How To Choose a Party Theme: Party Planning 101

Party Planning 101 - How To Choose A Party Theme via Chrystina Noel

This year I will be doing a series about how to plan a party when you have no idea where to start. I’m super excited to share with all of you some of the tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way on my party planning adventure.

How to choose a party theme might seem like a strange place to start, but I think it’s the most important. Once you choose a party theme, the rest of the decision-making process becomes much simpler.

All parties have a theme, whether it’s “just because” or celebrating a specific holiday. If you choose to have a “just because” party, you may need to be more specific in choosing the feel, colors, or menu for your party. If you are celebrating a specific holiday, a simple Pinterest search will find you all of the things you need. Here are some ideas to choose a party theme that’s right for you:

Step 1: Choose a Basic Concept

Check the calendar

A calendar can give you great ideas for party themes. Each month has its own unique set of holidays, each with its own cause for celebration. For example:

  • New Year’s Eve
  • Chinese New Year
  • Groundhog’s Day
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Mardi Gras
  • Patrick’s Day
  • Earth Day
  • Easter
  • Fourth of July
  • Rosh Hashanah
  • Yom Kippur
  • Diwali
  • Halloween
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas

And if the major holidays aren’t your cup of tea, you can find plenty of smaller “fun” holidays to celebrate like: Pi Day (March 14), Geek Pride Day (May 25), International Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19), or National Cupcake Day (December 15).

Think about things you love

This is probably my favorite way to choose a party theme. Things that I love include: chai, bubble tea, romantic comedies, greeting cards, Disney, singing, photography, and buffalo sauce. I assure you that each one of these things can easily be turned into a party theme (or at least menu item). For example:

  • Chai: I once hosted I “find the best chai” party.
  • Bubble Tea: I once hosted a bubble-themed baby shower and served bubble tea.
  • Romantic Comedies: I definitely have hosted at least one movie night in my day.
  • Greeting Cards: I’ve hosted parties at my house where people made Valentine’s Day cards or Christmas Cards for people they love.
  • Disney: I hosted a Disney movie marathon party for my 28th birthday where we watched Mulan and Aladdin back-to-back.
  • Singing: I’ve hosted many a caroling party during the holidays – and am still looking for enough people to host a vocal jazz reunion party form college
  • Photography: I’ve hosted events where I offered free headshots for people.
  • Buffalo sauce: I once had a beer tasting where I made buffalo chicken grilled cheese for everybody to make sure they avoided being completely plastered.

If there’s something you love, you should feel absolutely confident about turning it into a party, because there are definitely other people who love it too. Other things that have been on my radar for a while include: Hey Arnold, N64, cereal, nail polish, and PowerPoint. (Don’t ask.)

Consider being more abstract

There’s nothing to say that the theme of the party needs to be a physical, tangible thing. The theme of your party could be love. Or the color silver. Or your favorite song. Or photosynthesis. You really can pick anything as your basic idea.

Step 2: Brainstorm

You might think that brainstorming comes first, but really brainstorming comes second. Once you choose an idea, I recommend making a list of every possible thing that comes to mind about that topic. Google or Pinterest should be able to help you out here if you’re running into a problem.
Here are four examples I put together below:

  • The color purple: grapes, grape jelly, Barney, that book by Alice Walker, purple, eggplant, that big character from McDonalds – Grimace, Purple Rain, paint or draw with only purple, eat only purple food, wear only purple clothes
  • Recycling: environmentally friendly, planting, reusing materials, making outfits out of recycled materials, volunteering, farmers markets, gardening, clothing swap, book trade
  • Sock hop: 1950s music, jukeboxes, Buddy Holly, motown, poodle skirts, making poodle skirts, prom king and queen, Grease, the pink ladies, records, diners, red and white checkered things, malt shakes, trivia games, dance off, hula hoop competition, limbo to la bamba, make root beer floats, burgers and fries
  • Harry Potter: dress up like characters, turn your house into Hogwartz, Harry Potter trivia, watch a Harry Potter movie, act like your favorite Harry Potter character, play Quidditch, turn Harry Potter into a drinking game, have a book discussion

Once you have a bigger list of ideas related to the basic concept, you can choose just one specific theme where you want to spend your time, energy, and money.

Step 3: Reality check

Unfortunately it can’t all be fun and games, we need to start factoring in reality. You don’t need a full idea of what you’re going to do for the party yet, but you want to make sure that you think about approximately how much time, energy, and money you’re going to be spending. And remember not to get discouraged, you can always find a way to make an idea less complicated early in the game or add a little extra fun to a simple idea to pizzazz it up. For example:

 

Idea Start Small Add Some Pizzazz
Host an Epcot drink-around-the-world party with stations for each country. Host a tasting of a few of your favorite beers. Choose a few beers from different countries.
Host a prom-themed birthday party at an outside venue. Invite friends over to hang out in dresses and dance to music. Only play songs from the 80s.
Host a Murder Mystery Party. Play a game of Clue. Make it a drinking game.
Host a three-course meal. Host a potluck and have everybody make one of the dishes. Drink champagne.
Host a wine tasting. Pair one wine with two different cheeses. Play jazz music in the background for ambiance.

As mentioned before, there are three things you need to consider: time, energy, and money. Here is a closer look at things you should be considering when thinking about your party theme:

Time

How much time do you have to plan the party? If it’s only a few days, you probably want to stick to something simple. If you have a few weeks and the help of a few friends, you can choose something a little more complicated. We will talk more about this later on in the New Hostess series.

Energy

While this is a similar discussion to ‘time,’ it’s slightly different because energy takes your mental brain capacity into play. If you’re someone who is already over-committed – or just even somebody with very little patience in general (like myself), you’re probably going to want to choose a relatively simple concept.

Money

This is the biggest one. Your biggest costs are going to be venue, food, and drinks. So, if in your brainstorming you are able to keep those costs down, you will be well on your way to planning a budget-friendly party. Yet again, we will talk more about this later on in the New Hostess series.

Ideas

If you’re looking for a place to start, you can check out some of the previous parties I have hosted over the years.

My 28th Disney-Themed Birthday Party via Chrystina Noel
Hosting a 22-Ounce Beer Party via Chrystina Noel

That’s the basic 101 of how to choose a party theme. I’d love to hear what party themes you’re considering right now. Let me know in the comments below – or I can help you brainstorm. I’m always down for that.

How to be a Great Party Hostess

This past year on the blog I had a monthly “Tips to be a Great Party Host” series. Each month I interviewed somebody in my life or internet that I admire for being an excellent part host or hostess. Each month they answered questions about their party hosting style, why they love party planning, their go-to recipes & dishes, whether or not they decorate, the best party they ever hosted, their biggest party challenge, and my favorite question: what’s your best tip for someone who wants to be a great party host(ess)?

This post talks about how to be a great party hostess (or host!) combining the greatest tips and tricks for the eleven people in my Tips to be a Great Party Hostess series.

If party hosting is something that you’ve thought about trying, but didn’t know where to start, here are the best tips for how to be a great party hostess.


Tip from Chrystina at Chrystina Noel

Chrystina blogs at Chrystina Noel (right here!) about hosting parties, handmade greeting cards and how to stay in touch. The best party I’ve ever hosted was my 25th birthday party boozy brunch. You can check out my complete set of hostess tips and tricks here. My best party tip for those who want to be a great host is:

Give everybody all the details ahead of time. Tell them the who, where, why, when, what, but also make sure to include logistical things that will make it easier for them. Should they eat before they get there? Should they bring anything? Can they bring a plus one? Is there a theme? Is there a dress code? Where should they park? Are there any tricks to finding your street? The more details you can give someone ahead of time the more comfortable they will feel when they walk in the door.

Chrystina

Tip from Chrystina’s Mom

This is my mom. I’ve been telling her that she should start a blog for a long time, but she’s just not biting. The best party she’s ever hosted was a fathers’ day luncheon where there were a honey tasting. You can read her complete set of hostess tips and tricks here. Her best party tip for those who want to be a great host is:

Relax and enjoy the moment – that’s the reason you are entertaining in the first place.

Chrystina’s Mom

Tip from Jessica at Sweet Love & Ginger

This is Jessica, she blogs at Sweet Love and Ginger. She’s an engineer living in the great northeast with her husband, Chuck, and their dog, Brody. She’s all about real, good food and good times with awesome people. She says that every party is the best party so long as there are happy people, food, and music. You can read her complete set of hostess tips and tricks here. Her best party tip for those who want to be a great host is:

Just start. Don’t think too much. Just invite people over and keep it simple, or invite your closest friend and try something crazy. The only way to overcome the fear and figure out what works is to start doing it.


Tip from Beth at Recipes for Success

This is Beth. I sang in church choir with Beth for a long time, and man, she throws wonderful parties. She blogs at Recipes for Success about maintaining a healthy lifestyle for herself and her family. The best party she’s ever hosted was her wedding (and believe me, it was damn good). You can read her complete set of hostess tips and tricks here. Her best party tip for those who want to be a great host is:

Do everything in your power to give yourself a chance to enjoy the party too. Yes, hosting a party is a lot of work but if you do some prepping in advance and plan your day right, you don’t have to spend the entire day in the kitchen while everyone else is having fun in the living room.


Tip from Brigette at Brigette I. Design

Meet Brigette! She is a graphic designer specializing in logo/identity and non-profit graphic design. (She also just won a board game creation competition which is just cool.) The best party she’s ever hosted is her annual New Year’s Eve soiree, complete with folks dressing to the nines, New Years resolution sheets, and a classic silver/gold/black and stars motif. You can read her complete set of hostess tips and tricks here. Her best party tip for those who want to be a great host is:

Don’t be afraid to go big with your ideas, but also try to keep it simple when possible – party planning should be fun!


Tip from Heidi at Parties for Pennies

Heidi blogs are Parties for Pennies. She adores entertaining, champagne, and watermelon bubblegum. I love the way that she breaks down even the most elaborate parties into pieces that feel do-able for someone who hasn’t done it before. The best party she ever hosted was a Mad Men themed 40th birthday party for her husband. You can read her complete set of hostess tips and tricks here. Her best party tip for those who want to be a great host is:

Have fun with the decorations and food, but remember to keep the focus on your guests! The best hostess, in my book, is one where guests leave saying, “I felt so special and loved.”


Tip from Sarah at Pretty Providence

Meet Sarah! She is one-half of the duo that runs the blog, Pretty Providence. It’s a frugal lifestyle blog where she and her best friend Jessica share cheap and easy recipes, crafts, home decor DIYs, thrifty tips, and afforadable fashion. The best party she ever hosted was her nephew’s Star Wars birthday party. You can read her complete set of hostess tips and tricks here. Her best party tip for those who want to be a great host is:

Collect white serving dishes, they go with everything! You can find great ones at thrift stores, keep your eyes peeled.


Tip from Andy at Plum Deluxe

This is Andy. He is the founder & creator of Plum Deluxe, which is a place on the internet (and in real life) that combines delicious tea and moments that matter. It comes with a subscription service, a motivational podcast, and a weekly newsletter. He does it all. The best party he’s ever hosted was a dinner party brunch complete with a bloody mary bar and homemade biscuits. You can read his complete set of host tips and tricks here. His best party tip for those who want to be a great host is:

People don’t care about how clean your house is. They care about being heard, connecting with like-minded people. So make time to listen. Have some thoughtful conversation starters. Connect people. Worry more about deep connection than dust bunnies.


Tip from Nida at Mommy 411

This is Nida. She blogs at Mommy 411 about motherhood, family life, and party tips. The past few times I’ve visited Georgia was to attend the fantastic first birthday parties of her adorable children. So much fun. She says that these two birthday parties were the two best parties she has ever hosted. (And I have the proof for it right here and here.) You can read her complete set of hostess tips and tricks here. Her best party tip for those who want to be a great host is:

PLAN PLAN PLAN. From ribbons to centerpieces everything requires details. And in my opinion, details is what makes a party fabulous. Go the extra mile and do the effort; results will show on there own. Hosting a great party requires a lot of hard work, so make sure you work days/weeks ahead of time.


Tip from Lauren at Lauren Caselli Events

Meet Lauren! I met her at The Yellow Conference in Los Angeles this year. She is the owner of Lauren Caselli Events. She believes that live events have unparalleled power, and I have to say that I totally agree with her (and that’s why she’s a wonderful hostess). The best party she’s ever hosted was a networking event for female entrepreneurs called The Boss Lady Bash. You can read her complete set of hostess tips and tricks here. Her best party tip for those who want to be a great host is:

Understand that your guests’ comfort is important, and try to walk through your part from the perspective of the guest. When they walk in, is there a convenient place to hang their coat? If not, have someone taking coats and placing them in a bedroom (a great job for a partner!). Are the plates in a spot that makes sense? Is there enough glassware or plastic cups so people don’t have to hunt for glasses? Think about what people are going to need before they have to ask, so you can relax during the event (or if you’re me, run around and clean up after people).


Tip from Johanna

And finally. Last, but never least, Johanna. Johanna and I have been friends for over 10 years now. Through that time I have been to countless parties, and I’m still always impressed by exactly how much she is able to pull off, and how much she has it down to a science. The best party she’s ever hosted was her husband’s 30th birthday, which was an around the world Epcot tour right in her own house. You can read about that party and her complete set of hostess tips and tricks here. Her best party tip for those who want to be a great host is:

Cover the big things first then worry about the smaller things. Only you will know if something that you had planned didn’t come to fruition by party time. Don’t forget to have fun! It’s easy to get too wrapped up in the details.

– Johanna

 

And that’s it. 11 great tips for how to be a great party hostess.

I’m super excited to share next year’s hostess series with you all. A lot of times I feel like I’m writing to people who already love to host parties, but I want to make sure to include some of the tips and tricks for people who are looking to start hosting parties and don’t know where to begin. I have a list of a few questions to answer so far, but if you can think of any additional ones, please let me know in the comments below.

Also, I’d love to hear from you. What are your tips for how to be a great party hostess?

Tips to be a Great Party Hostess featuring Johanna

Tips to be a Great Party Hostess featuring Johanna

Hi everyone. I’m super excited to be sharing the November hostess of the month, Johanna. She has been featured on this blog countless times because she’s one of the best party planners I know in-real-life. She doesn’t even have a blog. Can somebody please tell her that she should have a blog? Thank you.

In the past few years Johanna has been the cook for my first ever dinner party, planned one of the fanciest brunches I’ve ever been to, has supplied countless party hosting tips to the blog (tips 1, tips 2), been the inspiration for the chocolate fondue post pin that has now received +31.8k repins, was the mastermind of the 15-pie Pi Day party, made +1000 mini cupcakes for her sister’s wedding, hosted a really great Hungry Caterpillar birthday party for her son last year that was included in my event photography post, and was the inspiration for a 10 cool kitchen gifts post.

In addition to all of those things, she was one of the people who always made sure I remembered to eat in college, sang with me in my awesome church choir, has the most intense liquor collection I’ve ever seen, and her family has welcomed me in as one of their own in the past 8 years or so, so all of that is cool too. Did I mention she’s an engineer? (Which really explains the mini cupcakes post if you go back and read that one.)

The photos included below are a compilation of all of the parties I’ve been to at Johanna’s house in recent years. I hope you enjoy her responses below!

Tell us about your party-hosting style.

I like to host house parties with food rather than ‘organized other place gatherings’. Some of my parties have been more themed than others. I like to bring people from all aspects of my life together to socialize.

photos from her son’s first birthday party:

Tips to be a Great Party Hostess featuring Johanna via Chrystina Noel

hostess-of-the-month-06

Where did your love of party planning begin?

That’s a good question… I have always like organizing things.  I enjoy putting together spreadsheets for menus and beverages.  I attended bar tending school for fun while I was in college. I always got to decorate my sister’s birthday cake… I guess that’s probably where it started.

a photo from that time she made +1000 mini cupcakes for her sister’s wedding:

Tips to be a Great Party Hostess featuring Johanna via Chrystina Noel

What are your go-to appetizers?

I’m going to answer this question based on an afternoon/evening party… brunch parties and pizza parties are a completely different categories. I like to go homemade as much as possible:

  • Buffalo chicken dip has more recently been superseded by jalapeno popper dip
  • Hummus
  • Guacamole
  • Taco dip
  • Salsa
  • Deviled eggs
  • Baked brie with cranberries
  • Monkey bread

Non-homemade go-tos:

  • Cheese and crackers
  • Chips/pretzels/veggies and Helluvagood dips
  • Pre-made Giant brand appetizers (bake and serve)

only because she mentioned brunch:

Tips to be a Great Party Hostess featuring Johanna via Chrystina Noel

Tips to be a Great Party Hostess featuring Johanna via Chrystina Noel

What are your go-to entrees?

  • Haluski (cabbage and noodles)
  • Sausage and Peppers
  • Chicken Paprikash
  • Chili

What are your go-to desserts?

  • Chocolate fountain with various dippers
  • Cupcakes
  • Cake
  • Fruit tart
  • Pies

the chocolate fondue fountain and pi day ridiculousness:

Tips to be a Great Party Hostess featuring Johanna via Chrystina Noel

Tips to be a Great Party Hostess featuring Johanna via Chrystina Noel

Tips to be a Great Party Hostess featuring Johanna via Chrystina Noel

What are your go-to beverages?

  • Jello shots
  • Beer
  • Wine
  • Soda
  • Juices: cranberry, orange, grapefruit, pineapple, tomato
  • “Nectar of the Gods” (champagne, peach nectar, white peach cranberry juice)
  • Coffee/tea
  • Wassail (mulled apple cider) when in season

What do you usually bring to a potluck?

Jello shots 🙂

(Chrystina here:

Do you decorate for the festivities?

This depends on the reason for the party and the theme. Generally I put more focus into cleaning than decorating.

there was that one time though that she made everything adorable:

Tips to be a Great Party Hostess featuring Johanna via Chrystina Noel

Tips to be a Great Party Hostess featuring Johanna via Chrystina Noel

Tell us about the best party you’ve ever hosted.

This is a tough one… I like the live band aspect of the annual New Year’s Eve party, a wedding reception is a great party to plan, but I think the best theme house party I ever hosted was a semi-surprise party for my husband’s 30th birthday.  He knew there was going to be a party but didn’t know the theme. He was born in the year and month that Epcot opened in Disney World.  A weekend trip to Epcot was prohibitively expensive so I decided to bring Epcot to his party.  Each area of the house represented an area or country from Epcot. To represent Future World – The Living Seas, I had a room set up for viewing Finding Nemo with goldfish snacks (this was a hit with the kids). I did decorate a bit for this party.  Each area had a laminated sign with Epcot style text identifying the land and a few other decorations were used depending on what I had for the countries. Each country had a selection of homemade food based on Disney restaurant menu selections.

Appetizers:

  1. Guacamole and chips (Mexico)
  2. Pretzels (Germany)
  3. Hummus and Pita (Morocco)
  4. Goat cheese and Kalamata dip with balsamic reduction (Morocco)
  5. Quiche Lorraine (France)
  6. Mini croissant sandwiches (France)
  7. Cheese plate (France)

Entrees:

  1. Pork Tenderloin Mole (Mexico)
  2. Lamb shawarma (Morocco)
  3. Steak (Canada)
  4. Burgers and Dogs (American Adventure)
  5. Brats (Germany)
  6. Mac and cheese (France)
  7. Sushi (Japan) – yes, even this was homemade

Salad

  1. Caesar (Canada)
  2. Seaweed (Japan) – ok, this one I bought prepared

Sides

  1. Esquites (Mexico)
  2. Couscous Salad (Morocco)
  3. Lentil Salad (Morocco)
  4. Cheddar Cheese Soup (Canada)
  5. Creamed Spinach with Parmesan (can’t remember what country – it might have just been to add a green vegetable)

Beverages

  1. Beer (Germany)
  2. Saki (Japan)
  3. Bloody Caesar (Canada)
  4. Tea (United Kingdom)

Dessert

  1. Tiramisu (Italy)

What’s your biggest hostess challenge?

Getting all the food ready (semi) on-time and remembering to serve everything.  I use a post-it note system to help with remembering to serve everything.

What’s your best tip for someone who wants to be a great party hostess?

Cover the big things first then worry about the smaller things. Only you will know if something that you had planned didn’t come to fruition by party time. Don’t forget to have fun! It’s easy to get too wrapped up in the details.

Can we please talk for a minute about the fact that I wasn’t able to make it to John’s 30th birthday for one reason or another? (I have no idea where I was, but I’ve got to tell you that at this time it totally doesn’t seem worth it.) Can you imagine the blog post that would have ensued from that? The girl is good. She’s real good. Thanks again, Johanna for answering the questions as the hostess of the month. I can’t wait for the next shindig!

To check out other hosts and hostesses of the month visit the links below:

Tips to be a Great Party Hostess featuring Chrystina NoelChrystina Noel Tips to be a Great Party Hostess featuring DebbieChrystina’s Mom Tips to be a Great Party Hostess featuring Jessica from Sweet Love and GingerSweet Love & Ginger
Tips to be a great party hostess featuring Beth from Recipe for SuccessRecipe for Success Tips to be a Great Party Hostess featuring Brigette from Brigette I Design
Brigette I Design
Tips to be a Great Party Host featuring Heidi from Parties for Pennies
Parties for Pennies
Tips to be a Great Party Hostess featuring Sarah from Pretty Providence
Pretty Providence
Tips to be a Great Party Host featuring Andy from Plum Deluxe via Chrystina Noel
Plum Deluxe
Tips to be a Great Party Hostess featuring Nida from Mommy 411
Mommy 411
Tips to be a Great Party Hostess Featuring Lauren from Lauren Caselli Events
Lauren Caselli Events
Tips to be a Great Party Hostess featuring Johanna
Johanna 

Tips to be a Great Party Hostess Featuring Lauren from Lauren Caselli Events

Tips to be a Great Party Hostess Featuring Lauren from Lauren Caselli Events

Y’all. I’d like you to meet Lauren. I met Lauren at The Yellow Conference back in August. She, Stephanie, and I were the three volunteers behind the Membership booth in the back of the room. From the moment I met Lauren, I knew she was awesome. She’s just one of those people that gets you excited to be somewhere and conversation feels real from the start. And then I found out that she’s an event planner, so pretty much it was destined that we were going to be friends.

After living in Brooklyn, Lauren decided to take a break from her crazy event planner life and led hiking trips with girls in Montana. Then she stuck around, and next thing she knew she was starting her own event business, Lauren Caselli Events, in a small town. (That I intend on inviting myself to sometime soon…)

So without further ado, it’s time to take some tips from a pro.

Tell us about your party-hosting style.

I’m Italian so party hosting has been in my blood for generations. My family members were immigrants, so they didn’t have lots of money to spend on throwing elaborate parties, but the biggest crime was if someone went hungry. Now, I always make sure we have extra of everything, including linens, chairs, and food. The joke in my family is that if you can’t feed an army AFTER everyone’s left, you’re doing it wrong.

Where did your love of party planning begin?

I think once I got my own apartment, I started really loving throwing my own gatherings. It felt unbelievable to open the door to my home, welcome in people that I loved, and make sure they were taken care of. I liked connecting people, and having a space in which to do that made it so much more wonderful.

What are your go-to appetizers?

Bruschetta. It goes on toast points, can be served on a rice cracker, or on a piece of lettuce and no one is offended that you didn’t honor their dietary restrictions. Alternately, I’ve never seen pigs in a blanket leftover, and even though they’re not a regular, EVERYONE loves them.

What are your go-to entrees?

Chicken french, which is a breaded Italian dish native to western New York (where I grew up). It’s the only complex dish I can make without measuring anything or a needing a recipe (or even needing a list when I go to the grocery store), so when I’m looking to impress someone, that’s what I make because it’s easy for me.

What are your go-to desserts?

Hah! My biggest secret is that I hate baking, but I love this chocolate budino from a neighborhood restaurant called “Blackbird Kitchen”. If it’s a small group, I’ll buy one for everyone to go. The caveat to this is chocolate/pumpkin pie, but I only like baking pies on Sundays during the fall, so they rarely make it as a dinner-party dessert.

What are your go-to beverages?

I love making old-fashioned’s because they’re easy to batch and serve. If I can’t batch it, I won’t make it for a party. Otherwise, I always put out red, white, and sparkling water and let people serve themselves.

What do you usually bring to a potluck?

Christmas salad, which is arugula, orzo pasta, cranberries, feta, slivered almonds, dressed in olive oil, vinegar, lemon, salt and pepper. You let it sit in the fridge for a few hours, mixing a few times before you pull it out to make sure the arugula and orzo soak up the dressing. People die over it, and it’s so inexpensive and beautiful.

Do you decorate for the festivities?

Since I got my own apartment, yes! But only for Christmas, because I love holiday decor (and holiday music). I always cut my own tree down (Montana! It’s legal here!) and drag it home, and then I usually make hot chocolate and decorate it. I don’t have family here where I live, so it’s a nice reminder of my traditions growing up when I’m alone in my apartment during the holidays.

Tell us about the best party you’ve ever hosted.

The best one I ever hosted was for my business and it was a networking event for female entrepreneurs called The Boss Lady Bash. Most networking events are stale and people leave early, but this one treats people to really fun details, there’s delicious food, wine, beer, and you’re pre-placed into groups with other women who you may not know. It takes some of the hurdle out of networking, and people seem to love it. (Plus, they die over the swag, which is my favorite part!)

boss-lady-bash-april-03 boss-lady-bash-april-06 boss-lady-bash-april-12

What’s your biggest hostess challenge?

Wanting to mingle, and making sure everything looks clean, presentable, and up to par. I like when my guests feel like they’re comfortable, so I don’t want them worrying about washing dishes, cleaning up after themselves, or feeling inconvenienced. That’s my idea of an awesome party for guests. But, since I want my house to look good, I’m constantly running around and cleaning, while also trying to mingle. It’s tough to do both.

What’s your best tip for someone who wants to be a great party hostess?

Understand that your guests’ comfort is important, and try to walk through your part from the perspective of the guest. When they walk in, is there a convenient place to hang their coat? If not, have someone taking coats and placing them in a bedroom (a great job for a partner!). Are the plates in a spot that makes sense? Is there enough glassware or plastic cups so people don’t have to hunt for glasses? Think about what people are going to need before they have to ask, so you can relax during the event (or if you’re me, run around and clean up after people).

I love this. Her best tip is probably the best tip I’ve ever heard and would never think to offer up. That’s exactly what hosting a party is all about. (Although I guess, as an event planner, she would totally know that.)

Don’t forget to check out Lauren’s website and blog where you’ll find great tips for planning events and networking.

To check out other hosts and hostesses of the month visit the links below:

Tips to be a Great Party Hostess featuring Chrystina NoelChrystina Noel Tips to be a Great Party Hostess featuring DebbieChrystina’s Mom Tips to be a Great Party Hostess featuring Jessica from Sweet Love and GingerSweet Love & Ginger
Tips to be a great party hostess featuring Beth from Recipe for SuccessRecipe for Success Tips to be a Great Party Hostess featuring Brigette from Brigette I Design
Brigette I Design
Tips to be a Great Party Host featuring Heidi from Parties for Pennies
Parties for Pennies
Tips to be a Great Party Hostess featuring Sarah from Pretty Providence
Pretty Providence
Tips to be a Great Party Host featuring Andy from Plum Deluxe via Chrystina Noel
Plum Deluxe
Tips to be a Great Party Hostess featuring Nida from Mommy 411
Mommy 411
Tips to be a Great Party Hostess Featuring Lauren from Lauren Caselli EventsLauren Caselli Events