Again, we are entering into one of the biggest party seasons of the year in Central Kentucky. didn’t we elude to that in April and May? Could it be that every season is party time here? Yea! Regardless of the time of year, when you decide to have a party, you immediately become the host (or hostess). The question is: How do you host? Most importantly, the host is in charge! This can be a most rewarding or a very daunting experience. The way you approach your responsibilities and handle your position makes the difference. Hosting is about the guests not about yourself. What are the responsibilities of a host?

  • To decide to have a party qualifies you as the host from this point to the conclusion of the party. You are in charge!
  • To determine the type of party . . . a few friends for dinner or a crowd of 50 for cocktails?
  • To set the date.
  • To carefully select the guest list making certain that you think it will be a congenial group.
  • To plan the invitations – engraved, printed, handwritten, emailed or a texted. Clearly provide all necessary information including the type of dress and a reply by date. This will answer a lot of questions to make it easier for the guests and the host.
  • To find the best party food combinations while taking into consideration the type of party, seasonal ingredients available, known allergies or preferences, preparation time and ease of serving.
  • To lay out a plan for areas of the house where drinks and food can be served.
  • To choose a table seating arrangement. The host and hostess should always be seated at each end of the table. It is their party and they are in charge.
  • To prepare for the event, always make arrangements in advance.
  • To greet the guests as they arrive, stay close to the front door. Have coats taken to the planned area. Then, see that each guest is introduced to someone or finds someone they know.
  • To see that all guests have something to drink and are involved in a conversation.
  • To be constantly aware of each and every guest for the remainder of the party, being certain that a good time is had by all. If a particular person is standing or sitting alone, the host should go to that guest and begin a conversation or introduce them into another circle of guests.
  • To continue to be in charge at the table just as teachers are in charge of their class. Should a guest become loud or monopolize the conversation, it is the responsibility of the host to change the subject or to bring a quiet guest into a new conversation topic. This is imperative for the enjoyment of all the people at the table. Another possibility is to introduce a table game such as – have each guest tell something about himself that the others might not know. For example, that they were born in Poland or they were the youngest person to graduate from Harvard Law School or they had spent the night in the White House. After hearing from each guest at the table, a conversation will result.
  • To accompany each guest to the door at the conclusion of the evening.

A party could be more fun for a guest than for the host who has had many responsibilities. But a host who has cared for his or her guests reaps a huge dividend from this rewarding experience.

Posted on 2015-10-25 by Sue Ann Truitt