You've got everything planned for your party - guest list, menu, music, even your outfit. The only thing left for you to do is have the party. But have you remembered everything? Have you thought about your duties as a party hostess? If not, here are some tips for being a good party hostess.
1. Welcome everyone graciously, even the guest who shows up 45 minutes late. (By the way, if it's a dinner party, you don't need to wait any longer than 15 minutes for late arrivals.) Introduce them to anyone they haven't met and seat them. If there is a host, too, he can share any and all of the duties with you.
2. If you're entertaining at home, be prepared to take coats (or have someone else do it) and either hang them in a closet, space permitting, or on a bed in a spare bedroom.
3. Don't get hung up with one group of people. Make sure you circulate and bring any wallflowers into the conversation.
4. If there is an accident (a spill or breakage), let the responsible person off the hook by telling them it's okay (even if it is a piece of your best china).
5. If you are having a dinner party with couples, don't sit spouses together. This should help encourage lively conversation and help people get to know each other, if they don't already.
6. Tactfully make sure no one drinks to the extent that they will endanger himself/herself and others by operating a motor vehicle when the party is over.
7. If you're having a large group, you may wish to ask someone (a friend or relative) to help you with the hostess duties, as you can't be everywhere at once.
8. Make sure food and drink are replenished as needed.
9. Clear dishes away as quickly as possible. Preferably your guests will be shown into another room while this is taking place. If possible, try to get someone to do this task for you. (You may even want to consider using one of your children or hiring a high school student to do the clean up.)
10. Your most important duty of all is to be sure that everyone is comfortable and having a good time. If you notice that someone is sitting alone, be sure to go over and speak with them and encourage others to join you.
Being a good party hostess is not brain surgery; it's more like being a director of a movie and having to have eyes in back of your head. But by using these tips, you can be assured that your party will be the talk of the town and that your guests will be waiting for your next invitation.