Party Up: Part I – Party Prep

There’s a lot I can say about parties, from the prep to the conversations, to the food and drink. So I’ll be doing a series of posts about parties and will tackle a different aspect of throwing a party in each post. I’ll focus on the house party and entertaining at home, but most advice would be great for any type of party you’re throwing.

First up – party prep! That’s broad. I get that. Let me break it down:

  1. Decide on a date. Saturdays seem to work better. You have all day to get things ready for your guests coming that evening. Plus, most people are free on Saturdays and you’ll have higher attendance. Pick a date about 5 weeks away and you’ll have enough time to get the word out to your friends.
  2. Who’s who? Determine how many people you want to come to your affair. Is it a cocktail party? Is it a dinner party? A house party? Will you do the cooking or will it be potluck? Once you figure out what kind of party to have, you can make a list of invitees. You know your friends better than I do, but I typically invite more people than I actually want to have because sometimes even 5 weeks out isn’t enough time to snag a spot on someone’s schedule.
  3. The grub. I’ll say more on this later, but for now, I want you to think about some of your favorite foods. What are your favorite things to cook? What can you make lots of easily? Or, if you’re not the type to cook, what can you order ahead of time that can heat well for a party?
  4. Spaced out. Where will everyone sit? People tend to migrate toward where the food is, so make sure there’s ample seating around the good stuff.
  5. Drink, drank, drunk. What are your guests to drink? In subsequent posts, I’ll provide some ideas for big batch cocktails and some wine pairings that do well at parties. Definitely don’t depend on your guests to provide all the drinks, because you never know what you’ll end up with.

Once you have these details nailed down, you’re well on your way to having a party! Next up: Setting the tone.