These oh-so common fiesta faux pas will make any holiday get-together crash-and-burn.
By Zoe Ruderman
Having a gathering at your place can be a lot of pressure. So we asked celeb party planner Jes Gordon, author of the new book Party Like a Rock Star, to share the hostess mistakes that can turn a bash into a dud. Steer clear of these crimes and your fête will be memorable...for the right reasons.
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1. Sending invites too late - or too early.
If you want people to come to your party, invitation timing is everything. Tell friends more than two months in advance and they'll forget about the get-together by the time it rolls around. But wait until a day or two before, and you'll be drinking that entire punch bowl with just one or two other lonely people. Jes recommends sending everyone the details about a month beforehand for a formal party and about two weeks before if you're throwing a casual gathering.
2. Providing seating for everyone.
Yes, it sounds strange, but as long as you're not throwing a sit-down dinner party, there's no need to drag every chair, bench, and stool in your place into the living room or rent those folding plastic chairs. Offering less seats than guests means there will be more mingling and socializing. Plus, the party will have a lot more energy if some of the partiers are standing and walking around. (Jes thinks the magic number is one chair to every two people.)
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3. Not booting out that lame-o guest.
If some jackass is obviously wasted and is spilling cranberry cocktails all over your white couch, show him or her the door. Jes recommends pulling the guest aside first and telling them to take it down a notch. If that doesn't work, we suggest having a guy friend firmly ask them to leave and say you'll all meet up at a bar later in the week. You may feel like a bit of a b---- , but think of it this way: if you let that unruly partygoer stay, the other guests will probably go.
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4. Forgetting about the bathroom.
People tend to overlook this room when tidying up and decorating for a party. But almost every single guest will be there at least once in the night. Make sure all your toiletries are stashed away and the sink and toilet are clean. Jes also recommends laying out a few pretty hand towels and soaps on the sink. And light a few candles - that way guests won't need to turn on the harsh overhead light. Translation: They won't be able to tell if your bathroom isn't totally spotless.
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5. Taking on all food and drink prep yourself.
There's no shame in asking guests to bring a little something, like hors d'oeuvres or a bottle of wine. Jes recommends making a list of all of the goodies you want at your party, taking on the ones you can handle based on the size of your kitchen and budget, and asking partygoers to fill in the blanks. So for example, if you have a tiny stove, farm out the snacks that need to be cooked, and if you're trying not to spend a lot, ask a few friends to bring vino.
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