Playing the Perfect Host

Planning a gathering can be stressful, leaving you with little time to enjoy the party. Create the perfect evening for both you and your visitors with these simple tips:

  • Tastes do matter: When you invite guests, ask about their dietary needs. Are they vegetarian? Do they have seafood allergies? Prepare dishes that accommodate everyone.
  • Simple can be fun: Before you set the table, consider the kind of party you’ll be hosting. If it’s informal, you might want to toss the cutlery in favor of easier to prepare — and eat — finger food. If it’s more formal, dress up easy staples by using elegant tableware.
  • Preparation pays off: Your party will be more successful — and more fun — if you’re not wiped out before it begins. Prep early and pace yourself to give you plenty of time to relax before the first guests arrive.

Have a plan B: Count on the unexpected — the additional guest, the last minute cancellation, and the person who doesn’t know anyone. Have extra food, and an easy diversion such as a board game, sing–along, or neighborhood scavenger hunt.

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