Thursday, January 22, 2009

Party Planning Solo? Here Are 4 Ways to Make it Easy and Classy

It can be hard to throw a party sans help. BUT there are tips and tricks to doing the job well. Here are 4 ways to make throwing a party easy and classy:

1. Send out handwritten invitations
These days you can invite people to your house with a text or an email, but where is the glamour in that? Make your next do classier than that by buying vintage or handmade postcards (Try eBay for these) and jotting down a short note with the details of the event. This will set the tone for your party. Of course, if your party is more of the beer bash variety, by all means use Evite - it's quick, easy and you can still get creative.

2. Set up a DIY bar
A do-it-yourself bar will free you up from serving drinks and give your guests an immediate activity when they arrive. It's best to hire a bartender through friends or acquaintances, but if you don't want to invest in extra hands, place beverages, mixers, glasses, ice and other utensils on a table (or preferably two) so that guests can serve themselves easily. Make a test drink to make sure that the flow is smooth for guests and they can work from one side of your DIY bar to the other. You might also want to have ingredients for a signature drink like a mojito on the bar. Write the simple recipe for the drink on a piece of parchment or fancy paper. Do it in calligraphy, if you can.

3. Serve small, but substantial hors d'oeurves
If you're hiring a caterer for your soiree, send over your own ramekins or dishes, if you have them. That way, the dishes seem like they were made by you. If a caterer isn't in your budget, serve small but heavy hors d'oeurves like quiche or shepherd's pie in ramekins like these from Crate and Barrel. Find easy fancy food recipes at sites like The Nibble. And you can find alcohol pairings at Wisconsin Cheese Cupid - an invaluable resource! Keep your hors d'oeurves to a minimum (just 1-2), but do them well.

4. Localize your decor
Instead of decorating your entire house or one whole floor, pick a focal point for the party and go to town decorating. Consider using candles (NOT SCENTED!!) and one color of a variety of flowers in different sized/shaped vases. No matter what you choose to do, keep it simple so that you can have plenty of time to get yourself ready for the party. Because why throw a bash if you can't enjoy it?

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