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Planning the Perfect Party

You don’t have to be Rachel Ray or Martha Stewart to throw a fabulous party. Just follow your gut instinct and these tips and you’ll be the hostest with the mostest!

Set the tone.

Do you want to host a casual, backyard summer barbeque or a formal dinner party? Let your invitation set the tone. For the more casual, select stationery with beach balls or something fun. For the more formal, select a more dignified, classic invitation. You can purchase pre-printed stationery where all you need to do is fill in the blanks by hand or by feeding the sheets through your computer printer.

Select your menu.

Backyard barbeque or fancy hors d’oeuvres? Make sure you mention something about the food menu in your invitation so people don’t plan for a sit down dinner only to find fancy gourmet hors d’oeuvres that may be tasty but may not fill them up.

Don’t overplan.

While you certainly will plan your menu, don’t try to set a schedule of activities for the evening, if possible. The best parties are fun and memorable because they are spontaneous. However, if the evening feels slow, be prepared to suggest a rousing game of Pictionary or Scene It to spice up the evening.

To decorate or not to decorate; that is the question.

If you are hosting a theme party, such as tropical, by all means stop by your local party-planning store and pick up a few stuffed parrots, some plastic leis and maybe a blow-up palm tree.

However, before you stress out about planning your gathering, keep in mind that the best parties are memorable for the company that was present and the warm, inviting atmosphere generated by a warm, relaxed hostess. So stop stressing and remember it’s a party and it’s supposed to be fun, most especially for you!