. Your friends will love you long after the party’s over.