Shortcuts For the Party Hostess

Even if you are not a natural hostess, you can still host an event that will surprise your guests and have them thinking you are a party pro. Follow these shortcuts to throw a no-fuss party that will have all your friends singing your praises.

1. Rethink your lighting. When you go to a nice restaurant or an upscale club, you never have bright bulbs beaming down on you. The truth is a setting with more dim lighting sets a nice mood for your party and also makes everyone look great (which is a plus). To duplicate that glowing feel, turn off your overhead beams and opt to turn on lamps in your party space. If you do not have any lamps, purchase a few soft lift light bulbs and replace your existing lights for the evening.

2. Serve your food like it’s fancy. Even if you are serving pizza- if you serve it up like it is caviar it will appear like you put a lot more effort into it than you actually did. Break out any nice serving trays you have and place your food on them. Even if you are not preparing fancy appetizers and snacks for your guests, taking the time to plate the food will make all the difference. For snacks like trail mix and chips, use colorful bowls and place them in areas of your party space where people will be sitting rather than having them all on one table.

3. Ditch the red cups. Red cups have become a symbol of the typical thrown together house party; avoid using them. If you are going to use disposable cups, purchase the clear kind which feels more upscale than the colored ones. Also, serve your drinks like you would get them at a bar. Add a slice of lemon, a cherry, or even an umbrella. If you take the time to spruce up the glass, guests won’t even realize that you served them something inexpensive and simple. If you are serving up mixed drinks you can always make up a batch ahead of time and place it in a nice glass pitcher. This will make your bartending duties much easier and also allow you to hide the containers if in fact you are serving something rather cheap. Party guests will never even know.

4. Decorate your space. If fancy floral centerpieces are not your style, you can still decorate your tables and counter space. Try gathering a few glass vases and filling them with items like cherries, apples, lemons or limes. This will only take a few minutes plus it is a super cheap way to spruce up your party space. You can also use framed photos of party guests as a centerpiece. Group a few of your favorite framed shots and place them atop a cake stand to give them height. Decorations can be simple if you just look to what you already have on hand for inspiration.

By following these four simple steps, you can transform your old entertaining style into that of a party pro. Hosting a party does not have to be expensive or stressful; just use the ideas above to get you started.

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