Whether it’s a bubbly-fueled Girls' Night In party or good old fashioned backyard barbeque, fun fêtes take some pre-event prep. But don’t get so caught up choosing the best camembert-champagne pairing that you drop the (cheese) ball on the party basics! Make your celebration one to remember by steering clear of these common hosting faux pas.
- Play Musical Chairs. In your mind, you’ve got a vision of a perfect party: All your guests mingle seamlessly, gliding easily from group to group with drinks in hand, too busy having fun to ever think of sitting down. In reality, people like to get off their feet—especially the ones wearing heels! If your party lasts more than two hours, make sure you give your guests the option to lounge if they want to. A good rule of thumb: Have enough chairs to seat three-quarters of your guest list.
- Have a One-Track Mind. A wine-and-cheese soiree makes for a chic celebration—until hunger hits the vegan designated driver. Don’t get so caught up on your party theme that you forget to provide alternatives for friends with dietary restrictions and picky palates. After all, you’re the host, not the food police, and you don’t want lactose-intolerant neighbors or breastfeeding moms getting cranky. Plus, being accommodating doesn’t have to be difficult. One festive non-alcoholic drink and a simple fruit plate goes a long way.
- Forget to Socialize. A party host often wears a lot of hats: cook, bartender, waiter, sommelier, busboy…The list goes on. But your most important job isn’t serving food and drinks; it’s socializing! People come to parties to meet and hang with other people – you included – so find ways to get out of the kitchen and from behind the bar. Take the time to make guests feel at home, to catch up with new and old friends, and to introduce people who don’t know each other. And don’t forget to have fun yourself!
- Drink Like There’s No Tomorrow. “Is it too late in the year for this rosé? Did I muddle the mint enough for those mojitos?” Throwing a party can be a nerve-wracking endeavor—exponentially raising the risk of your downing your drinks too quickly. Don’t rely on cocktails to quell your anxieties, and be careful not to absent-mindedly guzzle what’s in hand. A sloppy host might be entertaining for a short while, but you don’t want to put your guests in the position of having to taking care of you. Plus, this party’s one you’ll want to remember. Toast responsibly.
- Turn Into a Neat Freak. Sure, you want to straighten up your place before the party – but once the festivities start, it’s best to let things get a bit messy. Beyond clearing some dirty plates and napkins to make room for new ones once in a while, leave the tidying for later. If your guests see you constantly straightening up and wiping down, they’ll start getting tense, afraid to drop a single crumb. Worse, some might think the party’s over and take off! Relax, enjoy the party, and save the cleanup for tomorrow. You deserve a night of fun.
Avoiding these party hosting mistakes isn’t just about a better time for your guests. You’ll get to have more fun too!