Party Planning Tips

How to Throw a Party

Be sure to provide enough beverage choices for your guests.
Be sure to provide enough beverage choices for your guests.
Kathryn McCallum

Planning to throw a party? There is no need for stress or worry, even if it's your first time playing host. Just follow these easy tips and you and your guests will have a great time.

First-Time Host: If this is your first company meal, keep it small. Don't invite more people than can comfortably sit at your table -- unless you're having a cocktail party and you are only serving finger food.

Keep the Menu Simple: Choose one or two involved recipes and let the rest be easy to make. It's best to choose the entrée first, and then plan the other dishes around it. While it's fun to make complicated dishes, be realistic about what you want to serve and try to simplify as much as you can. Remember that simple does not have to equal boring.

Presentation Matters: Part of the fun in serving wonderful food is in the presentation. A spray of flowers or a handful of fresh herbs can provide a simple, colorful garnish. You can even make your simple dishes look elegant by surrounding them with creative decorations such as unlit candles or colorful napkins.

Garnish It: Another option is to choose one of the recipe's ingredients, such as red onion, and save a few pretty slices for the top of the dish. The best garnish will be the smiles on your guests faces, so don't forget to relax and have fun -- after all, it's your party!

Learn even more tips on entertaining and party planning on the next page.

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