Hosting a party is a lot of work, and the idea is for everyone to have a great time—including you! Use these ideas from entertaining guru Carolyne Roehm, author of At Home with Carolyne Roehm, and Oprah herself, to help make your party a roaring success.

Party Planning Simplified
  • You will probably need help! If you can’t afford to hire help, recruit some friends, siblings or even your mom to assist in the preparations.
  • Sometimes, a party expands beyond what your dining room table can seat. Move furniture out of the room and add more tables and chairs for the overflow.
  • To save preparation time, set your table the night before your dinner party.
  • If you don’t have enough of one type of dishes or flatware, just mix and match!
  • For a buffet-style meal, print up a menu card and place it at each seat so everyone knows what lies ahead.
  • Don’t spend a fortune on flowers. A few low arrangements, along with some candles and even fresh fruit, make a table look complete.
  • Right before the party, light candles to add a warm atmosphere to the room. Don’t forget to blow them all out at the end of the night!
  • A blue and white china pattern is classic, fresh and versatile, because it mixes well with every color.
  • Don’t get too fussy. Even a special dinner party should seem casual and fun for everyone.
  • If you have time, it’s always fun to give your guests a little favor to take home, like a bag of Sugared Pecans.
  • Attention to the minute details makes a big difference. Your guests may not notice every last thing you’ve done, but they will realize they’re experiencing something special.


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