How to Prepare for an Impromptu Party

How to Prepare for an Impromptu Party

Guests heading over unannounced? Stay prepared with our party-planning tips.



By: Melissa A. Kay

Make even the most spur-of-the-moment get together with friends a day or evening to remember. With the right refreshments, décor and entertainment on hand, you’ll always be ready for a friendly gathering at your place.

Finger Foods
Nothing says “festive eating” like finger foods for one- or two-bite nibbles. If you have the right items in stock, you’ll always be ready to feed guests something delicious.

Create hors d'oeuvres that look like they took hours to make when they really only took moments.

One easy option is cheese and fruit on crackers. Keep a few types of cheese on hand as well as apples and figs. Slice the cheese, place atop the cracker and then add fruit. A drizzle of honey or reduced balsamic vinegar brings the taste together.


Another quick idea is tiny tea sandwiches. Make a pretty platter with a variety of mini sandwiches on various types of bread. Try smoked salmon with cucumber and cream cheese, chicken salad with golden raisins, dill egg salad, and tuna with tomato. Use anything you may have on hand; even ham and cheese seems fancy in the form of a dainty sandwich!

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Signature Drink
Here’s a quick and easy drink recipe that will have your guests wondering who hired a master mixologist! Prep the drink in a giant punchbowl or decorative pitcher with a ladle so guests can serve themselves and there’s much less cleanup.

Use a ginger ale or lemon-lime soda as a base. Add some fresh fruit juices such as pineapple, orange and apple. Dice some fruit, add in and stir. This bubbly beverage will look beautiful and taste refreshing.

Monochromatic Ambience
Stock up on inexpensive plastic and paper plates, cups, cutlery and napkins in one or two pretty matching shades. When an impromptu party is headed your way, you’ll have coordinated settings ready to set out. You won’t believe how a tasteful monochromatic look can be so sophisticated.

Set out some candles in matching shades, a few bouquets of real or silk flowers, and centerpieces of fruits in bowls and you are ready for your guests. Your home will scream, “I decorated all day!” when in reality, you had it in the bag all along!

Music for All
Background music is essential for a party atmosphere. Depending on the crowd and what you are doing during your gathering, the right mix of tunes makes a difference to the vibe of the festivities. For a dinner party, think about a mix of smooth jazz, classical, and light rock music so guests can chitchat without the interruption of upbeat tunes. For a daytime party, go for some pop tunes, Broadway favorites and oldies. Make a mix and get your playlist ready before guests arrive. Music will make your party light and fun, and it makes a quick but big impact. Now, go ahead and have a blast with your friends!

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