'Twas a good party. And like many big events, as fun as it was, I'm happy it's over. I adore hosting, but now that we've had our intimate 40-person (!) gathering, I can settle into the type of entertaining I prefer: small group gatherings or having another couple over for dinner. Hosting lots of folks means lots of pressure. It's loud, silly fun, but it's pressure. Saturday night was also, by the way, one of DC's most blustery nights to date. At times there were whiteout conditions outside - not exactly conducive to partying on the back patio with the keg, twinkling lights, and fire pit. And so our house was bursting to the seams. Of course, one could argue we asked for such weather:
So on the heels of successfully hosting a big crowd (well, big for our small house!) on a truly fun night, here are a few things I'm happy we don't have to do again any time soon:
- Have glassware on hand for 40+ people (but can you believe not a single glass was broken?)
- Quickly open new bottles of wine and prosecco (too much pressure when someone's watching and waiting with an empty glass! ps: Can you tell I was never a waitress? )
- Not have enough time for everyone (I hate barely getting to talk to folks I haven't seen in ages)
- Make quick introductions (I prefer more natural introductions where folks who don't know one another can ease into conversation. That's much better than "X meet X, you have X in common - bye!")
- Stress about food (there's either too little, too much, or too something, but there's always stress about it)
I'd love to know... what are your lessons learned from hosting big shindigs? Any tips to manage food, drinks, and the delicate social balance that is tons of people you know in various ways all thrown together in your living room? You probably know me well enough if you're reading to understand that I have too much yuppie guilt to hire caterers or people to help out, so while I appreciate those suggestions, I'm especially interested in hearing from fellow I-Can-Do-It-All-ers. We are a stubborn crew, aren't we?
PS: I still have lots of dish-washing to do. Yesterday was our lazy recovery day, and I have no guilt about that.