The Art of Entertaining

by admin on April 22, 2010

Introduction to Entertaining

Entertaining is an art; it takes organization, planning and execution skills. The hostess has to be capable of doing multiple tasks, sometimes at the same time. Entertaining can be empowering when you can pull together an enjoyable party for all your guests. Take pride in what you can do and remember you are giving others and yourself an enjoyable time that people can remember. There are many steps involved, some optional and some not, in putting together any event.The event or party could be a formal dinner party, a casual backyardbarbeque, a birthday party or a wedding reception.

Entertaining is about having a good time and should be very gratifying knowing you are creating something special that others can enjoy. Entertaining at home can be similar to a comedian or other entertainer on stage performing for an audience. There is style, technique, planning and delivery.Entertaining at home also includes these ingredients and both the entertainer and hostess must mix the items correctly to create an enjoyable experience for their guests. Not all parties are a success; some totally fail, most are OK but few are great.

The thought of entertaining can be intimidating for both the novice and the experienced. On one hand, gathering family and friends to enjoy each other’s company, food and drink is very appealing. However the planning, cooking and cleaning can be very stressful. With a few good techniques all the steps can be well organized and implemented without too much difficulty or stress. Generate a plan, cook ahead, stay within your limits and remember it is only a party, a time to have fun. Anything worthwhile takes time and effort.

For the Do It Yourself type person who enjoys creating things like menus, crafts, invitations, table settings, decorations and organization; entertaining can be very rewarding. Entertaining is also about trying new things, new ideas and new techniques.Learn what you can and create you own entertaining ideas based upon you own style. Style comes from your lifestyle; it is your expression, way of acting, style of living and individuality that distinguishes you from others. Style helps determine the type of party, the details and the atmosphere you provide your guests.

Everybody loves a party where they can reconnect, celebrate and get away from the stresses of daily life. There may be an occasion to celebrate like a birthday, anniversary, baby shower, wedding, retirement or just time to get your friends together.In people’s hectic lives, they need time to relax and have fun. Gathering with friends and family also improves a person’s well being.

Everybody also loves good conversation. Parties are a great way to interact with others and get a better understanding on almost any topic. Friends and good conversation make for an enjoyable time. There are many benefits when people gather and enjoy each other’s company. People can learn, get help and enjoy each others company through conversation. The art of conversation means awareness and a genuine interest in other people.

Parties can have a theme that makes it more unique; maybe centered around a murder mystery game, a contest or travel.These can be great times for trying new recipes, wines and games.

Every hostess should know their style, their likes and dislikes.If you prefer a casual gathering in the backyard, you may want to stay away from the formal set-down dinner with a 5 course meal and fancy table settings. Stay with what you are comfortable with, however at times; try something new, something different, something off-the-wall.

You may decide that help is needed. Help can come from many different places depending upon your needs. There are catering services that can plan and provide all the food, there are restaurants that can provide parts of the menu, there are professional bartenders, cleaning services, ready made invitations, and rental supply businesses. It all depends upon you, the number of guests and the occasion. If entertaining family and friends with something very simple like a wine and cheese party, no help would be needed. However if this is a wedding reception for 500 guests, then you need to be the organizer and delegate most of the work to others. This is your party and you get to make the decisions. You, as the hostess, need to be in control because nobody else will be.

A casual party with friends is the easiest to plan and implement. It always helps in planning a menu and activities if you know your guests well. Here you can even request a friend’s help with cooking or making the drinks. Sometimes just a big pitcher of margaritas and punch bowl takes care of the drinks. You may only want to host a holiday cocktail party and serve appetizers buffet style. The activity could be a movie or a card game. Nothing could be easier. These types of parties are great alternatives to going out to eat; you have more control over the environment and menu, at a much less expense.

A formal dinner party in the dinning room can be very rewarding but a lot more work. However if you enjoy this type of entertaining, you can make the evening something very special. The menu and the decorations should be something that you and your guests have only on special occasions or perhaps an international dish never tried before.

There are many ideas and possible ways to make a party extraordinary and they don’t have to be expensive and time consuming. There can be numerous things involved when entertaining a gathering. Some are basic, some are required, some are optional and some are just for the added touch of elegance. Some important things to know are the occasion, number of guests, location of the party, what’s your style, type of serving, and date of party. With these items known, then planning is the next step. Always know your limitations for resources, time and budget.

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