- Use technology wisely.
Sallie Plass, owner of Etiquette Enrichment, says using social media to extend a party invitation is not a good idea. “There is nothing better than a written or printed invitation that says ‘I value your attendance at my event,’” she says. A general invitation on social media doesn’t show as much effort, and they often get lost in the white noise of Facebook or email.
When it comes to social media, it is a good idea to not post pictures of parties and to ask guests not to, either. Friends and acquaintances who were not invited but see photos online may get their feelings hurt. Some hosts also simply don’t want their private events publicized, and some guests may not want photos of themselves posted. This information can be shared on the invitation, and it may be necessary for a host to remind guests at the event.
2. Invitation information.
Speaking of invitations, there are certain pieces of information that need to be shared with guests in addition to date and time. Plass says a GPS-friendly address for the event is important, as is the dress code, the purpose of the event, and when and how guests should respond to the invitation. Also, information relating to COVID-19, such as masks or vaccination requirements, should be considered. “The more details you can include at the outset, the more clear the expectations to your guests,” she says.
3. Masterful mingling.
All of the food and drink preparation should be done in advance so that the host can spend his or her time mingling with guests and ensuring they are having a good time. “Hosts should be aware of their guests and their comfort,” says Plass, which means being attuned to the music level, the temperature, and potentially awkward conversations. Hosts may need to guide conversations away from politics to keep an argument from breaking out.
4. Food and beverage logistics.
It is important to have food and beverage options for guests, such as both alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages and some vegetarian options, so that everyone’s needs and preferences are considered. Plass recommends that serving dishes be labeled so that guests can easily figure out food options. There is no shame in using disposable products for holiday parties, and it helps the host not worry as much about cleanup, especially if there are plenty of trash receptacles throughout the party space.
By Carrie Vittitoe | Photos by Melissa Donald
P.S. Make these baked apples. Yum!