Guy-Friendly Crash Course to Hosting the Perfect Party Slideshow
September 8, 2011
1. Incorporate a Personal, Creative Touch
Your party is a chance for you to show off your imagination and wit to your guests, so weave something unique and original into it. For example, Maynard-Parisi suggests doing something as simple as replacing the generic can of store-bought snacks with a homemade version. “Don’t just have bar nuts,” he recommends. “Have bar nuts with a different kind of spice mixture that you have created, so it becomes a conversation starter.” [These are addictive; these have a kick.]
To spice up his liquid offerings, Maynard-Parisi replaces mass-market six-packs with 750 milliliter bottles of craft beers. By being the guy who has Dogfish Head, Stone, and Rogue, you’ve immediately set a distinctive tone for your party.
2. Plan an Activity
Guys can only sit around and talk for a certain amount of time, so Maynard-Parisi suggests engaging them in a game or similar pursuit, otherwise “you just have a bunch of guys hanging around a keg.” Bocce, poker, and pool are always met with approval, but why not think outside the standard contests? “We did a party for someone where, this sounds crazy, but they had a barber and a tattoo artist who did temporary tattoos,” says Maynard-Parisi. “It was almost all guys and there was a line for the tattoo guy the entire time.”
3. Hire Help
Maynard-Parisi often hires a teenager from his neighborhood as a utility worker. He’ll write up a list of to-do items and the worker will do everything from taking guests’ coats and briefcases, to refilling the appetizer trays, serving dinner, and cleaning up the kitchen. This allows Maynard-Parisi to spend more time with his guests and ensures that when the last person goes home, he won’t have two hours of scrubbing pots and pans. For $10 per hour it’s a wise, headache-free investment.
4. Don’t Make People Wait for a Drink
When prepping for a party, Maynard-Parisi often puts himself in the position of the guest. In a perfect world, he says, “you should be greeted, someone should take your bag, and within a few minutes you should have a drink in your hand.”
For variety and ease, he always mixes a specialty cocktail and serves it in a glass pitcher, so that he or his guests can easily pour it themselves. Try and match the libation to the event theme or season. A martini works for a Mad Men party, a scotch-based cocktail is perfect for the colder months, and margaritas are refreshing in the summer.
5. There is More to a Playlist Than Classic Rock
Once a month, Maynard-Parisi gathers with a group of guys for what they call “wine club.” The host is always responsible for selecting the soundtrack, and that’s a significant responsibility. “We spend a ton of time downloading music for those three hours together,” says Maynard-Parisi. They unearth rare live tracks, introduce emerging artists or try and find cover songs that stump the others. Like the homemade snack nuts and activity, the music serves as an entrée to a spirited discussion.
6. Décor Items Should Have a Function
... and functional items should add to the décor.
At one point in life, a Styrofoam cooler was the perfect home for stashing Buds and Keystones. But since that phase has run its course, buy or rent a galvanized tub to stock your cold ones. “There is nothing better than pulling out a beer from ice,” says Maynard-Parisi, adding, “It also opens up your fridge for storing food.”
For the brew selection, Maynard-Parisi always has at least three different kinds at the ready: a standby like a Corona or Sam Adams, a well-received microbrew, and “something that’s totally out there that no one has ever heard of and they try it.” Here are some to try.
7. Presentation Matters
Consider the steak. Would you prefer to see yours served on a flimsy aluminum foil baking sheet that is collapsing under the weight of the beef and has juices running all over it? Or how about on top of a thick wooden cutting board with a steak knife stuck in it?
It’s not a hard question. One looks terrible, the other fancy. Subtle presentation details like this will be noticed. “A lot of guys aren’t going to be like, ‘Hey, dude nice décor,’ but they’ll appreciate it,” says Maynard-Parisi. Click here for some helpful tips.