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A successful party depends largely on the host. A gracious host will be aware of guests' needs and make sure that they are comfortable and at ease. When planning a party or social event, consider basic rules of etiquette; your guests will appreciate your thoughtful planning and you will find the event much more enjoyable
Invitations should be sent at least two weeks in advance of the event. Make sure that you include the occasion, time, date, location, any specific instructions (such as formal or informal dress), if meals will be served and if your guest is free to bring a date.
Mailed invitations are preferable for formal occasions or events honoring someone (for example, for a bridal shower, retirement party or 50th anniversary party). Many guests will keep your invitation as a keepsake, so take extra care to design something special. For semi-casual or casual events, a computer-printed invitation will be adequate; for formal events, invitations should be embossed or hand-written. You may hire a calligrapher for envelope addressing. For more casual events, an email or phone call may suffice.
Consider your seating chart carefully. Try to place guests near some people that they know, and others with whom they are not acquainted, but share interests with. Ensure that table decorations do not interfere with line of sight and communication. If your party is a more casual affair, it is your job as host to make sure that people are able to mingle so that your more introverted guests do not end up sitting alone. Make introductions and be sure to rotate throughout the room, giving all guests equal attention.
Do not leave important details to the last minute; plan your event thoroughly so that you can enjoy your guests and focus on their needs as they arrive. Make a list of all the supplies you will need and go over it again the morning of the party to make sure that you have everything.
Choose a good caterer to take away some of the stress that preparing food may cause. If a caterer is not in your budget, try to find premade salads and appetizers so that you do not spend all your time in the kitchen while your guests mingle without you. A party coordinator can take care of many of the details of your event including flowers, food, wine, music and decorations.
During the Event
Ensure that music is not too loud so that guests can converse comfortably. Introduce guests to each other, and mention a few commonalities or interesting facts to incite conversation and generate interest. Relax and enjoy your guests; a stressed host makes for an unpleasant event.