I don't host many dinner parties myself, so when I'm making plans I look for advice from the party planners! Carmela Abella, a home stager in Long Island, NY has some great pointers.
With the holidays just around the corner, I though it would be nice to make a list of Holiday Parties Do's & Don'ts! I often have dinner parties and I've learned a thing or two along the way.
- Do create a playlist. Don't leave it to chance with the radio. Music sets the mood, so don't take chances.
- Do have a drink before your guest arrives. It will relax you and set the mood for your guests. Happy host equals happy guest.
- Do limit the number of dinner guests between six to ten. No more then ten, as then it becomes work and less time to enjoy your guests.
- Do use place cards. Especially when your inviting guest who don't know one another. Make sure you write their names on both side of the cards so your guest can see theirs names as well. This will also help you control the seating arrangements. Placing guests with the biggest personalities in the center of the the table will help carry the conversation. Placement is key to a great conversation.
- Do separate couples. Forces them to mingle with your other guests.
- Do ask your guest ahead of time what they don't like. This will eliminate any awkward situation, imagine serving meat when your guest is a vegetarian!
- Do write down everything your are serving. I know that may sound strange but I have in the past forgotten to serve something on the menu, so write it down!!
- Do a mental dry run. I will go over the evening in my head and i can not tell you how many times I discovered something amiss!
- Do keep hors d'oeuvres simple; if you're serving an elaborate meal or vice versa.
- Do set the mood. I like to place candles throughout the house. Including the bathrooms. I will use batteries operator candles if i feel it might be dangerous to leave an open flame.
- Do have a great dessert. I have a wonderful dessert that i often serve my guests, easy to make and they think it took all day to make it. You can find it in on my website Abella Home Staging & Redesign.DON'TS:
- Don't try a new recipe. This could prove disastrous!! If you would like to try a new recipe, try it out before the party.
- Don't use plastic. Nothing says cheap and tacky, faster then plastic.
- Don't use paper napkin. Linens will give you that elegant feel that your guest will appreciate.
- Don't put out center pieces that your guest can't see over. It will impede the conversation flow.
- Don't clear the table too soon. This may signal the guest that the party is over and spoil the mood.
- Don't use colored candles. I like white and ivory, it ties everything together.
- Don't run out of food. This is the one time when more is better!!
- Don't let your pet wander about. You may love you pet but your guest may not appreciate your pet.I hope that everyone has a great holiday season. I know that we all have very busy lives, but stop and enjoy the holidays. Life goes by too fast and we Americans work far too hard!! For many of us, this is our slow season, so take advantage of it and and have lots of dinner parties!! Take time to enjoy family and friends, life is precious!
The Foerster Team
Rocky Mountain Real Estate Advisors