I map out the event in my head and try to figure out where everything and everyone is going to work best and feel most comfortable. Do I have a spot to put the bar cart/bar tray and hors d'oeuvres? And where are the children going to be happiest? And where are their snacks going to be?
Creating a focal point and a place to congregate is super important. Kitchen island, table in the living room, a side table moved for the occasion, buffet in the dinning room… whatever works best for your home. I tend to stage several moments throughout the house and the bar cart is always a favorite focal point. I love our jeweled swizzle sticks and wine charms … not only do they look stunning, but they help guests keep their glasses all night. Less dishes = more fun!
If you know where and what you have to decorate with it makes it much easier to get organized and not overspend on too much because you don’t have a spot for everything.
Always move the furniture the day before – it’s way too stressful to try and accomplish all that on the day of. I also like to pull out the china/plates, glassware, and cutlery the day before… give everything a nice clean and polish and then the fun part begins!