Colin Cowie’s top tips for hosting a party

Whether you’re hosting a bridal shower, rehearsal dinner or Christmas lunch, Colin Cowie – American event planner extraordinaire – has put together his top tips for how to be a an organised and gracious host this holiday season. Here goes…

Stay Organised

If you’re having a party in your home without the help of a caterer, it’s important to stay organized. Schedule a timeline of when guests will arrive and when food, cocktails and dinner will be served. Keep your dishes organized by labeling them with sticky notes the night before and get as much prep out of the way as you can.

Colin Cowie's top tips for hosting a party

Consider Dietary Restrictions
Prepare for guests who might have food allergies or gluten free, vegetarian or pescatarian diets. Label your dishes appropriately for guests and offer a variety of choices so everyone leaves satisfied.

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Go Back To Basics
Ladies, chivalry is not dead. Men should remove women’s coats, open the door and stand when the woman beside them excuses herself from the table.

top tips for hosting a party

Make Necessary Introductions
There’s nothing more awkward than standing off to the side in a conversation because the host didn’t make the proper introductions. We’ve all been there and it never gets less uncomfortable. As the host, if you’re in a conversation with guests who haven’t been introduced, make it happen!

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Plan Seating
Balance the energy in a room by alternating males and females and use place cards to avoid any “Where am I sitting?” or “Do you mind if we switch?” situations. Separate spouses around the table (they have the rest of their lives to chat with each other!) and seat men next to women. This helps balance the energy of the room and makes for more sparkling conversation.

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Make A Playlist
Be sure to make a playlist before your celebration and have a backup device. Music can change the entire ambience to upbeat or relaxing.

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Take A Minute For Yourself
Before your guests sit down, excuse yourself to freshen up. Light a candle, reset your makeup, change your clothes and take a breath and get into party mode. You’ve worked incredibly hard and the the smiles on your guests faces are the payoff.

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Start On Time
It’s unfortunate when guests are late, but it’s also important not to keep those who arrived on time waiting. Remove absent guests’ plates and begin the dinner and, if they arrive late, make room for them at the table.

So there you have it – the top tips for hosting your next party from one of the world’s best event organisers!

Original post here.