Learn How to Be Totally in Charge When You are the Party Host

When You're the Host - You're in Charge
Hosting an event is an opportunity to explore creativity while having fun! Keep reading to know more...
Entertaining should be fun for both the guests and the host. Gone are the days, when a host was expected to spend all day in the kitchen creating meals, that could only be served at a table with formal place settings and his or her best china. Entertaining has taken on a whole new style, that is limited only by your own imagination.

It's easy to fall into old habits and do what has always been done when entertaining, especially if you want to honor family traditions. But if all you want to do is pull your hair out by the time your guests arrive, it may be time to put a spin on tradition so that it fits into your lifestyle. After all, if you can incorporate taste and elegance without insulting the elders, then why shouldn't you?

I think one of the most important things to remember when planning an event is, unfortunately, you can't make everyone happy, especially if you're entertaining for a large crowd. If you're anything like me, you try like heck to please everyone, but sometimes it just doesn't happen. You can save yourself some aggravation if you remember this up front, and just do the best you can.

That being said, sometimes setting the date and time for your event is the most stressful part. You think you've come up with the perfect plan, the perfect date, and the perfect situation. Then, inevitably, you have someone who is unable to make it and subtly suggests you change your plans to suit them. This is a touchy situation that no one likes to deal with.

In my opinion, unless it's...

1. the guest of honor that can't make it, or
2. this date and/or time seems to be an issue for several people, I wouldn't change it.

People sometimes forget that they are being invited to an event that takes a lot of preparation, and changing plans to suit one person is not always reasonable. Plus, with the nature of an invitation being what it is, the person is free to respectfully decline if they can not make it. So don't stress if you run into this situation. You can do your best to try to accommodate everyone, but there comes a point where you have to draw the line.

Date and time set, the next best thing you can do for yourself to reduce stress is to put your plan on paper. This will help paint a picture of the event, so that you have a goal to work toward, and so you're not scrambling at the last minute because of something you forgot.

Below are a few things to consider:

Style
You are the host, so you get to decide how formal or casual you want this event to be. Are you celebrating something suited to a formal setting, or could a casual setting also be appropriate? This simple question will set the stage for the rest of your event, so take your time with this decision. Once made, spring ahead to the next phase and don't look back.

Tradition
Once you have decided on a style for your event, you can easily find ways to incorporate family traditions. Whether it's using photographs as place holders, or letting dad make the toast, it's amazing how traditions can be creatively explored when planning an event of any kind. This is also a great time to introduce new traditions to the family, so if you have something in mind that you want to try, go for it.

Theme
Themed events are always entertaining, and can usually be creatively incorporated, even on a budget. Plus, inspiring themes and decorations can be great conversation pieces to help break the ice or change the subject in a pinch. If you don't have a central theme (birthday, bridal shower, or holiday, for example), then create one.

If you're having a summer barbecue, for example, use a beach pale as an ice bucket and a beach towel as a tablecloth. You can even use color as your theme and have several elements of your table (tablecloth, napkins, glasses, bowls, etc) be a different shade of that color. The easiest way to come up with a theme is to think about what you already have on hand to decorate, and go from there. The more you have on hand, the less you have to buy, the better off you'll be.

Probably one of the most important things to remember when planning an event is that, you're in charge. Regardless of the expectations of others, and regardless of the pressure that goes along with creating the perfect ensemble, you are the one who sets the stage for the event. Don't hesitate to express your personality or your creativity. It is through you that your guests will experience the day. If you're relaxed and happy, chances are they will be too!
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