How to Be a Great Co-Host Without the Stress

Whether it's an anniversary celebration, a birthday or a Christmas gathering, hosting a party is no small undertaking. There is so much to do and so many things to remember that the stress, for you as the host, can often ruin all the fun. One way to be a great co-host without the stress is to co-host the party with a family member or a friend.

Co-hosting a party with someone else not only cuts down on worry and responsibility, but doing so also saves money. Instead of carrying the burden alone, you share the cost of food, drinks and decorations with someone else. Why put so much stress on one person's budget?

Venue

When co-hosting a party, the first thing to do is to agree on a venue. Where will you hold the party, at your house or at your friend's place? When deciding on a location, keep in mind whose house is more spacious, who has the most room to store refreshments and who has the most available, nearby parking.

Budget

As a co-host, help determine a budget for the party. Do you and your co-host want an intimate gathering. or are you planning to pull out all the stops? Will the cost be split down the middle? Or, will you be responsible for a lesser percentage? Be sure that you both understand your financial obligations so that there is no confusion or problem when the time comes to pay the bills.

Supplies

Another detail to keep in mind is the supply of glasses, china and flatware. If you don't have enough to serve everybody, consider a trip to Walmart or Ikea for some less expensive party supplies. The glasses, plates, cups and flatware may not look as elegant, but at least you won't have to worry about your guests breaking something.

Food

When shopping for food items, consider that some guests, such as vegetarians or diabetics, may have dietary limitations. When most people with special diet needs attend parties, they often are accustomed to going hungry. Brainstorm with your co-host for a variety of foods to serve that everyone can eat. Include a healthy fresh vegetable selection, easy-to-eat fruits, non-dairy dips, unsalted nuts and even a tofu dish for your vegan guests. Be mindful of low-fat cooking and low-fat dressing and dips for diabetics. As a thoughtful co-host, go that extra step if your budget allows it and offer a special diabetic dessert that adheres to their sugar limitations.

Drinks

Keep a supply of non-alcoholic drinks, as well as coffee and tea, for guests who don't enjoy beer, wine or spirits. One important tip for how to be a great co-host is that you both should be responsible and not let a guest who had a little too much to drink drive home. Offer him a ride yourself, call upon another guest to help or call a cab.

Music

What kind of music did you have in mind? You and your co-host should discuss the type of music you both like and then find a happy compromise. High energy CDs get the party going, but don't forget to include some relaxing tracks. If the venue allows for dancing, swing numbers are fun. Just be sure to mix it up with a little slow-dancing music for couples or guests who might prefer relaxing on the sidelines.

Children

You and your co-host will have to decide whether or not your party is for adults or families. If your budget can handle it, consider getting a sitter or provide entertainment for any kids that your guests might bring. As much as parents love their children, they do enjoy some time away from them without having to worry about their well being.

How can you be a great party host without the stress? Lift the burden off one set of shoulders by making the party planning and execution process much easier by finding another person who shares your party vision and is compatible with your organizational skills.

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