How To Plan For Entertaining At Home

July 08, 2019

How To Plan For Entertaining At Home

How To Plan For Entertaining At Home

Entertaining at home is a wonderful way to spend time with family and friends. It is great to sit around a table and share stories and memories with people you care for or work with. Before you have your dinner party or entertaining at home use these questions to guide you so that you have a wonderful party. 

How to plan for entertaining at home

Before You Start

Organization is key to make hosting a breeze. 

There are six questions to answer to get started: 

What is the date? 

How many guests will be there? 

What is the location? 

What type of party will it be? 

What is your budget? 

Will there be music or entertainment?

There are 3 things that will determine the success of your party: food, drinks and entertainment (when entertaining at home this relates to your guest list)

The Guest List

Who are your guests? Is it a family occasion or are you entertaining people or professionals from work.  

Be strict about the size that fits your space.

Try to be creative with the mix of people you are inviting so that you have an interesting group of people for entertaining. 

Determine the Location

When you are entertaining at home you need to evaluate your space like a critic -- don't excuse a small oven or single bathroom -- and don't exceed the space and equipment you have. 

It won’t be a pleasant experience for anyone, especially yourself if you have a line up for the toilet or a single oven that results in cold food for your guests. 

If guests will be standing, the average-size room can generally accommodate 30 people, a three-room expansive about 60. 

For any form of buffet, you must provide seating.

How to plan for entertaining at home
What Type of Party Will You Throw?

Why you are throwing the party -- a holiday, for fun --will help set the date and size. 

Add to that your location, budget, and equipment to determine the type. 

Is it purely a dinner party filled with conversation or will you have other activities?

Will everyone be inside or outside?

Cocktail parties are the least expensive and most versatile. 

For a sit-down meal, you must have (or rent) dishes, flatware, glassware, linens, seating, and serving pieces. 

A buffet is almost as versatile as a cocktail party, and the size and price can be tailored to your budget.

Set Your Budget

Consider liquor, food, rentals, service, music or entertainment, and flowers or decorations to establish your initial budget. 

Think drinks first, as alcohol can be a major expense. 

Don't feel as though you need to be as well-stocked as a restaurant; consider serving a signature drink, and be inventive with your food choices to limit costs.

Think of the combination of dishes you will serve. Are there nibblies for guests to choose from when they arrive, then appetisers, main meal and dessert. Be conscious of the fact you need to mingle and you don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen. 

Music and Entertainment

Music can make or break a party but doesn't have to be complicated at all. 

Match your selection to your budget and style. 

For simpler affairs, it is generally there for background support. Hook your iPhone up to speakers and create a specific playlist. 

For more theatrical parties, consider live music. Student musicians are a good source for quality and affordable entertainment. 

If it is for dancing, choices range from a rented jukebox to a hired disk jockey through neighbourhood rock groups.

If you are having it at home think about how you want the evening to go.

How to plan for entertaining at home


Putting It All Together

Once you have answers to these questions, the framework for your party is in place -- the time, place, and style have been established. 

Now use this information to figure out your details. 

The type of party will dictate what you need for equipment, the season can inspire the menu, and the budget will factor into the type of entertainment you choose and if you use a caterer. 

Outside of that, be creative and tailor a party you would want to attend.

Now set your timeline for when everything has to be done by. 

Outdoor Decorating Details

With festive outdoor lighting, parties can last long after the sun has set. 

Outdoor lighting can be both functional and festive: 

Whether, you're highlighting a focal point in the garden, defining a pathway, or setting a table with votives, lights will help you navigate the darkness and create a little romance outside. 

One week before your party, plan the table decorations and hang any festive details like flags or garlands. 

A few days before the event, buy the menu ingredients, alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks, and gas or extra charcoal for the bbq.

To make the event less hectic, consider preparing salads and desserts on the day before the party.

Enjoy the Party

Summer is a great time to relax with friends and family and indulge in delicious, home-style food. 

A great hostess doesn't have to do it all on her own, so why not enlist the help of a few family members or guests by asking them to help with the grill, set up the buffet, or organize the drink station? 

Make introductions, mingle, and then enjoy the party!

Happy Entertaining

How to plan for entertaining at home

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