Before you start planning, first make plain the who, what, when, where, and how of your party. Who should you invite? What is the occasion? (Don’t forget: What is your budget?) When should you set it? Where should you hold it? And how do you carry it out?
Considering the answers you have for the questions above, what do you think suits your party best?
1. Dinner. A dinner party is an intimate formal affair involving only a limited number of people. Usually it’s a party held at home, with the host taking care of the meal preparations.
2. Lunch. The lunch party is a much more casual affair, giving rise to images of noisy restaurant buffets, constant laughter, and the chaos involving large groups. Lunch parties are best scheduled in the weekends to accommodate those who cannot make it due to their work schedule.
3. Cocktail. A cocktail party is a short social gathering over fancy drinks and hors d’oeuvres. Cocktail parties are dressy, though not stiffly formal. Because of the alcoholic beverages, this kind of party is better for grown-up groups—so, instead of your family, you can throw a cocktail party for your friends and associates.
4. Potluck. A more informal party option is a potluck party, that is, a party that requires guests to bring food for sharing. This is a good idea for party planners who are on a budget—plus, it gives a chance for the guests to bring something they made themselves, or at least, something they really like. Assign potluck food by category—your best friend brings the drinks and ice, your cousin brings dessert, and Lola makes her specialty.