Party Planning 101 Article -
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Party Planning 101

Tips and tricks to make entertaining easier.

Party Basics

Whether you're planning a big event or a cozy get-together, the basic steps are still the same. Then you decide how simple or elaborate it gets. A party-planning checklist could help you organize the details.

Just set the stage, anticipate the needs of your guests, and let everyone get on with having a good time.

Food & Drink

Whether you're serving casual finger food, potluck, or a multi-course feast:

  • Cater to your guests. Ask ahead of time if there are food issues you should know about.
  • Offer a variety of choices but go with what you know. Now is not the time to spring untried dishes on innocent bystanders.
  • The bar: Consider hiring a bartender for a large crowd. For a smaller gathering, make one or two signature cocktails in a pitcher. Beer and wine can be self-serve.


  • Invitations. Send two weeks ahead of time (or four weeks ahead for major holidays). The more details you give, the better. Include a map.
  • Logistics. If it's a big to-do, do you need to rent party equipment? Can you hire help? Enlist a couple of friends? What about parking, bathrooms, and where to throw the coats? How about your pets? Does your 80-pound dog like to leap on guests? Is anyone allergic to your cat?
  • Decorations. Your budget will be your guide, but there's nothing wrong with keeping it simple.
  • Entertainment. Music sets the mood, so make a party mix. Games are optional, but decide when you want them to happen. If kids are coming, keep them entertained. Maybe hire a couple of babysitters so the adults can relax.

    Ready to plan your party?

      Apr. 20, 2012 5:33 pm
      hello, I am planning a baby shower for my daugther in law and want it to be perfect. Anybody have ideas? So far the only things on the menu is a pasta salad and mac&cheese w/baacon.
      May 29, 2012 12:53 pm
      For mr.mom68: See "Ultimate Party meatballs" recipe..easy to make ahead, just need crockpot to transport and keep hot. Have made for 3 events..gone everytime!
      Sep. 11, 2013 9:37 pm
      Planning a perfect party is really very difficult task. But your blog provide me a way to organize a party easily.I am planning a party for my daughter named Jennifer, and hope your tips help me a lot... thanks :)
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