Entertaining Tips

  1. Cooking and baking for a dinner crowd can be a large task. But it is also a large honor. So why not share it? Plan group cooking sessions with some of the kitchen-friendly members of your dining party and strengthen friendships and family ties while you prepare the meal.

  2. Don't throw away your budget after the party's over. Write down what you actually spent next to your budgeted amount. Keep the information in a file to help you plan your next party.

  3. There's never a shortage of occasions to eat. So baked gifts are often the most appreciated. If you would like to bring party favors to a party, small-sized baked goods or sections of a larger item are always crowd pleasers.

  4. In planning appetizers and drinks for a party, use the following averages as a guide: two drinks per person per hour and two of each appetizer you are serving per person.

  5. If you are having two separate parties, have them on consecutive nights. You can shop once, cook once, decorate once, etc. Of course, cleaning after the first party and setup for the second party will have to happen quickly.

  6. Without a budget, it can be easy to fall into a spending frenzy. Stick to your budget and you will be happier because of it!

  7. Wearing the same party dress twice may seem like a major faux pas. But if two different parties have two different sets of guests, who will know?

  8. If you have the time, invite friends over for a Sunday brunch instead of meeting at a restaurant. A brunch isn't nearly as demanding as a dinner, and your home may offer a more relaxing atmosphere than a restaurant.

  9. If most of your dinner guests are local, a potluck dinner may be a great way to save time and money while helping your guests feel like a more important part of the dinner. A potluck allows guests to share their favorite dishes with each other. Encourage friends to bring their recipes, too.

  10. Pictures from this year's festivities make great gifts next year. Be sure to have a camera on hand for special occasions.

  11. Don't forget about cab fare! Not only is it necessary if you are planning to drink alcoholic beverages, it also frees you from the task of finding and paying for parking.

  12. Remember that celebrating special events should be enjoyable for you, too. Don't stress yourself, spend yourself into debt, or spread yourself too thin trying to create the perfect party memories. Memories make themselves when you are enjoying time with friends and family.