Event Planning 101: The DO’s of hosting your own event

Paper plates are a definite don’t while mixing china is a do, huh? It’s all enough to make a girl’s head spin. We’ve compiled some of our favorite do’s and how the experts weigh in on them.

  1. Do be creative with your event design and planning. It will create a more memorable party.

    Don’t take yourself too seriously. Anything goes these days with your table decor and menu, so have fun. —Tobi Fairley, designer

  2. Do be happy that you’re having a party and try to relax. No one likes a party pooper even if they’re the host.

    The host’s mood sets the tone. —Emily Eerdmans

  3. Serve an amazing dessert. Come on who doesn’t love dessert? A personal favorite of ours is cupcakes.

    Serve an amazing dessert. Even the worst main course will be forgotten if it’s followed by a spectacular dessert. Extra points for making it yourself. —Michael Devine, shop owner/textile designer

  4. Do follow the one-bite rule when serving hors d’oeuvres.

    Keep hors d’oeuvres to one bite. No one wants to talk … with a mouthful. —Larry Laslo, designer

  5. Do have plenty of drinks that are easily accessible and make sure guests get a beverage as soon as they walk in. Why not even try a DIY cocktail bar?

    Let guests make their own cocktails. I have a few favorite recipes on cards, and all the ingredients on hand. People mix and shake and think it’s super-fun. —Paul Lowe, food/prop stylist

  6. Do make to do lists. I love writing everything down and am a firm believer that it helps keep you organized and makes sure you don’t forget even the smallest details.

    Buy a pad of sticky notes and write everything down that you need to do. Stick them all around the kitchen. When you finish a task, take down that note. —Lulu Powers, chef/catering company owner

  7. Do serve dinner on time. I totally get cranky when I start to get hungry.

    Don’t wait for late guests. People resent being hungry. —Isaac Mizrahi, fashion designer

  8. Do set the table properly.

    Don’t face the knife blade out. Rules are made to be broken, but that’s not one of them. —Eddie Ross

  9. Do introduce other guests. It’s important to make everyone at the party feel comfortable.

    Always, always make introductions. If you’re going to make a guest feel alienated, why invite them? —Jessica Nell Graves

  10. Do give out party favors. Who doesn’t love getting a gift even if it’s something as small as a goodie bag of homemade cookies?!

    Always do favors. People love leaving with a little something. —Amen Wardy, retailer/tastemaker

  11. Do entertain on any budget. Just because money isn’t growing from the trees it’s still important to have a good time and a tight budget should not stop you from doing so.

    Don’t be afraid to throw a party because you think it will cost too much. You can have a good time for $10 with a bottle of wine and a bag of nuts. —Thomas Jayne, designer

  12. Do keep center pieces low.

    Don’t create such impressive centerpieces that the guests can’t see each other across the table. —Sue Fisher King, shop owner

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