5 tips for throwing a last-minute party

Group of beautiful young people in Santa hats throwing colorful confetti and looking happy

TAMPA, FL. (WFLA) — Yes, it’s possible to host a last-minute holiday get-together without having a total meltdown! Event Planner Brooke Palmer-Kuhl shared with WFLA News Channel 8 her top-five tips for party bliss:

  1. Decorate using items you already have on hand.
    • For example, ornaments in bowls make for nice accents or centerpieces. And unused or old boxes wrapped in leftover paper can easily make a room more festive.
  2. Skip the fancy food spread, and go with cost-effective munchies like mini doughnuts and popcorn.
    • You’re less likely to be left with a fridge full of food when your guests leave. In case of leftovers, though, have inexpensive plastic containers on hand so that you can send your guests home with the extras.
  3. Pass on the trendy cocktails.
    • Doing so cuts down not only on your prep time, but on the amount of ingredients you have to buy. Often, those ingredients go to waste after the party anyway. Stock up on tried-and-true beverages like beer, wine, soda, and water. If you’d like to enjoy an evening toast, Brooke recommends Spanish Cava instead of champagne. The sparkling wine averages about $13 a bottle. Also, put breakable items away for the evening, just in case someone gets too tipsy.
  4. Put away your pets.
    • Parties can be stressful for animals, and there’s also the risk of your pet eating something that could make him or her sick (like popcorn, chocolate, or poinsettias).
  5. Finally, know when to kick everyone out.
    • As the host or hostess, you can be very clear about the time your party will wrap up. And, with so many options to get guests home safely, such as Uber, Lyft, or a taxi, there’s no risk of someone crashing on your couch.

Here are some additional tips, for after the party:

  • Mayonnaise can be used to get rid of water rings. Apply full-fat mayo to the spot for an hour, then buff clean with a microfiber cloth.
  • Tennis balls can be used to buff scuff marks from hard surfaces.
  • To remove red wine stains, use a solution of two cups of warm water mixed with a tablespoon each of hand soap and white vinegar.

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