Hosting A Great Party Or Event

Hosting a great party or event without flaw for that perfect event is made easy and a sure fire with the information in this article.

Hosting a party or an event can be very exciting, but at the same time it can be rather stressful. I have been helping people plan events on everything from stags right through to their children's birthday parties. Ivitation etiquette, foods and snacks as well as music choices. Party hosting can be a breeze, just follow some basic guidelines and you are on your way to a Party Success Story.

INVITATIONS

A great place to start because every event needs an invitation as a way of letting people know what is going on, when it is taking place, and how to get a hold of the person running the event. With many people now owning PC's, it is perfectly acceptable to make your own invatations assuming that the event is not a wedding. Get creative, and get the family involved by coming up with snazzy invitations of your own. They can be as fancy or as plain as you want them to be. Every invitation should include:

(1) What the event is

(2) The date of the event

(3) Where the event is taking place

(4) The time the event is to start

(5) A phone number for guests to RSVP

As a general rule of thumb, the more elaborate the event, the earlier invitations should go in the mail. For a retirement party, or a baby or wedding shower, I recomend that invitations go out at least 3 weeks prior to the date on the invitations. For a birthday party, try two weeks. Of course for weddings, the invitations should be out at least two months prior to the wedding.

CHILDREN'S BIRTHDAY PARTIES

Children's parties are very easy, assuming that you have the tolerance and patience for children. You can choose to host the party at home, or take the mess elsewhere to a place that specializes in birthday parties. A great place to take smaller children is bowling, McDonald's or to an indoor play area. My niece adores going to the indoor play area I like to take her to, look for an area that has a lot of activities for children, because we all know that children do not have the biggest attention spans. If you are going to host the party at another venue, put this on the invitation, and have possible rides for parents that can not take their children to the designated spot. Most places that host birthday parties have a set fee, depending upon how many children there will be. The fee usually includes 2-3 hours of play time, food for each child, beverages, grab bags and a birthday cake. If however, you are brave enough to host the party at home, keep things simple. Buy simple decorations like streamers and balloons. You will need to keep the children entertained for approximately 3 hours, but there are many things that can be done in this amount of time. Try traditional birthday party games like Pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, or BINGO, or even creative craft games. Keep small prizes on hand for the children that will these games. Rent a new release children's movie, if the kids are old enough, or look into hiring a neighborhood clown or magician for an hour. The food that you can serve at a child's birthday party can be virtually anything. Kids love pizza, chicken nuggets, hamburgers and hot dogs. Keep plenty of snack foods on hand and you will have happy party goers. Also, children tend to love making their own sundaes, so when you serve the cake, try having a very small sundae bar with various toppings like chocolate chips, sprinkles, crushed cookies, and small candies. Award a prize for the best masterpiece. Grab bags should not be filled with all candy. Do yourself and the other parents a favour. Some great ideas for grab bags are colouring books and crayons, stickers, hair accessories for little girls, trading cards for little boys, and little school trinkets- erasers, pencils, etc. For older children, take them bowling, let your child have a slumber party, or pay-per-viewing event.

BABY AND WEDDING SHOWERS

Baby and wedding showers are a joy for most women to host, to attend, and to be the recipient of. The excitement and anticipation of the upcoming baby or wedding is a time that every woman wants to share with everyone she is close to. A good idea I have passed on to many baby shower hostesses is to wait until after the baby is born, and a few weeks old. That gives the new mom a chance to show off her pride and joy, as well as making it easier for the guests with colours and items. If the shower is given before the baby is born, guests attending should try and keep gifts in neutral colours, suitable for a girl or boy. A light luncheon is perfectly acceptable for both types of showers as well as having people bring a pot-luck lunch. Fancy tea sandwiches, salads, veggie trays and little cookies and squares are the best lunch fares, allowing everyone to enjoy themselves without overdoing it. Alcohol-free punch, coffee, tea and juices should be kept on hand for thirsty geusts. Some games that have been favorites to be played at wedding or baby showers are making the receipient a hat out of paper plates, bows, and ribbons. Simple ideas such as marking little things on the bottom of certain plates also work, and make the event game-free. For the winners of the games, plants or chocolates are nice prizes.

If you are the hostess of a wedding shower, try using a theme for the shower such as Time Of Day, where the invitees all get a time of the day, and they purchase a gift relating to that time of the day, or Honeymoon, where everyone buys something to do with where the couple are honeymooning.

DINNER PARTIES

These are my personal favorite types of parties to host. Intimate gatherings of close friends and family. Everyone has taken part in a dinner party whether they realize it or not. Going to Mom's for dinner on Sunday night, is a dinner party. These can range from completely informal where the hostess has ordered food, or it can be very formal, like Christmas dinner.

If you are hosting a formal affair, you want to set the right mood and ambience. Light those candles on the center of the table, pull out the best china and crystal (it is an excuse to clean it all anyways), and make your dining room a romantic retreat for your dinner guests. Invite everyone to come earlier than dinner so you can have some wine and hor' derves, as well as pleasant conversation. The perfect formal dinner has 5 courses, not including dessert or coffee. Start off with breads and salad, then follow up with a meat dish, a potato, and a few steamed seasonal vegetables. Follow up with a light dessert and coffee in another room where guests can relax.

For an informal dinner party, make the dining room warm and homey, and serve comfort foods such as meatloaf, and mashed potatoes, or sere dinner buffet style. Serve family favorites, and follow it up with a fun dessert severed with coffee and tea. Your guests will love the entire dinner.

STAGS AND OTHER WILD PARTIES

A great way for the bride and groom to celebrate their upcoming union is with a stag and doe. There is a lot to be covered for this type of event. Renting a hall, selling tickets, collecting door prizes, getting a liquor licence, supplying the alcohol, and I think you get the idea. It is a great way though to help the bride and groom make some money for the upcoming wedding as well as share their happiness with all those who know them. Tickets for a stag and doe should usually cost about $10 a person or $15 a couple. Sell the tickets to people that will be attending the wedding, as well as old friends and collegues of the bride and groom. Serve a buffet of anything that is considered a "finger food", or easy to eat off of a paper plate. When selling drink tickets, the most creative way of doing it is an arms length for $10. This usually gives people 6 tickets, and it is a good price. Also have people walking around with a crowd favorite- jello shooters for $1 a shooter. On average, people will drink approximately 6-10 drinks for an event of this caliber. Make sure you count out how many people will be coming, and use the following equation for figuring out how much liquor to buy:

# of people x's 8- 1 oz shots. A good amount of alcohol for 50 people would be the following recomendation : 2- 60 ounce bottles of each- vodka, rum and rye, 5 cases of beer, and 20 bottles of wine. Most liquor stores will return the unopened portions, but check before hand. Decorate the hall nicely, but sparingly, and enjoy yourself, it is suppose to be fun. Hire a local dj to spin the latest hits, and there are tons of fun games that can be held at this type of party. Roulette, pay to pick a card, 50/50 draws, and pay to dance with the bride or groom.

All of the above methods are ways that you can host an event and still have fun while doing it. I think we all will agree the idea of hosting an event starts to lose its meaning when it becomes too stressful. Enjoy your event, and make it something that your guests will enjoy as well.

© High Speed Ventures 2011