When many of host are hosting a cocktail party or just a simple get-together, we have a hard time deciding what our set-up should be for our table. There are many designs; you can go classy and elegant, or you can go adventurous and breath-taking. The guests of the party should feel welcome into your home, see the real you, not be clouded by an endless array of tables filled with food or small gifts.
Setting the Table Edit
When looking to set a table, you really want to it fit the theme. For example, if you and two friends are coming for lunch on Sunday you'd rather have it simple and elegant because its not a massive party, its just lunch for three.
Now if you have a party that involves about 7-10 friends, you want the ratio of food to person clear and have an almost fancy setting, but after all elegance normally fits the theme of almost any adult party.
Small Get-Together Edit
Let's say you want have dinner with two friends and you're serving something classy to make the mood easier. Now, according to the Barefoot Contessa, always keep it elegant. Put a small bouquet of flowers in the center on-top of a matching cloth (perhaps white) with silverware to finish the job. Now how easy is that?
Always remember to have something out for the guests to eat while food is being prepared. You can have a small tray of fruits and vegetables, or you can have a small platter with cheese and crackers. You don't want anything too heavy because there's more food for the guests later. The ratio of food to person depends on how many people are there and how hungry they are. Some people suggest maybe 5-12 crackers for 2-3 people but it varies. Just put a little for each, and if there are still left-overs you can save them or give to your guests to take home. Clean-ups a breeze!
Large Party Edit
Now, if you have more than 5 people attending your party, that's fine. My rule is keep it simple so you'll have time with the guests. Plan things ahead of time if you have to. You can make the table fancy and elegant like before just by adding a bouqet in the center with a simple white setting. Now this trick goes especially well for this party. You should always have some small snacks for your guests because they want to expect food, correct? No need to worry! Just put some light foods, such as vegetables and dip, or an elegant cheese platter with crackers and fruits. Its all up to you on what your party is going to look like.
Outside Partying Edit
Many people prefer to party outside in summer per say barbeques or just small lunches. This is where the partying gets a bit more interesting. When the guests arrive you should make them do something, for example make the drinks, or even grill the food. This makes them involved and makes the guests feel as if they took part in the creation of the event and not just stayed on the sidelines.
If you're having a barbeque outside, that's fine! You can all sit on the balcony or sit on the grass, whatever is available to you, as long as you feel comfortable and your friends feel comfortable.
On The Beach Edit
Some people like to barbeque on the beach or just have picnics near because of the ocean scenery. I just believe all you need is a blanket (because no one enjoys eating in the sand) and some chairs for a more relaxing position. Food platters aren't necessary for here because the food is being made and also normally at the beach people want to relax.
This may seem difficult, but after trying it for a few times, things do tend to get easier. Just remember to plan ahead and have fun! Those are the keys to making parties successful!