Planning a party can be stressful, so here are my top 5 tips for making it as easy as possible for yourself on the night! Let’s be honest, there’s no point organising a party if you aren’t able to enjoy it!
- Be realistic about the food you want to prepare…I often get a little too ambitious and think I can do more than is sensible for my own sanity! Sit down a couple of days before and draw up a little menu and stick to it. You don’t need to do lots of different types of canapés – one or two types complimented by crisps, olives and crudités/dips will still have your guests impressed. Make sure you have a few things out before people arrive and that you’re not spending all night slaving in the kitchen – your guests have come over to see you as well as taste your delicious food!
- Think in advance about potential dietary requirements. We’ve all got that friend who is on a different diet every time you meet! Keep it easy and think about canapés that suit a range of diets – as a general rule I’ll do about half and half meat to veggie/vegan. Crisps and crudités with dips should help you out here too!
- Set up your room to help your guests navigate the food and drink without getting in your way! I usually set out an area for drinks (particularly if people are BYOB) with glasses and bottle openers already set out, as well as a space for people to leave unopened bottles. Think about where you want people to stand and put your food there. I’d recommend this being further away from the kitchen, particularly if you will be cooking during the evening, as reduces the risk of people getting in your way 🙂
- Music and Lighting. Don’t underestimate how much this can add to the ambience of your evening. Think about what kind of mood you want to set and find a spotify playlist to match. My husband and I joke about having “hospitality mode” for our lighting, which essentially means nudging down the dimmer switches as much as possible and using a few lamps we have knocking around! Over time you’ll work out what works in your space and when in doubt just add a few tea lights! One of my favourite things to do is to put the tea lights into wine or trifle glasses to add a little more sophistication!
- Have somewhere to put the mess…whether that’s an empty bin or box for empty bottles or a shot glass on the table for all those used canapés sticks…let your guests help you make the clean up operation as easy as possible! If you have a dishwasher, loading things in there once finished as this happens to create a great storage place for dirty items 😉
P.S. Don’t forget to have fun! #spreadjoy