People always ask me, "What makes a great party?" There is no one easy answer to that question. Many factors go into making a party great - the food, music, atmosphere, the company, etc. So many things to consider! How do you plan a fun, memorable party with out getting overwhelmed?
Here are some of my tips for turning a regular dinner into a party to remember.
Set the Table in a Special Way
Setting the table is one of my favorite parts of entertaining. I always put it at the top of my list when I'm hosting a party. If I don't make it a priority, after the shopping, cleaning and cooking, setting the table can be the last thing to get done and it gets thrown together at the last minute. That is hardly a good way to begin a party! Setting the table in a special way doesn't mean you have to make a professional floral arrangement. My favorite centerpieces are bunches of one variety of flower. I use simple, clear vases that let the natural beauty of the flowers do all of the work for me. I like to use seasonal flowers that can be found anywhere - groups of hyacinth, daffodils or tulips are popping up even in the grocery stores this time of year. If you can't find any great looking blooms, use bunches of herbs instead - they will smell (and look!) just as good! At each place setting, place an individual potted flower for the each of your guests to take home. The blooming flower will be a lovely reminder of the great evening for days (sometimes weeks!) to come.
Send them Home with some Tunes
Create a playlist for the evening featuring your favorite feel-good tunes. You can include some memory-inducing songs like the one you danced at on your wedding night, or your favorite song from college. To let your guests in on the fun, play some music that is significant to them. The familiar music might inspire a festive story or two around the dinner table. Have copies of your playlist on a CD to give to your guests - it is a unique way to help them continue the fun on the way home.
Follow Up with Photos
In today's social media world, it is easier than ever to share photos with your friends. Be sure to snap photos throughout the party to share with them after the night has ended. Are your friends not on the social media bandwagon yet? Send them with an email with some snapshots and one of the recipes from the evening.