1. Be organized. Be enthusiastic. Don’t get overwhelmed.
2. Plan ahead, and do ahead as much as possible, leaving as little as you can to do last minute on the day of the event.
3. Have good food! I tend to obsess over this part. I also like to do everything myself. Someday I will have a pot-luck and give up some of my control issues! LOL
4. Have good helpers and delegate. Ask Brad how good I am at this one! He just says, "What's on my list for today?" I will also have my sous chefs, Jerry, Paul and Sandi here the day before the party. They have proven to be great kitchen helpers! At worst, they shall entertain me during my frequent pre-party breaks! I have also hired two professional kitchen helpers from a caterer for the actual event to keep me out of the kitchen and having fun with my guests!
5. Have items you need ready and available. I have tons of serving ware, platters, dishes and party supplies. But with more than 24 food items, I still make a list of what every dish will be served on, and what serving pieces and silverware I will need. It will all be out, clean, and labeled with a sticky note a couple days before the party.
6. Take a pre-party day to relax and do nothing. I also try to plan for some downtime, or even a nap on the day of the party.
7. Timing list: Probably my most important list which I make for myself for small dinner parties, and for my kitchen helpers for a big event is a detailed list of when to put each item in the oven, for how long, and at what temperature, so there is a blow-by-blow order on paper of what needs to be done when.
8. This one is easy: Invite great guests!
9. Keep it simple. I’ll never follow this one!
10. Have a great time at your party. Everyone else will too!