Guest Post – Party Planning

Who doesn’t love a great party?

Hi! I am Ashley from A Healthy Happier Bear. My husband, Bo and I love planning and hosting parties together, bringing our many friends together for a fun evening in our small New York City apartment.

One of the reasons we enjoy hosting parties is because we have learned how to make the process fun and stress free. After working 40-50 hours per week, the last thing we’d want to do is plan a party for friends if it was just going to stress us out. Here are some of our favorite ways to make party planning easy and worry free.

1. Choose a fun theme! While a theme isn’t required for a good time, it makes the planning process much easier because it gives you a central focus point. It can help brainstorm menu items, decorations, outfits, invitations, and more! A theme also helps excite you friends in attendance. This year alone we’ve hosted 3 parties, each driven by a theme.

Derby Housewarming Party

[Blog Pictures 2010 049[3].jpg]

When Pigs Can Fly Marathon Party

Tacky Christmas Sweater Party

2. Send a formal invitation! Planning a party when you don’t know the number of attendants is virtually impossible. But, having formal paper invitations printed is expensive and takes time. Enter the beauty of Paperless Post! Sending out these invites will not only allow you to provide guests with all the details in one place, a map, send reminders, and know exactly who is attending so you can plan your food and drink portions. This great website lets you send classy invitations via email. Tacky email invites have been replaced with gorgeous invitation designs categorized by theme, event, announcements, and even DESIGNERS!

3. Make a list! Bo and I rarely have more than 24 hours to truly plan our parties due to our hectic work schedule. Therefore, as soon as work ends on Friday, we start making our lists. We make a list for everything as we’d rather buy too much than end up forgetting a key ingredient! Our normal lists include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Decorations
  2. Heavy Appetizer ingredients
  3. Drink ingredients
  4. Timeline

4. Stick with a heavy h’orderves Serving easy to enjoy heavy h’orderves saves you from having to set a table, provide seating for all guests, and allows you to use more creativity when designing the menu. H’orderves can be anything from a fancy snack to a larger, more filling item. It also allows you to create more dishes for your guests since they are small bites. They don’t have to be expensive or complicated. When choosing h’orderves for your menu ensure you keep in mind the following:

  1. time of day
  2. party atmosphere
  3. # of people
  4. guests food preferences
  5. party theme

We’ve had great luck finding creative h’orderve recipes and ideas on a few of these websites:

5. Keep the menu items within your ability. The party’s menu should be exciting but it shouldn’t stress you out. Ideally, choose recipes which you’ve previously made or at least enjoyed. However, if you go out on the limb and try something new, make sure it isn’t too difficult. For example, it probably isn’t a smart idea to make mini chocolate soufflés for the first time the night of your big event! Even Bo, who is an experienced cook, was caught off guard this weekend when we attempted mini cheese puffs. Unfortunately, we learned first hand how much attention to detail baking requires sometimes! As you can see, they didn’t quite poof.

6. Have fun with your guests! Make sure you prepare ahead of time and plan your cooking schedule so you’ll be able to enjoy your guests versus being stressed in the kitchen!

What are some of your best tips for entertaining? Are you hosting a holiday get together this season or just planning on going to them?

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1 Comment

  • Reply patty O December 27, 2010 at 1:10 am

    Your tips make alot of sense! I always stress out when hosting a party – thanks for the ideas and food websites! I'll give them a try!

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