We are starting to plan the first somewhat major party to be held at our home in the next year or so. We had Stefan’s 10 year high school class reunion here – but that turned out to be about 10 people including us. That party did require a little bit of planning but it’s nothing compared to the 85 potential guests ( plus 20 kids) we have on our housewarming party list. The party will be held in August so we have a little bit of time to prepare still, but the time will quickly start to evaporate if we aren’t careful. So we’re currently working out the best way to feed, entertain and satisfy that many guests which will cover a wide range of ages.

At the moment we are thinking that finger foods and things that can be eaten while standing may be a practical way to go. We will have enough tables set up for people to sit down but if we do something like steaks or chicken, we have to coordinate that many people eating, not to mention storing that food before the big event. Our refrigerator isn’t nearly big enough to handle something like that. Thankfully we do still have the small fridge from the old kitchen and will almost definitely need to hook it up before this event takes place. And we’re planning to put the drinks in large tubs of ice so at least that won’t be taking up any space. But storing marinating meat before hand or side dishes may get complicated.

So far I’ve found some surprisingly good tips on Oprah.com in this summer entertaining special. And Martha Stewart brought up having chili on the menu which is an idea I really love!

And of course AllRecipes.com has some fantastic advice. For example, this cooking for a crowd article gives you guidelines about how much people are likely to consume of both food and drinks during a party. This is something I really struggle with and would always much rather have too much than too little…but having never done anything on quite this scale – it’s definitely nice to have a bit of a guide to help out. I’m certain I will be compiling a long list of recipes from All Recipes as well.

There will be much more to discuss in upcoming posts. I’ve noticed that there don’t seem to be too many people out there discussing throwing a successful housewarming party but I think they are essential for making any house feel like a home. And when you love your house, why not share it with your friends, family and neighbors at an event like this? It can also be a really good no-stress way to bond with your neighbors if you haven’t already ๐Ÿ™‚

In some ways I think having a bigger party is easier than a small party. You are much more responsible for entertaining guests at a small party and are really in the spotlight. But with a large party you can depend a bit more on some of your other guests to help you keep the party going. In a big party, you just need to make sure that you don’t run out of anything and keep the machine oiled and moving. We will have a collection of family, friends, colleagues and neighbors at this party which is an interesting mix. It should be a fun time.

We hope to compile a slide show on the computer with tons of photos we have taken during the renovation of the house. There are plenty before and after photos and some things that people won’t even be able to comprehend that we’ve done to the house. There are things that even we have somehow let slide from our minds since they have happened in this house which is why it’s always nice to have photos to remind you.

Speaking of which, we’ll be having disposable cameras around for our guests to use during the party. And we will do our best to post them promptly online for our guests to enjoy…maybe even send out printed copies for them. We could also greet guests at the door with a large frame and ask them to strike a pose from the start if we find a trustworthy photographer. We also started a guest book at our last party and will be asking everyone to sign it. It’s a fun way for guests to leave us a few personal words and we loved reading through the things our last guests wrote.

I’m actually really excited about the party and look forward to all the planning and preparation. We want to repair the lower part of the wall outside and repaint at least a few areas of the courtyard before the main event. We’ve got 5 weekends before that happens but Stefan’s parents, grandmother and aunt are coming up to visit us July 8-10th so that leaves 4 weekends. Stefan is planning to take a week off from work very soon but will also be completing his motorcycle license at the same time which will cut a few hours from our days. And we have no idea if the weather will allow us to work outside on these projects since we’ve been getting a lot of rain lately. So if we can’t work outdoors, we’re thinking we’ll get started on our guest house…which of course would be very handy to have before this big party since it would give us an additional bathroom as well.

As always, lots of work ahead… ๐Ÿ˜€