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Party - Layout

Preparation    - Menu     - Layout     - Cleaning

Layout is an often overlooked part of the preparation. At many events there is a last minute rush to try and squeeze everything in and a considerable amount of time is spent rearranging things to ensure that both your guests and the food will all fit in the desired area.

Of course, there are many factors which need to be considered when planning your layout. Such things as location (indoor or outdoor) and the amount of space you have. We've been to some events in 3000 square foot houses and others in 1000 square foot houses. Certainly the ones in larger areas made things easier, but even the smaller areas were successful because the host had taken the time to plan his layout.

If at all possible, it is best to create three separate areas to help provide a free flow of guests and help eliminate traffic jams. One area will feature the food. Another will contain your drinks and drinkware. The third area will be used for plates, napkins, utensils and items of that sort.

Without a doubt, the food area will be the most popular, so here are a few tips to help in that area. The first thing to consider is the option of setting the food on a table that will allow people to walk completely around it. The idea of setting plates, etc. in a separate area will allow people to pick up a plate and proceed to an open area of the food table in order to begin serving themselves. With the plates at one end of the food table, everyone feels obliged to walk around the whole table, even if the food the desire is at the very end.

Now in setting up the food itself, there are a couple of things to consider. It is best to put what you believe will be the most popular food in the center of the table. This will allow your guests to have easy access from anywhere. Also, it is always a good idea to place any sauces near the edge of the table. This will prevent accidental spills into other foods which may make them unpleasing to your guests.

Now close your eyes and start dreaming of the wonderful layout you have designed for your guests.

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