Last weekend, I threw a party for my husband’s birthday. It was a milestone birthday and I was willing to undertake what I knew would be a daunting task; not because I didn’t know how to plan a party, but instead because of the sheer number of guests. He has a very close and quite large family, most of whom live in nearby.
When planning for this event, I took advantage of many resources. The first was http://www.chef-menus.com/cooking-for-a-crowd.html. This Cooking for a Crowd website gives lots of great tips for planning a party at home, from how and what to delegate to recipes that can be doubled. I also referred to the Party Planning Checklist from Real Simple Magazine, http://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/entertaining/party-planning-checklist-00000000000931/index.html. While this one is simple, it’s also thorough; giving you each task in the order in which it should be completed is very helpful.
There were a lot of actions that I was able to complete way ahead of time – buying, cutting and marinating all of the chicken and steak for the grill was done weeks in advance and frozen until 2 days before the party. The supply list was reviewed and missing items were purchased weeks in advance. Putting tasks together when possible prevented much of the stress.
Being prepared and getting so much done ahead of time goes a long way to keeping calm on the day of. But now a word of warning: all the planning ahead does not guarantee a perfect day. A well-executed plan is important but what is even more important is to keep flexible and let go. It is very easy to get lost in the details and lose sight of the very reason for your celebration.
Try to keep these simple rules in mind for every event you host:
P – Plan Ahead.
A – Ask for Help.
R – Relax.
T – Task Batch.
Y – Why? Don’t Forget Why You Are Celebrating