For some of you who prefer to throw some chips in a bowl, a scarf on the lampshade and a mass message on Facebook thirty minutes before you expect your first guest, then you can skip this tip. For everyone else, six months is not too soon to start planning. That way it will be so much easier to gather all the decorations, especially if your theme is very popular or one that will have colors that are no easy to find. It can take time to find all the pieces you will need like matching plates, napkins, streamed and cups. We had a horrible time finding things that were a solid purple color for one of our parties. If you are renting your venue, it may be less expensive to book months in advance.
This tip has always been the easiest for me to follow because I have had the same group of about 10 friends for the last twenty years. Half my guest list is already done before I start thinking about whom else to invite. The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing guest is to make sure you have the right amount of time to spend with each guest. The more people you invite, the more complicated you make your party, and the less opportunity you’ll have to connect with each guest. First, invite close friends. You have more than likely seen them in the last two weeks and have been caught up on all the most recent activities in their lives and don’t really have to devote much more than photo opportunities and light party conversation with them. Invite a few people you’ve been meaning to reconnect with. These people will require a little more of your attention. It’s a good idea to allow them to bring a plus one. This will allow you to spend the required amount of time with them while allowing them to have company at your event for their own volition. Only invite a handful of these guests as you open your event up to the unexpected the more anonymous people you invite into your doors. Lastly, invite and a few others you think would mix well with everyone else. These would be your party starters, party clowns, sexy attractions and people who generally know everyone there other than you
Decorations need to happen. They need to be put up and taken down. Those balloons are not going to blow themselves up. This is the part where most people come to their last straw and frustration sets in. It does not need to be a big production headache if your over organize your décor. Make a plan for the décor to happen. Don’t forget the candles! Order what you can online. If it’s a particular size tablecloth or shade of serving tray you’re after, best to scour the web than drive all over town looking for it. After all, nothing’s easier than getting a package delivered to your doorstep. If you do your research you can have your entire party assembled for free and shipped ready to use by specifying your needs in the notes to the seller section of your online purchase or by sending an email to the seller pre purchase. Have your decor delivered a week before the event so any assembly required can be accomplished in a timely manner. Also, resolving any delivery or selection issues will be a breeze if there is time allotted. Schedule your party for late afternoon to give you plenty of time for set up on the morning of the party. We use to do our parties at night to begin around to kick off right after putting the kids to bed. Over the years we figured out that the earlier in the day the party was set to start the more running around like maniacs we did doing set up and last minute stuff. Now we do our parties at 9 pm and have all day to set up and get ourselves ready.
Music is essential at a party, and if your budget doesn’t permit a DJ, make a playlist from your own music collection or tune into an Internet radio service such as Pandora or IHeart Radio. Choose a few stations to suit the occasion and appeal to everyone’s taste. Without getting too technical, the music is the life’s blood of your party. It helps to set the ambiance and can be used to move the party in a flow that fits the entire crowd. I like to plan the musical portion of my parties in stages. Stage one is the arrival of guests. This is the point where you want easy listening music with a good beat. Examples may include, Maxwell, Anthony Hamilton and Stevie Wonder to name a few. Once the bulk of your guests have arrived, it’s time to get the music moving with more bass, mingling music. Hip Hop and R&B easily does the trick. Classic Rock and any Reggae playlist will work as well. After an hour and a half of this flow, it is usually time for the event of the evening. This would include recognizing the guest of honor. For a birthday party this would be singing and blowing out the candles. After that you want to pump the party up with high energy and dance hits back to back. Crowd favorites and dance mixes are in order. Lastly, when you are ready for the party to wind down around the fifth or sixth hour, you want to play a slow, relaxing music set aside (in a different playlist or on a separate disc). You can put this music on when you're done hosting the party for the night, to encourage people to wrap up and head home. Letting your playlist set the mood and flow of your party is the most stress free and effortless way to host your event.
In a large cooler or container empty 4 bags of ice, three gallon bottles of your favorite vodka, two pounds each of strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries and lemons. Lastly, pour in enough pine apple juice and cranberry juice to cover the fruit. Mix and serve straight from the container. Display the drink on a table surrounded by cups, straws, napkins, toothpicks and plenty ladles for serving.
In a large cooler or container empty two pounds each of oranges, apples, cranberries and lemons. Add three gallon bottles of your favorite cognac and 1 cup of sugar per bottle. Mix well and let sit for one hour. Then all a mixture of simply mango, orange juice and pineapple juice to taste and serve very cold.