A get-together with family and friends at your home is an opportunity to catch up and have fun with the people you care about the most, but preparing for a gathering can feel like a chore. Your event doesn’t have to be stressful for you, though. Here are seven tips to help you throw a great casual party without too much effort.
- Try Easy but Exciting Cocktails
An interesting cocktail can add a flair to your party, but you may wonder how you’ll manage an exciting treat like this with your other hostess responsibilities. Fortunately, a fun and refreshing cocktail doesn’t have to be difficult to make. You can dazzle your guests with one of many easy but impressive recipes, such as this lemon drop shot recipe.
On the subject of drinks, slightly overestimating how much you need is always better than underestimating. You don’t want to run out midway through the event.
- Plan a Simple Menu
Good food doesn’t have to be complicated. You should consider a simple but tasty menu that will leave everyone completely satisfied. Sticking to your known crowd-pleasers will make the day that much simpler.
Make sure to plan your meal and go ahead and make anything you can the day before. The less you have to do the day of the gathering the better.
- Serve Snacks Where You Want People to Congregate
Often, people at parties gather where the food is, which is usually the kitchen. Having a crowd in the kitchen is a huge pet peeve for many hosts and hostesses. To keep your guests out of the hot kitchen, serve your appetizers, snacks, and drinks where you would rather people congregate instead, such as a buffet station in the living room or a table on the patio.
- Make Introductions
While some people find it exciting, most people dread the idea of being at a party where they don’t know anyone. As the host, you should facilitate introductions and make sure everyone feels welcome. Try matching up people who you know have a lot in common. If everyone is engaged and chatting, you’ll have less pressure to micromanage the conversation.
- Think About Kids
If the guests at your gathering will include kids, make sure to account for their specific needs and tastes. Your menu should include some food items that will appeal to children with picky appetites. You may want to encourage them to participate in kid-approved games and activities. An activity area with coloring books or puzzles could be just the thing to entertain youngsters while their parents relax. This will also keep children out of your hair as you ensure a smooth party.
- Prepare Enough Food
There are few things worse for a hostess than sending a guest home hungry. While you don’t need to go overboard, you should definitely make sure you have enough food for all your guests to leave with full bellies. Providing appetizers in addition to the main meal will give something to snack on for those guests who want a little extra to eat.
- Have Fun
Parties are supposed to be enjoyable for everyone, including the host. Don’t let stress get in the way of enjoying yourself at your own gathering. Guests will be much more likely to relax and have fun if they see that you are too.
A casual gathering should be just that - casual. If you’re itching to get your friends and family together, don’t let the idea of planning an event put you off. If you keep things simple, you will have a good time, and your guests will, too.