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I Remember when...Party
Mar 06, 2003 09:01 AM 2067 Views
(Updated Mar 06, 2003 09:05 AM)

No surprise, I’ve been there, done that. From past experiences, I’ve learned quite a few valuable lessons. Now before planning a party, I prepare a checklist and check it twice before agreeing to go ahead with plans. My party planning checklist looks something like this:

DO plan ahead.

DO NOT assume that you will have enough time to prepare at the last minute.

I Remember When: This happened to me once. I just knew I had everything in control, and at the last minute, when guest were arriving, I discovered I had forgotten to pick up the drinks, I had purchased enough food to feed only a handful of guests, thinking that maybe a few would not show. I forgot to purchase simple little items such as drink mixers, toothpicks, and extra bags of ice.

DO include the date, time, location, and additional info such as formal or casual attire, smoking or no smoking allowed, drinks or no drinks allowed.

DO NOT assume that invited guests will know what to wear(someone might wear denim or worse), do not assume guests will know whether or not to smoke or bring their own liquor(someone might think it’s okay to do either or both).

I Remember When: I forgot to include whether guests should dress formal or casual. People arrived dressed in blue jeans, torn T-shirts, tank tops, sandals, (you name it, they wore it). Apparently, some thought that I was having a beach party, or come as you are party. From now on, I specifically state, on the invitation card, FORMAL or CASUAL ATTIRE.

DO buy plenty of foods for the finger snacks.

DO NOT assume that everyone will like the same thing.

I Remember When: I did not buy enough snack food accessories such as, crackers and vegetables for the variety of dips, breads and meats for the Hors D’oeuvres being served, ice for the drinks, and even coffee. I soon learned that many came to eat. That night, I lost food and guests.

DO indicate whether drinking and smoking will be allowed.

DO NOT assume guests will know. A simple NO SMOKING ALLOWED, or NO DRINKING ALLOWED, at the bottom of the invitation, will be informative for guests.

I Remember When: I informed guests that smoking and drinking were allowed. Drinking was allowed, but with limitations and designated drivers. Smoking was allowed, but only out on the patio, which is screened. You know what, everything went well.

DO make arrangements for parking.

DO NOT assume that neighbors will approve of cars being parked in their yards, or the streets filled with your guests cars.

I Remember When:  I assumed it would be okay with neighbors for my guests to park on the streets.  No one really parked in their yards, but I soon learned a very valuable and costly lesson – ASK FIRST. A not-so-amused neighbor called the police and many of my guests had to move their cars. Not only was I embarrassed, but some of the guests did not return to the party. Had I just made arrangements with Parks & Recreations to use the empty field across the street, I could have saved face(in other words – a lot of embarrassment).

Today, my parties are carefully planned with plenty of food, coffee, drinks, accommodations for smoking and parking. Invitations are mailed one month in advance with enough time to receive responses. Decorations, music, and games enhance the theme of the party, as does the lighting. I have had four successful parties in the past two years. I am proud to say, “I haven’t had a “Remember When” in quite some time.

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