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There’s no doubt about it: Planning and hosting a party can be exhausting. Before you begin your party planning, consider these tips to help you stay calm and collected—and ensure that everyone has a great time!
- Divide and conquer in advance. Make certain the items you plan to prepare are within your skill level and budget. Breaking tasks up into small chunks—cleaning the house one day and picking up items you’ve ordered from your neighborhood Publix Bakery and Publix Deli the next—makes preparation more manageable. See our Party Planning Checklist to ensure you have everything you need for the event.
- Ask for help. Don’t be bashful about requesting assistance. Host a potluck dinner where you provide the main dish and appetizers while guests bring complementary side dishes or desserts. Ask in advance for assistance with small jobs during the party—select tasks that allow your helpers to mingle while they assist you. Hosting a kids’ party? Enlist other parents to help with food, games and photography. To save even more time, peruse available ready-made offerings from Publix.
- Take a break. Planning the perfect party can be stressful, so be sure to schedule some much-deserved alone time. Take your mind off party prep with a soothing stroll outdoors, a pampering pedicure, a warm bath or a short snooze a day or so before the party. You’ll emerge feeling relaxed, refreshed and ready to host a stellar fete.
- Make guests comfortable. Before guests arrive, turn on soft tunes—background music makes people feel more at home. When you greet guests offer to store their purses, umbrellas and coats in a safe place. If gifts are involved, place a table near the entryway to avoid any potential gift-giving confusion.
- Mix and mingle. To encourage conversation, invite a variety of guests with different backgrounds. Make detailed introductions to kick off conversation as people arrive. To help guests start a conversation about something they have in common, ask leading questions. If you have two guests who cycle, for instance, introduce them and ask: “Don’t you enjoy bicycling, Amara? Maria, didn’t you tell me you do a 40-mile ride each weekend?”
- Serve a variety of food and beverages. Perhaps your best friend is a vegetarian. Or maybe a coworker is allergic to peanuts. When planning your menu, factor in guests’ dietary needs and special preferences. If you plan to serve alcohol, offer a selection of nonalcoholic beverages as well.
Go easy on yourself. One mistake isn’t the end of the world! So what if you left the biscuits in the oven too long? Make light of the situation and move on—obsessing about it only makes your guests uncomfortable. Besides, your company is more important to them than slightly burned biscuits. The best time to take notes for your next party is right after the last one.