1. The most important step is to make a timeline plan. One month before the targeted date decide all the details…how many people, time of party (open house, afternoon, evening, etc.), plan 2-3 hours maximum, type of food and beverages to be served, decorations and guest list. Now you can start buying nonperishable food items when they go on sale. Start storing things in a plastic bin so everything is in one place not scattered around in closets.
  2. When planning food, keep it easy with an impressive presentation. For example, a finger food menu would include many pre-made items like mini quiches or tarts, small sandwiches, dips and crackers or vegetables, olive bar, make your own bruschetta bar, mini cupcakes or cheesecakes and, of course, a serve yourself cocktail area with two signature drinks. A fun punch bowl idea and a cocktail in a pitcher. Both can be made in advance and kept chilled before the party.
  3. A few “behind the scene” magic ideas: manage the mood by turning lights down and using lots of votive candles placed around shimmery accents like mirrors, garland or ornaments and opening a window in advance to help circulate the air before it gets too warm in the room. Also, hire a local teenager to take the coats when people arrive or swap time with a friend or neighbor. They play your “little elf helper” and you can help them at their next soiree. This way you can focus on your guests and not have to worry about all the little details.
  4. The day before the party move furniture and clutter so you can arrange designated areas for cocktails, desserts and small conversation areas. This will keep people moving around the room and out of the kitchen or away from the main buffet area.
  5. Always keep your oven on 200 degrees and keep switching out the warm food so all guests get the food at the right temperature (this could be something your little elf helper can do). This attention to detail will be noticed.
  6. If someone asks, “What can I bring” have a list of a few items that they can bring like crackers, nuts or something that will go with your food theme. People will bring something even if you say, only bring yourself, so why not have something you would be buying anyways?
  7. A few final ideas… Have “take home” containers available for leftovers (Chinese boxes or metal pie tins with lids can be found at the $1 store). Also, don’t plan anything big the day after the party. You will stress less knowing that you have the next day to leisurely clean up and get things back in order. Reward yourself when the clean-up is done by going to a movie or for a hike!

CONGRATULATIONS…you made it look so easy and all your family and friends at The Genesee Dental Group in Golden, CO will want to know how you did.