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8 Etiquette rules for entertaining
Thursday, 02 March 2017 - 15:42 | Views - 728
In addition to planning the menu and theme for the night, a great hostess also follows these 8 etiquette rules to throw a fabulous party and keep guests happy all night long.

1. Plan for parking

This is one that few hosts remember to consider, but finding a place to park can be a colossal pain in the neck for your guests.

If you have a large crowd coming, consider including a few suggestions for parking arrangements in your invite.

For example, if you live near a facility with a parking lot that won't be used during party hours, suggest that your guests find parking there.

If you know in advance that parking restrictions will be in place on your street, mention that as well.

2. Enclose your pets

To you, nothing is more hilarious than your three Labradors playing tug-of-Woobie in the middle of the kitchen floor while your pug makes romantic overtures on each in turn, but your guests might be a little lesser, impressed.

For the sake of decorum, sequester your pets for the evening. Give them a room to romp in well away from the party.

Discerning celebratory clamor from alarming pandemonium is tough for most animals, and with an agitated pet in a roomful of people, it doesn't take much to breach the line.

3. Accommodate dietary restrictions

No one's saying that you have to cater to picky eaters, but do bear in mind that a whole lot of folks are subject to a slew of food allergies or sensitivities.

Not that you need to plan your menu around them, but consider providing some neutral options for people who are unable to eat gluten or who have peanut allergies.

This can be as simple as putting out a nice vegetable platter and not serving anything with peanuts.

4. It’s your job to entertain

If your party includes people of different ages and stages, preparing a few "entertainment stations" to accommodate everyone's interests can make yours the standout bash of the year.

Kids coming? Designate a room for them with a DVD player and stack of kid-tastic flicks. Got teens? Rent, buy or borrow a game system and get your hands on a copy of Guitar Hero.

They may have to fight off adult guests, but the teens will worship you.

Older guests might appreciate a quiet corner where they can sit down and place their cups and plates on a table surface.

5. Booze is not everybody's cup of tea

You will probably have some teetotalers in your group, even if you don't have kids present.

Consider offering the "spike" beside the punchbowl, or serve alcohol-containing mixed drinks in clearly labeled pitchers.

6. Children are a blessing

Accept the fact that some children are less well behaved than others, and plan accordingly.

Stock up on dollar-store trinkets, wrap them in festive paper, and pass them out judiciously to keep kids busy while their parents mingle.

Rent some kid-friendly movies, set up a DVD player that kids can access, offer some not-gross snacks, and you are a hero to parents and offspring alike.

7. Remember the shells and tails

Don't serve items like pistachios, shell-on shrimp, or wrapped candies without placing receptacles nearby to hold the shells and wrappers. It's common sense.

8. Don’t be spilly

Make sure you have plenty of seating for your guests, even if you're not hosting a sit-down dinner.

If guests will be eating, make sure there is adequate table space to hold glasses and plates so guests won't have to juggle.

Do your guests a favor and save them and your carpet from embarrassing spills.
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