- -Don’t put out an open invitation on Facebook, you might be surprised at the response.
- -Invite people you like who will mix well together.
- -Encourage people to text/email/WhatsApp to let you know they are coming.
- -You need to know how many people to cater for. (You don’t want to be left with an overflowing chocolate fountain, an ice sculpture of Roger Federer and thirty trays of sushi from Waitrose.)
- -If you are into Iron Maiden and Def Leppard – invite the neighbours.
- -Get plenty, ask people to bring something they like to drink.
- -Panic two days before the party and buy some more.
- -Find the bottle opener; wine with corks still exist.
- -Wash the glasses. Buy ice!
- -A few people don’t drink. Provide soft drinks or cups of tea. They will have a pleasant day tomorrow gardening and going shopping, but you will be scrabbling for the paracetamol and whimpering.
- -Spotify. Your choice must be cheerful, floor-fillers.
- -After midnight turn the sound down and close the windows.
- -Do not encourage everyone to start singing ‘I Will Always Love You’ in the garden at 2.00am.
- -Sober guests are not sure they can dance. After a few cocktails everyone thinks they can. Just move the ornaments before the party starts!
#4 What to Wear
- -Look for something chic, flattering and half price. Go on a special shopping day with your bestie in order to find the perfect dress, evening trouser or sparkly top.
- -Don’t panic, after the two of you have shared a bottle of Pinot and a bowl of chunky chips at lunchtime, everything will look better.
- -By the time the guests arrive you will be hot, sweaty from moving furniture and exhausted. You may have also had a couple of drinks to settle your nerves and be slightly drunk. (This is especially likely if your bestie is anything like mine and is staying the weekend). Just breathe.
- -Guests appreciate a warm welcome and an introduction to people they don’t know.
- –Tell them where the loo is.
- – You should not be so drunk at this stage that you fall on your neighbour’s neck crying ‘I haven’t seen you for bloody ages Morag, God I really love you.’
- -Take their coats and put them somewhere safe. (Don’t just chuck their coats in a heap on the floor or try to introduce them to their husbands.)
- -Spend time chatting, being pleasant and taking an interest in your guest’s comfort. Serve drinks, encourage people to partake of your lovely food. Do not forget there are sixty sausage rolls in the oven.
- -Don’t mention Brexit unless you’re prepared to break up a fistfight later.
#6 After Party.
- -Find the paracetamol.
- -Put the ice sculpture of Roger Federer outside.
- -It’s a good idea to take a few minutes clearing up, hoovering and taking out the recycling so in the morning the kitchen doesn’t look like Attila the Hun has been through.
- -Be prepared: most guests will have to be forced into other people’s coats and shoes at 3.30am and shoved out. A few may be asleep behind the sofa. At least two will be locked out in the garden and will bang on the back door at 5.45 wanting the loo.
- -Finish the Baileys and rescue the sixty cremated sausage rolls from the oven…