A host or hostess of a Valentine’s Day party has big shoes to fill. They are solely in charge of planning, organizing, and executing every minute detail of the event – right down to the color of the tablecloths and the location where it’s being held. Adding to the stress of the situation is the need to create a proper atmosphere for the guests to mingle with each other. Given that some people may have not been acquainted with one another, the host or hostess’ role increases with importance.
To ensure that the party runs smoothly, a host needs to keep the following etiquette elements in mind. Not all guests are relationship-bound, which means that a successful guest list includes single people of both sexes, as well as those who are married or involved in a long-term relationship. This piece of information is crucial due to the sensitive nature of Valentine’s Day celebrations. There is a bit of a stigma concerning singles and events of a romantic nature. Why not play Cupid and bring together people from all backgrounds? You never know where there is going to be a love connection.
In addition, you should send out the invitations at least 4 – 6 weeks in advance so that your guests may plan accordingly. You can also set a RSVP date on the invitations so that you can ensure that you will have sufficient refreshments and space for your guests.
The Golden Rules
After the guest list has been set and the invitations have been sent out, it is now time to make Emily Post proud by displaying perfect party etiquette.
• The first thing a host or hostess should do is greet their guests at the door. Offer to take their coats, hats, and handbags for them if they wish to give them to you. Put the garments in a separate room where they will be safe sitting until the party is over.
• Take the opportunity to introduce your guests to one another once the room becomes full. Note something significant about each person as a way to break the ice. For example, “Everyone, this is Suzie, my co-worker. She spent several years traveling with the Peace Corps before settling down here in Seattle with her husband, Mark.” This gesture will give guests something to remember each other by.
• Circulate around the room and offer food and drinks to everyone. A well-stocked refreshment table is crucial. Guests will need an excuse to break free from their conversations with one another and can only do so if there are enough refreshments available to quench their thirst and satisfy their hunger.
• Plan a fun game as a way of keeping the party going. Pair couples off and pit them against each other in a match of skills and knowledge. Games like Trivial Pursuit are great for times like these.
• Pay close attention to your guests’ needs and try to accommodate them by whatever means necessary.
• Thank each person for coming to the party. Help them find their coats before ushering them out the door.