It's that glorious time of year when people are coming out of hibernation for various spring festivities. I've had some large gatherings over the years and would like to share a few valuable tips to maximize space, stretch your dollar and make sure everyone has a great time! So whether you are having people over for the holidays, or just simply to get together, these should help you plan with aplomb!
* Invitation - Send invites at least one week before the date and follow-up with any missing RSVPs. Give people a heads up about the party activities and if food will be served. This will get them excited and also give them a better idea of what to wear or bring to ensure it's a blast!
* Party supplies - Consider a membership at a wholesale store. I've done this through the years and it's been a huge help for parties and personal shopping. You can even buy things like pop-up canopies here to enhance your outdoor party area.
* Party layout - Plan to use several rooms of your house and close off the ones that people should stay out of. Scatter food in various locations to help spread out the party. Consider extending the party area outside if you have a backyard, or even into the garage (post-spring cleaning, of course!)
* Seating - This can be a challenge if you're not used to having large gatherings. You don't need a seat for every person, but keep your guests in mind. If Grandma will need a seat, ensure she'll have one. Ask people to bring their own chairs, or consider renting folding chairs if needed.
* Music - The music should match the setting. You may want more upbeat music running on a looped playlist in the room with the main activity. But if you have a separate "play room" designated to keep the kids busy, play some more appropriate kid-friendly tunes in that room.
* Food & Drinks - Provide a large variety and serve it family-style. Present at least a few allergy-friendly options with an ingredient list on hand for people who may have strict diets. Cakes are always a good choice, since the servings can be cut small if needed.
Try this delicious Pineapple Icebox Cake and have guests wash it down with this refreshing, fruity water. Present the water in a pretty pitcher. You could also try seltzer water for a different effect.
* Activities - Keep it simple. Set out a craft's table to occupy the kids and keep classic backyard games in mind that the whole family can play, like tag, Frisbee or kickball.
Are you having people over this spring? Tell us all about your plans.