You’ve agreed to host a large party and now you’re hitting the panic button. Entertaining a large crowd doesn’t have to be stressful. Just follow these basic planning tips by the professionals and not only will your guests have a grand time, but you will as well. The key to successful entertaining is all about planning. The more you can do in advance, the less stressful you’ll be the evening of your function. One thing to keep in mind is the guests are coming to enjoy your and one another’s company. The guests are the stars of the evening and the food and drink is the back drop. Keep that in mind as you make you preparations.
Depending on the number of guests you’re expecting, it’s always welcome for a hostess to accept when a guest offers to bring food. Suggest an appetizer. That’s often a more involved dish and when several guests bring appetizers, you’ll end up with a great assortment. Plan the main meal around three dishes. Select a protein, such as a roast or poultry, as well as a vegetable and pasta, rice or potato dish. Most of these items can be prepared well in advance the day of the party and ready to go in the over or stove top prior to serving dinner. Select serving dishes and serving flatware in advance and decide where these will be placed on the buffet. If you’re using the dining room table for the buffet, stack half the number of plates needed on opposite corners of the buffet. This will allow guests to serve themselves from either side of the table. There’s nothing worse than standing in a buffet line. Place flatware rolled in napkins at the other opposing corners so guests won’t need to juggle flatware while serving food. Place the dessert at one end of the buffet table. Finally, have a centerpiece with fresh clippings and greenery from your garden.
Place the drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic in an area away from the buffet table. This will aid in smooth traffic flow. Finally, enjoy your evening, your guests and your food. Just a little planning goes a long way.