Wednesday, April 2, 2014
4 Simple Tips to Entertain Like a Pro | Family Economics
By Tori Tait
Party planning doesn’t come naturally for everyone. While some people are very comfortable preparing menus and digging out their linens, others, break into a sweat just thinking about entertaining a large crowd. Even if you are not a natural hostess, you can still host an event that surprises your guests into thinking you’re a party pro. Follow these four shortcuts to throw a no-fuss party that will have all your friends singing your praises.
1. Rethink your lighting. When you go to a nice restaurant or upscale event, you rarely have bright bulbs beaming down on you. The truth is a setting with dim lighting helps set a relaxing mood for your guests and also makes everyone look great (which is a plus). To duplicate that glowing feel, turn off your overhead beams and opt for small lamps throughout your party space. If you do not have any lamps, purchase a few soft-lit bulbs and replace your existing lights for the evening.
2. Style your food. Even if you are not preparing fancy appetizers and snacks for your guests, taking the time to plate the food will make all the difference. So whether your menu features pizza or pasta, break out your nice set of dishes and serve your meal as if you were presenting your guests with caviar! For snacks like trail mix and chips, use colorful bowls and place them in areas of your party space where people will be sitting, rather than spreading them out on one table.
3. Spruce up your beverages. Serve your drinks like you would get them at a restaurant. Add a slice of lemon, a cherry, or a fun straw. Make your batches of lemonade, tea and other refreshers ahead of time and store them in the fridge in a glass pitcher until ready for use. This will make your serving duties much easier and also allow you to hide the containers which will keep your party space clean and streamlined.
4. Decorate your space. If fancy floral centerpieces are not your style, you can still decorate your tables and counter space to give it some flair. For example, gather a few glass vases and fill them with items like cherries, apples, lemons or limes. This inexpensive alternative only takes minutes to set up and will help spruce up your party space! Another option is to use framed photos of party guests as centerpieces. Group a few of your favorite framed shots and place them atop a cake stand to give them height. As you can see, adding decorations can be simple, you just need to look to see what you already have on hand for inspiration.
See, hosting a party does not have to be expensive or stressful. Simply use the ideas above to help you get started!