Party Planning 101

I was hosting a large party this weekend to celebrate the start of spring and to ring in the new Persian year. The day consisted mostly of sweets, tea and more sweets. When planning to have such a large group of people over, I find that I have to approach it as if I'm preparing for an exam, complete with a preparation checklist. 

This is my usual party preparation checklist:

Guest list:
  • Make a list of all my guests (I think about the occasion, our space, family and the different groups of friends and try to invite accordingly)
  • Send out an evite or text message to guest list, depending on if I have emails. I do this 1 to 2 weeks before. 
 Shopping list:
  • Buy veggies for a veggie platter (I like baby carrots, celery and peppers)   
  • Buy sweets, samosas, finger foods, yogurt, fruit (I like grapes, strawberries and pineapple), chips and salsa, dessert and whatever else I'm in the mood for.
  • Buy fresh flowers, they always make the buffet table look fancier
At home:
  • Clean the house the day before the party (put away clutter, vaccuum and dust all the rooms)
  • Set up a drinks area (I boil water in a massive thermos and put aside for quick tea making)
  • Rinse and dry all tea cups and set out in perfect orthogonal lines, all ready to go
  • Make sure the beer fridge is well stocked (if not, send Andy out to restock)
  • Prepare plastic cups and beer glasses and place near beer fridge/tap
  • Set up a buffet area for food (usually the kitchen island, everyone eventually gathers in the kitchen anyway)
  • Prepare a healthy dip option (I love mixing yogurt with onion soup mix)
  • Wash and arrange the fruit platter
  • Place all the food in different plates and dishes
  • Put out small plates or paper plates, depending on how lazy fancy I'm feeling
  • Put out napkins and cutlery, plastic or real is again up to my mood
  • Fill a pitcher with lemon slices, ice and fresh water
  • Cut and arrange the flowers in my favourite green vase
  • Pull out some extra platters or vases in case others bring flowers and/or food
  • 20 minutes before everyone arrives, turn on 2 to 3 scented candles around the house
  • Get ready and put on nice clothes, shoes and makeup
  • Supply the bathroom with a couple of rolls of toilet paper (turn a candle on in there too)
  • Turn on the ipod and switch to party playlist
  • Pour yourself a drink
  • Open the door and enjoy the party!

Here are some photos of Sunday, notice the amazing pink and chocolate paisley cupcakes made by Andy's aunt Anna. She is so thoughtful, and took measure to use a key Persian ingredient, pistachios, and even personally melted the chocolate into a paisley shape (a classic motif of Persian origin). The cupcakes were absolutely delicious and not a single one left by the end of the day.

My Persian New Year Spread (Haft Seen)
My Persian New Year Spread (Haft Seen)


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