Though it may be fun to whip up something for friends and family who drop by, planning a big event takes what can be a surprising amount of thought and time. But the effort required cuts down on the risk of unpleasant surprises and increases the likelihood of a memorably good time had by both hostess and guests.
Three Weeks Before the Event
Draw up a preliminary guest list, then finalize it. Send out invitations by mail. They should not be sent out by e-mail, not just because it’s bad form but because e-mails are a bit vulnerable. There’s too much of a chance that a burglar will find out when the guests won’t be home.
After the invitations are gone, draw up plans for the food service. Is it going to be a sit down dinner or a buffet?
Two Weeks Before the Event
Take stock of dinner service and napkins, and order anything that’s lacking from a party supply store, including chairs and tables. Coat racks can also be ordered unless the hostess doesn’t mind a mountain of coats on their bed.
Renting Furniture Reminder
If you don’t already have the proper furniture needed for the business party, you can use a company that does event furniture rental. This could save you money and you won’t be stuck with unnecessary furniture after the party ends.
The Week Before the Event
Wash the tablecloths and napkins. They might even be sent out to be professionally cleaned. Clean the dinner service and the silverware. It’s also time to buy the booze.
A good rule of thumb is three bottles of wine for every four guests. If cocktails are to be served, the hostess should buy the ingredients for the cocktails they’re best at making or the ones their guests like if they’re not too complicated. Staples include whiskey, vodka, gin, tequila and assorted liqueurs. Go food shopping.
Two Days Before
Arrange the lighting so that it is bright but not harsh. Some experts suggest replacing white bulbs with pink ones. They tend to make everyone look rosy.
The Day Before
Vacuum, dust and clean the house, especially the areas that the guests take special note of, like the bathroom and everything else that’s at eye level.
Start cooking dishes that can be warmed up later.
Store valuables in a lock box and put it in a closet. This includes things in the medicine cabinet that the hostess would rather people not see.
Put alcoholic beverages that don’t need to be refrigerated, glassware, shakers and other implements on the bar, and set the table.
One to Two Hours Before
Take a shower, and open wine bottles to let them breathe. Prepare dishes that need to be served immediately and start warming up the ones prepared before.
A Half An Hour Before
Turn on the music. Put the finishing touches on the food, put out coasters and lots of napkins. If an item of furniture is upholstered in delicate fabric, put a slipcover over it.
Roll up area rugs and runners that can’t stand much traffic, and put them in a closet. Put welcome mats on both sides of the threshold. Some hostesses ask that their guests remove their shoes before they come into the house. Make sure there is storage for shoes and boots near the door.
Fifteen Minutes Before
Fill the ice buckets and light candles. Make sure that they are not in drafty areas or near things that can catch fire.
When the Doorbell Rings
The hostess should check their look in the mirror, smile and welcome their guests!