How to throw a no-stress dinner or cocktail party, from The Art and Craft of Entertaining by Kimberly Kennedy
The secret to hosting a successful party is all about managing your time and staggering preparation. Rather than going crazy for the three days immediately preceding the party, make a detailed timetable of what you need to do before the event, then plot out when you can do it. The timeline here is specific to hosting a dinner party; nevertheless, many elements remain the same for a buffet or cocktail party. This should give you an idea of what can be done -- and when. Use it as a general outline for your own party.
One Month Out
- Plan your menu and drinks.
- Create your shopping lists: Grocery store lists for non-perishables, bar supplies, perishables, and last-minute items like ice.
- Wine or liquor store list.
- Craft and art store supplies for projects and other decorations.
- Inspect your plates, glasses, flatware, and serving