Tips on Preparing for a Stress-Free Party

We entertain a lot. We throw dinner parties with 10 or less friends, we have our immediate and extended families over for dinner monthly, we throw themed parties (like Halloween), and we have “get togethers” just because.

Ironically today, I’m co-hosting my best friends bridal shower and later tonight hosting her bachelorette party. I’m part of the Life Well Lived panel on BlogHer and wanted to share my tips on preparing for a stress-free party. We all have been there before… we are less than a few days out from our big event and we are about to explode from all the stress of planning.

Q: What is your best tip for hosting a gathering, get-together or party that is enjoyable and stress-free for both the host and guests? 

A: Take a deep breath, make a list, and don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Here are a few tips I try to stand by leading up to the event:

1. Make a list of everything you need to accomplish up to 7 days before the event. Break it down by Day and include any food/decoration shopping in that list.

For example., if I know I am making a pasta salad I can make that a few days prior to the event. Whatever I can make ahead I will do that.

2. The day before the party pull your serving dishes out and place post-it notes next to them labeling what will go in each.

3. Decorate early! If you aren’t expecting visitors at your home a few days prior don’t be afraid to decorate early.

Here are a few of my tips and tricks on the day of:

1. A few hours before the party (depending on the span of your decorations) finish decorating if need be, set the table, placing platters where you want food to rest.

2. Always be 100% “show” ready an hour before your get together. Even if you still have an abundance of food to cook and decorations to be hung. Nothing is worse than having guest show up to your house and the hostess/host looks disheveled! (I’ve learned this the long way).

3. Delegate. Save the time draining task of putting together a vegetable platter and cutting bread for a guest that may be eager to help.

I encourage you to visit the Life Well Lived series on BlogHer and read how others prepare for a stress-free party. While your over their make sure you sign up for the Life Well Lived Sweepstakes.

I’d love to here some of your tips on preparing for a stress-free party.


  1. Thanks for the post- I am in the planning stages of my sons first birthday party and I can use all the tips I can get!!


    PS: I am planning an Artic themed party {polar bears, penguins, ice, etc} so if you have any ideas please stop by my blog and let me know! Thanks!

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