Golden Rules for hosting a party

There are no hard and fast rules for hosting or attending a party, but there are some common courtesies and best practices that go a long way. And for hosts, the more prepared you are, the better your party will be!

A lot will depend on you and the type of party you’re having. The idea is to keep your cool and keep your guests happy. That’s what makes for a successful party!

Here are our Golden Rules for hosting a party. Don’t worry, they’re easy!

  1. Send out invitations — and invite early. Each guest should get a personal invitation (it doesn’t have to be fancy!). Luckily, in this digital age, social media or email invites are just as acceptable as hand-delivered notes, so take your pick! But try not to send a group text. It’s impersonal and might discourage guests from attending. However you decide to invite guests, make sure you provide them with all of the details: date, time, place, occasion, how to RSVP and perhaps what they should wear or bring. And be sure to give them as much notice as you can!
  2. Make a plan. No one wants to just “wing it” when hosting a party. While making your guest list, decide whether you’ll have a theme, and plan what kind of food, drinks, music and activities you will offer. It might also be helpful to make a timeline for these things to get accomplished. You don’t want to be doing any last-minute shopping or cleaning the day of the party! Plus, the more you do ahead of time, the more time you’ll have to relax beforehand — and you’ll likely enjoy the experience more if you’re not feeling stressed.
  3. Confirm attendance. This goes for both hosts and guests. Guests should RSVP by the date requested. If they don’t, it’s totally acceptable for the host to check in with them and see whether they’ll be attending. This is especially important if food or drinks are involved. Hosts also don’t want to be surprised if a guest shows up without notice, or be disappointed if someone doesn’t attend.
  4. Be on time! Your guests shouldn’t be arriving early, but they shouldn’t be too late! So be prepped and ready to go when the doorbell rings. This is easier said than done, but you don’t want your guests to sit waiting while you’re finishing up in the kitchen or getting dressed. Don’t be afraid to ask for help ahead of time!
  5. Greet and mingle with all your guests. You’ve invited all your guests for a reason! Take a moment to speak with each one so no one feels left out. Welcome them at the door, show them around or offer them a drink. And if your guests don’t all know each other, be sure to make introductions and get everyone involved and connected — the earlier, the better!
  6. Keep the energy up. You’re the host of the party, so the energy will feed off of you and your mood. Your guests won’t feel comfortable and welcome if they think you’re upset or stressed, so stay calm, keep your cool and try to keep the party going. Be flexible and gracious, but also remember that it’s your party – your show! Enjoy yourself!
  7. Say thank you! This is another rule that applies to both guests and hosts. Make sure to thank your guests — twice! — for attending. And make plans for next time!

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