There's nothing more satisfying than throwing a fabulous party. When your friends and family have a great time at your home and thank you for being a gracious host, you won't even mind cleaning up afterwards. But pulling off a stellar shindig without a hitch isn't always so easy. There's a lot to remember to make sure it runs smoothly.
Here are five party mistakes we've all been guilty of and how to make sure we won't make them again.
1. Making Everyone Stand, Awkwardly. We've all been there: You're at a party, trying to find a place to lean so you can actually enjoy that hors d'oeuvre, but there's nowhere to go.
Instead: Pull out anything that can be used as a seat -- ottomans, footstools, anything -- so guests can take a break now and then. Throwing a bigger event? Rent folding chairs.
2. Not Giving A Clear Time Frame. Will your guests have to block off their entire Saturday for your party? Or do you just want them over for a few hours? When no one knows, people will either awkwardly linger, or abruptly leave.
Instead: Note the hours you'll be entertaining guests on your invitation.
3. Not Having Enough Food. You don't have to serve dinner at your next cocktail party, but you should make sure to offer enough snacks so guests don't immediately get tipsy after one martini.
Instead: When in doubt, pick up more chips and salsa. Or, outsource your appetizers by ordering a slew from your favorite take-out place.
4. Sending Unclear Invitations. Can your guests easily find your home? Do your guests know where to park, if you live in a busy area? These are the biggest unknowns when receiving an invite.
Instead: If you're having more than a few close friends over, err on the side of overcommunicating. Let them know where they can park and any local landmarks for navigation.
5. The Standoff. No, you don't have to hover in every guest's conversations. But, without an introduction, some people might not mix as well as you'd like. This usually ends up in a "standoff" of two groups that won't mingle, or worse, silence from all parties involved.
Instead: Introduce guests to each other when they arrive.
We've informally polled our peers to figure out the most annoying guests that one would come across at a party. From "The Barnacle" to "The Drive-By Guest," here are the 10 people to watch out for... and how to deal with them.
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