Throw the perfect holiday party

Throwing a holiday party is fun, but requires quite a bit of work. The guiding rule here is to always keep your guests in mind; their happiness is your measure of success. For other tips on how to make your next holiday party perfect, check out the guide below.

Give notice. Don’t send out invitations at the last minute. During this busy time of the year, everyone has obligations. If people know when your party is going to be multiple weeks in advance, they will then have enough time to figure out how to fit it into their schedule. Keep in mind that even with ample time between the invite and the party, some people may still not be able to make it. That’s okay. Enjoy the company of the people who do come over rather than fret about the people who did not.

Have a budget. Nothing causes stress quite like money, and throwing a party can get expensive fast. Once you have a general idea about how many people will attend your get-together, you can then plan accordingly how much food you need to buy, what drinks you need to have, and other peripheral things that go along with having company. With those things sorted out, you should get a good idea of what it will cost you to have this party. Trying your best to stick to this number (or fall under it) is the key here. Unforeseen circumstances may arise, and you may find yourself going over your budget, but just try to take advantage of any sales, bulk prices, and other discounts you may come across while taking care of party preparations.

Plan food and drinks well. Know what you’re going to be making well ahead of time. Test out recipes that you haven’t tried before serving them to make sure they’re worth serving to your guests. The same rule applies if you plan on making a holiday punch. Sometimes having different kinds of liquor combined can work, but this is far from a sure thing. You do not want to serve anything to your guests that’s sub-par, so experimentation is crucial. It also helps to know how much time everything will take to make so you’re not scrambling to prepare things at the last minute.

Get as much done as you can ahead of time. Create and load the playlist, decorate the apartment, and stock the bar cart the night before the party. The day of the party will be hectic enough, so is in your best interest to get as much done as you can ahead of time. If you plan on serving appetizers, try making dips that can be prepared in advance and left in the refrigerator before being served. The more seamless your service is, the more everyone will enjoy the party.

Have fun. This might be obvious, but a stressed host can put a damper on everyone else’s enjoyment. Relax, enjoy your guests’ company, and celebrate the season!

How to: Throw The Perfect Holiday Party in Five Easy Steps [Minted]

Planning the Perfect Holiday Bash [Hitched]