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MAKE YOUR GUESTS WELCOME IMMEDIATELY
Whenever possible, greet your guests at the door. Offer a drink, and introduce them to at least one other guest. Gracefully acknowledge their gift.
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ORGANIZE AND ORGANIZE SOME MORE
Imagine the phases of your party- planning, shopping, preparing, and the actual event. And write a sort of party script with all the specifics: It will help nail down details.
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MAKE THINGS EASY BY SIMPLIFYING
When in doubt, narrow choices-including menu and decor-and err on the side of simplicity. Too many options can make you overwhelmed and cost you time and money.
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ENLIST SOME HELP
No matter what size your party, it’s good to have help. Don’t be afraid to ask a guest to open wine or carry a tray of hors d’oeuvres. (Or if you have the budget, hire someone.)
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SPICE UP THE GUEST LIST
It’s the people who make a party. Invite a variety of guests with different backgrounds, generations and persuasions to mix things up. An eclectic guest list makes for a fun fete.
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TIMING IS KEY
Opt for an earlier party-like 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.-so you don’t have to serve a full dinner. Also, invite people three weeks before the event to give adequate notice.
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“It’s a lot easier to communicate with your guests online,” says Party BluPrints blogger Dawn Sandomeno. Evite.com, Paperlesspost.com, and Postmark.com all make it simple to update details and keep track of your attendees. And send an auto reminder a couple of days before the party to help prompt more responses.