A very key factor in the success of a party is the group of people who will attend. Sure it's tempting to invite everyone you know, but more is not necessarily merrier. The night of a party a hostess has too many other things to worry about than whether or not there will be belligerent friction, uncomfortable silences or unwanted cliques. For my tips on assembling a great guest list,

  • Make a two column list of the people you are thinking of inviting. Put the males in one column and the females in another column. Your goal is that the ratio of guys to gals is about even. Unless, of course, you are planning a get together in which it is only for one sex, i.e. bachelorette party, baby shower.
  • You should always send out more invitations than the number of guests you wish to attend. Remember that not everyone will be able to come so if your perfect party consists of fifteen people, send out at least 18 invitations.
  • Cater the number of people to suit your party. For example if you are hosting a dinner and only 8 people can fit comfortably around your table, then invite only eight people. Likewise if you are having a cocktail party, the amount of people who can stand, sit, and mingle in your living room must be taken into consideration.
  • Do not overcrowd a party. The best parties are when the hostess makes each and every guest feel special. If you cram too many in, you will not have the time nor desire to speak with each and every one of them.
  • Good parties have a smooth flow and guests must be able to move freely and comfortably about the space.
  • If you're friends with a couple who recently broke up, do not invite them both. You are a hostess, not a couples counselor. If two of your friends simply can't stand each other - for whatever reason - do not invite them both. I know it may seem like you are taking sides, but it's better than worrying about the fate of your party.
  • A guest list that varies in age, race, and profession is exciting and necessary.
  • Always invite a few friends with sparkling personalities that can liven up a room and assist in making sure that no one is left by themselves.
  • Know your guests, if Sonia is a drama queen, Chris a superb mingler, Vikki a wallflower, and Jon willing to step up and lend you a hand, prepare for their expected behaviors.