The Entertainer

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Good morning and happy Sunday, one and all!

I know the party season has just recently ended, but as far as Dharma’s concerned, there’s always a reason for entertaining, right?  This is an arena I have always enjoyed and have worked in extensively over the years, so I thought it would be fun to offer some advice and tips on throwing a great party or event!

It’s All About the Details 

Seriously, it’s all in the details and planning.  Every tip from here on in stems from this very sentence.  Over time, I’ve been accused of being… ummm… too…too caught up in the details, if you will… but honestly?  It’s never bitten me in the ass.  Being too prepared, too on top of it, too organized?  It’s never once bitten me in the ass.

Think things through.  What is your vision, what’s the flow of events that need to happen to ensure everything goes smoothly… what are some of the things you can anticipate from the crowd, and more importantly, what are things you couldn’t possibly anticipate.

Having your time mapped out in advance is a must, and because we both know Dharma is a list freak, you know she’s going to say… Make a List.

 

Give Notice and Make it Matter

People are busy these days and weekends fill up pretty quick.  If you want a good turnout at your next party, give people as much notice you can, yet only as much as makes sense. Meaning too much notice isn’t good either – anything that sits in a calendar too long stands the chance of becoming old news, so be careful with that.

For a basic party, 2 – 3 weeks’ notice is good, IMHO.

And yeah, yeah. I know I run the risk of sounding like a dinosaur here… but send an actual invite.  I don’t mean linen envelopes sealed with wax, sent by carrier pigeon, I just mean not a generic post on social media.

To me, FB, Twitter, etc. means “to the masses” (ha, maybe that will become the official definition) and I might not feel the need to attend something that was intended “for the masses”.   Another way put, for sure I feel I wouldn’t be missed if I didn’t attend something that cast its net that wide.

If you want people to feel like you are inviting them specifically, and that their presence actually matters, then take the time to send even a basic email to invite your friends.  You can dress it up if you want, or use the multitude of services out there (like Evite), but make it personal, and not a post that half your intended audience might scroll right on by.

 

Nom, Nom, Nom

No matter what you are doing, what kind of party or occasion, people remember the food and they talk about it the next day.  Guaranteed.  Whether it was fantastic, through the roof!, or it was meh and noncommittal… If there was enough to go around or OMG waaaay too much, what was she thinking?  (hehe, she was thinking leftovers for the next day)…

One of the best comments I’ve overheard at a party was “This is the best party – there’s food in every room!”

A key factor here is to know your audience (planning and details).  Do you have vegetarians, vegans, glutan-freeists?  Being a good host means making sure people feel welcome and acknowledged, and that you went out of your way for them. The smallest of gestures can have immeasurable impact. Cilantro on this soup, but not that one, cornmeal instead of flour, no peppers, no peppers, no peppers – this type of attention to detail counts.  It really, really does.

 

Booze

We live in the time of BYOB, and that’s great – but that doesn’t mean you are off the hook when hosting a party.   While no one is expecting you to supply an open bar these days, you simply can’t have nothing to offer your guests.

At the bare minimum, an inexpensive punch or a few bottles of mediocre wine.  If you want to be fancy, have a signature drink on hand to offer one and all until it runs out…  If it’s a BBQ or backyard event, a cooler of beer.

And if you really want to be the belle of the ball – jello shooters.  Trust. Me.  If you need more info, hit me up in the comments… 🙂

 

Music

I like my music, that’s for sure.  I’ll remember specific times or restaurants where the music was outstanding and all I wanted to do was sing at the table, and I’ll want to go back for that very reason.  It adds so much to the atmosphere and can’t be underestimated.

Which brings us back to an already mentioned key point – know your audience.  While you might relish in Top 40 pop, do all your friends?  Or do we sometimes require a bit of Nickelback, some ACDC, to hit a wider range?  Is this a cocktail party where something jazzier, funkier, is needed or is it that time of night where we pull out the TV Theme Songs Soundtrack and watch people sing The Love Boat at the top of their lungs or spin around to Wonder Woman.

I’m just saying – don’t think the music doesn’t matter.  It can take a good night and transcend it into something fabulous that people will remember for a long time.

 

The Little Things

Napkins in strategic places, extra hand towels and easy to find toilet paper in the bathroom… Plenty of glasses that are easily accessible and non-alcoholic beverages for those who don’t drink… Blankets on the patio for when the sun goes down and that bottle of Fireball that gets passed around long after it should…

All these little things, when smooshed together, contribute to the big picture, and they go a long way in making a great event, party, dinner, BBQ, whatever.  Good times with good friends is really all you have at the end of the day, right?  So take the time to make it count!

And invite Dharma to your next party, okay?

Dharma

Got a question for Dharma? She’s probably got an answer!

Go on, submit your question in the contact form on the toolbar. You know you want to! To submit anonymously, just make up a fake name and email – as long as the fields are populated, it works!

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Do you agree with Dharma, or think she missed the mark on this one? Leave a Comment

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