What makes a party a success


This is my dining table, which can be extended to seat 8 people or used as a large buffet table.  That’s Indonesian art on the walls.

Since my memorial party last Sunday, many guests have told me how much they enjoyed themselves and asked when my next family get together will be.  This type of compliment pleases me and is my reward for working so hard to make the party a success.

I was thinking about what makes a successful party.  I am 71 years old and have hosted and attended parties around the world — in California, Thailand, Germany, New York, and Hawaii.  Some parties were wonderful while others were disastrous.

It helps to have a schedule or timeline.  Don’t just wing it and don’t just let it happen.  Have a clear idea of what time you will eat, start the program, and end the party.  Further, you should know how to prepare for the event, clean the house, stock up on food and beverages, buy the flowers for the table, and set up the table and chairs.

Above all, serve the meal 30 minutes after the start of the party, because there is nothing worse than cold, unappetizing food and people who are too full from eating appetizers and too drunk from drinking alcohol.  Never wait for everyone to show up.  Let everyone know when the meal starts and stick to the schedule.  You snooze, you lose.

My next party is set for April 30, when my in-laws from Boston and my daughter and her family will join us for dinner.  There will be 8 of us.  I’ll set the table with fine china and bring out the silver and cloth napkins.  It will be nice.

6 Responses to “What makes a party a success”

  1. honoluluaunty91 Says:

    Great tips!! I get stuck on cleaning the house of clutter just before people come. And then I panic.

    We once waited over an hour for one group of people to come since they were bringing a senior member of their family. Food got cold, everyone else got hungry and grumpy, and then the latecomers swooshed in with no apology except to say that we shouldn’t have waited. Well, that taught me not to wait, and also not to be late myself.

  2. Christine Says:

    Thanks for the great advice! Apr 30 is coming up soon!

  3. Kay G. Says:

    In other words, like the Boy Scouts: Be prepared! 🙂

  4. joared Says:

    Sounds like you’re well organized and all will have a delightful time.

  5. Olga Says:

    I .think that another thing might be the attitude of enjoying hosting a party. I could tell from the faces in the pictures you posted from that last party that everyone was really enjoying the fruits of all your planning and work.

  6. DJan Says:

    Good advice, Gigi. It certainly works for you. 🙂

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