party prep

July 23, 2014

The tomatoes are coming in big now and it's time to have our BLT party.  Last year's was so fun we decided to do it again.  I thought I'd take you through my day by day party preparations.  I'm always interested in how others put on a party and thought you might be too.  Right now as I'm writing this I'm having an email conversation with a friend and a fellow party giver.  I told her how much I love this pre-party prep.  She answered back, "Right, there's a few of us who are nutso about the process and love everything about giving a party and going to a party."  Guilty.   I don't think every party needs to be swank, this one won't be, but it will be welcoming and pretty and the food will be good.  The best advice I ever received was, keep it simple and don't bite off more than you can chew.  No matter how much I love to entertain, I wouldn't throw a party very often if I make too much work for myself.



The party idea started on Sunday evening when my husband asked if we were going to have our BLT party again this summer.  I was game, and checking the calendar we felt the best time to have it was the next Friday.  We did glance at the weather forecast, but honestly, where we live it's almost always perfect. We immediately sent out the invitations by email and knowing they were last minute we expected a few friends to be busy.  Within hours we heard back from most people and just as we figured quite a few people were out of town or already had plans.  If there is one nice thing you can do for your hosts, that would be to respond in a timely manner.  Please don't leave your hosts guessing and have to resort to hounding you for your response.  It's rude.

Next I engaged a party helper, a lady who helps me often, knows my house and my style and can roll up her sleeves and get to work without a lot of direction.  I arranged to have her arrive 15 minutes ahead of the guests.  I emailed a few friends to borrow some 4-slice toasters.  I figured with the amount of people we were expecting we could get away with not having to rent anything, but that would have been my next step.  I'm happy to avoid the costs if I can.

We wrote out the menu and grocery shopping list.  My house was cleaned on Monday and with just the two of us we are able to keep it up pretty well.  Yesterday and today I spent the mornings deadheading and weeding and just general garden cleanup. My gardeners came in the afternoon and I work side by side with them. They know I'm passionate about my garden but I do try to stay out of their way.  The house is clean and the garden is clean.  Yay!

The best part of today was deciding on the "look" of the party.  I am limited by what I own, but my color theme is going to focus on fresh white, heavy with greens and blues with touches of pinks.  I placed around some vases where I thought I might want flowers.  I washed all the platters and polished the silver.  I placed the platters where I think people will serve themselves though the buffet line.  First, pick up a dinner plate, next the bread and then the mayonnaise.  Then they will go down both sides of the table to make their sandwich.  I'll station myself at the end with a cutting board and knife in case they want their sandwiches cut in half.  I've set out the dessert table too. If I'm missing anything I've got a few days to catch it.

In the next two days we'll be shopping, cooking, window washing, setting up the outdoor furniture, setting up the bar and arranging flowers.   A side benefit of the work involved for an outdoor party is the clean windows and garden we'll be able to enjoy all month!


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  1. Wonderful and fun idea for a party! I like the idea of spreading the work over a few days. It's the only way you can make it manageable. How many poeple do you plan on having.?

  2. Can't wait to see the party photos. Have fun.

  3. Love your style Kristen, and to think you have time to take pretty photos too! Your bacon and tomato sandwich party sounds great - does everyone go home with a box of tomatoes? I have never seen so many tomatoes as you have!!!

    I had a BBQ yesterday for 6.....meant to take photos....too busy to take photos....but a great day was had!

  4. aha...I see what happened....I misspelt my blog address....that's why you couldn't click through Kristen!

  5. Great idea! I'm going to copy it!

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