We hosted a 4th of July party and although the photos look great, and perhaps others enjoyed their time, I have to confess that it was one of my least favorite events. I collapsed on my bed at the end of the very long day, tried to get my mind around what went wrong and prayed quietly until I finally felt at peace.
I hope to learn from my mistakes. I am sharing this just in case you need to know you’re not the only one who has B- parties! I am so grateful for all who helped, and those who attended. I am sure some people enjoyed the evening, but here is my advice for myself as to what I should do differently next time! Lyn,
When your event is not in your home, everything will take longer and you need to bear that in mind. Remember your maxim, The More Before, the Less the Stress!
You may think the colorful, potted (by you) plants on each step and the pennants flying across the room, neatly pegged with small, white clothespins look cute, but most people won’t even notice. So keep it simple!
Don’t try to foolishly prepare THREE red, white and blue desserts that you posted on your Heartistry Pinterest Board! In fact, ignore your board when hosting 60 people and buy a Costco cake!
Threading tiny marshmallows, blueberries and rasberries onto wooden skewers takes time…
Don’t decide to decorate a cake to celebrate your 1,000 Facebook likes on the same day as you are hosting a big party. Silly girl!
When people offer to come and help (they did, which was such a blessing), accept rapidly and ask them to come earlier than you think you will need them. If you finish everything in time, you can sit with your feet up and gossip!
Not everyone is a slap-dash, non-perfectionist like you are, so they will take longer when doing the assigned tasks (and it will look better as a result!)
People like to talk to you (and you like to talk, period) so everything is slower when you are waving your arms around.
Running backwards and forwards from your apartment to the clubhouse is tiring, so remember to take the wine opener the first time, as it is essential.
Don’t plan crafts for children when all they want to do is screech around and let off firecrackers. You are the one who actually wanted to play with the paper dolls and their adorable red, white and blue clothes! (My highlight of the party was watching all the fun that the children had!)
Check that when you asked someone to put the ice-cream in the freezer that it is not in the fridge. Just as well it was ensconced in the ice-cream cooler we had made!
Don’t do all the cleaning up inside (along with your devoted colleagues) while everyone else is outside watching (or looking for) the fireworks. It might be helpful to check if the fireworks can actually be seen from your new abode before planning a party there…
Don’t feel a little sad when some people leave without saying goodbye or thanking you. You are not serving and loving people in order to be thanked.
When it takes the whole of the next day to finish cleaning and packing up, washing the table cloths and getting things back into order, remember why you decided to host the party in the first place. (People who don't host, also don't understand how much work it takes. Give them grace.) Clean up is just part of serving through hospitality. Put on some loud music and have fun while working.
Setting a table in a prepared place, serving and gathering people, is a high calling. Embrace it with your whole heart. Most things that have value take planning, money, effort and hard work, and they pay off over time. And even if they don’t this time, you have lots of leftovers and quite a few lessons to mull over, enough to last you a while!
Have you had a party that didn't work out the way you planned?
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