The idea of coming together with loved ones is an event that many of us are looking forward to after this pandemic. To plan a wonderful event, follow health guidelines adn do your best to keep things simple so you can play too. If you’re in the mood to do something formal, think about hiring a caterer and using disposable plates and utensils.
Determine a theme for your gathering. Of course, if you’re having a birthday party or an anniversary bash, your theme is all set. To add to this, celebrate the life of your birthday focus or the relationship over time of the anniversary celebration. Make sure to put up lots of photos, and consider adding special photos to canvas and hang a large image of the center of your celebration.
Create a festive party theme with plastic plates loaded with bling, or in the favorite color of your guest of honor. Check out the wide variety of shapes and sizes of plastic wear available, and splurge on metallic-toned plastic cutlery for a fancier feel.
If you’re planning a holiday event, pull out all the stops. Red salad plates, blue dessert plates, and white platters for fried chicken or burgers will make your July 4th event a party to remember. For children, look for sectioned plates to reduce the risk of a spill or a mess.
Finally, load up on beverage cups in many colors and sizes. Set up a kid’s table for beverage collection to avoid any mix-ups, or create a kid’s cooler for juice boxes and water bottles.
Strive to have pressed paper plates available for hot food. While most anything in a bun will work on a plastic platter, a pressed plate or bowl will work better for potato salad, baked beans, and the like.
If there is anyone at your event who has health challenges, consider keeping plastic gloves at the serving table so anyone serving themselves can glove up if they choose. Set out sealable trash containers at the far corners of the space, and if your event is an outdoor party, take care to carry away any used dishes to keep flies away from your guests.
Create a beautiful beverage table with a combination of a
- punch bowl with a sugar-free drink
- open container of iced sodas
- clear jar loaded with ice water
- crock loaded with iced tea
- silver coffee urn with iced cream, sugar and sweetener options
- lemon slices and sweetener between the tea and water
Anywhere that you have tiny packets of sweetener or coffee creamer pods, make sure you put out a small trash container. There are many small countertop trash cans that would serve, and reduce awkwardness and confusion.
If you choose to serve liquor, consider hiring a bartender. If a guest has too much, a bartender can be the one to cut them off, ask for their keys, or contact you about a problem.
Set up your food and beverage areas with an eye toward letting people cluster a bit. Many of us have been inside and had limited contact for a long time, and the chance to chat and hug shouldn’t be blocked by the food table. If you have elderly guests or anyone with a mobility challenge, discretely offer to fix them a plate if the distance is too far.
Make memories at this event. Give children disposable cameras and let them take photos of all the guests. Set up a photo booth in a corner and encourage everyone to take photos with the guest of honor or anyone else they have not seen in far too long. Our time together is remarkably fragile, so strive to record these memories. Keep an idea book on each table for guests to write down memories, or have an older child or young adult travel around the room and record conversations.
Too many of us have been isolated for far too long. When we can safely gather, do your best to create an event where everyone can relax, connect, and celebrate one another. Create gathering spaces away from the eating tables. Put your social butterfly friends and family to work encouraging folks to move around and keep the joy flowing!