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Lifestyle : Party Planning 2011
1HERSA1 F018 18 SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2011 THE SUN-HERALD party planning Media doyenne Ita Buttrose has attended and thrown more parties than most people have had hot dinners. Buttrose, the author of A Guide to Australian Etiquette, gives S editor-at-large Shelly Horton tips on party do’s and don’ts. ETIQUETTE Host with the most . . . it’s easy to make your event a success. Photo: Getty Images Do 1. Introduce people People often don’t remember to introduce guests properly. A great thing to do is introduce guests to each other and suggest what they might have in common. For example: ‘‘John Smith, this is Sarah Brown. I believe you both sail.’’ A common link gives a springboard for conversation. 2. Be considerate Make sure you have lots of food and napkins. But if you’re serving seafood or prawns, check for allergies. If you have vegetarians among your guests, ensure you have a selection of meat- free options available. Make an effort for friends who are the designated driver – prepare Virgin Daiquiris with fresh fruit. Make sure the softdrink is cold and serve it in a glass with a garnish. 3. Think about comfort Have as many seats placed around as you can because most guests, especially older ones, will grow weary of standing. Have heaters in winter and fans in summer. Place an ashtray outside for the smokers. Don’t 1. Allow it to go all night Set a time limit on the invitation so guests know when you expect the night to finish. There is always someone who doesn’t want to leave on the night, so if you’re having trouble say something like: ‘‘Who’d like one last drink for the road?’’ It’s a polite way to wrap it up. 2. Don’t be too uptight You need to understand that glasses will get broken. After you’ve stifled the urge to kill the perpetrator, say: ‘‘Don’t worry, it’ll be right.’’ A woman once broke two of my champagne glasses at one of my parties and I had to grin and bear it but I made sure I gave her a cheap glass from the kitchen after that. 3. Don’t get too stressed Throwing a party can be a lot of work, so don’t overdo it by trying to do everything on the night. Prepare as much as possible in advance and have everything ready. People like to help and if they are taking around a tray of food it gives them a chance to mingle. Share the load – if you’re stressed, running around looking like a rat, you won’t have any fun and your guests won’t, either. SPECIAL REPORT
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