Formal party, dinner menu, venue, food and drinks

While with kids and elders you have to follow moulds of celebrations when it comes to celebrating a casual or formal dinner party with friends or colleagues you can easily make, bend or discard the rules. This event is for foodies to exhibit their skills honed over the years and sacrifices made of piling body weight in bargain of tasting and learning a new dish. Foodies go free spirited while planning .
If the event is planned to mark a special occasion like Birthday, Anniversary, Promotion, New Year etc. then you may have to plan around the occasion to ensure that you don’t forget marking it. Like birthdays and anniversaries call for cake cutting. Other events may call for announcements and felicitations. 

Arrange the venue such that it gives a comfortable, leisurely , laid back atmosphere.
Theme & Venue Arrangements – If you are partying with friends who are not mere acquaintances then you can encourage them to be part of mad fun. Pajama (pyjama) parties is my favorite theme in such cases. Besides dressing up literally in your nightwear you can throw in lots of cushions, pillows, order for DVDs, fill the house with pop corns and colas. Ahh … relive the days from college. If you are lucky to have packed off kids to grandparents place then you probably can do away with any other planning. If you are super lucky to have kids (pun intended) tagging along, then don’t fuss, pull them in. They need to see how parents rock parties early on. You can plan games and activities that you share as a group. Involve the kids in the discussions so that they do not get dragged off and eventually expect you/ parent to follow out of the party.
When it is non casual, formal or Dress Up party then pull out the best of your dresses out. Decorate the venue with chic upholstery . You can do flower arrangements or adorn the walls with paintings. You can also do a quick collage of photos (recent and old) so that guests are occupied with activities besides catching up with each other.
Keep your music collection on display for the guests to choose or pick or suggest some of them.
If you are expecting too many kids, then avoid displaying breakable items unless you can keep it out of their reach.
As time passes by and people are getting more comfortable, you can pull down the sofas or make way for spread out beddings, or settees for people to throw back and relax. This is to be done for parties running past mid-night.

Although you should not do any experimental cooking you can still take some risk and display some unusual or uncommon dish or 2.

Keep 1 variety of each – Fruit based, Aerated , Mocktails
Spiced Orange Juice , Guava Blossom, Virgin Mary, Ginger Ale, Ice Tea
Opt for 1 variety per 5 people in attendance. Restrict to maximum of 4 to avoid clutter
Tandoor Aloo/ Paneer Tikka / Mushroom Pinwheel/ Sev corn Puri 
Main Course
Keep a healthy mix of Indian and continental (Opt for 1 or 2 of each row below)
Salad, Curd Rice , Dahi Vada/Bhalla ,
Roti Basket – Stuffed Paratha, Naan, Puri

Pulav or Biryani or Jeera Rice with Dal Makhani or Rajma

Keep these in plenty. The more the better.

General tips
* Unless asked for do not ask kids to recite rhymes or poems. It may amuse for a while but can become drag. Let the kids and guests mingle comfortably with each other. Talent would be automatically displayed
* Do not drag people in or out of place , jumping or directing them to use or not to use a space. If possible lock away areas before they come. For e.g. rooms or balconies housing junk should be locked or barred before guests come in.
* Abide by the requests for changing music or dvd if someone asks. They are guests and besides are asking you to play one of your collections
* Do not overpower a conversation by talking too much or making your points strongly. Even if you disagree with certain views, politely opt out or change the topic. Settle your scores some other dayJ
* Do not spend time with select few guests more just because you find their company better or comforting than others. You have to distribute time evenly as all those present are here on your invitation.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#13


Harini said…
Interesting common sense etiquette pointers which are often tossed out by some :)
vidhas said…
Lovely write up. I admire your writing.
veena said…
That is a great write up Pradyna.....very interesting
Dreams of cakes said…
Very nice post! Keep up the good work!
Rasi said…
PJ parties.. i so miss them now after reading ur lovely write up! I loved the general pointer no many of them unintentionally do it & we have no option but listen :D
Srivalli said…
hahah..I liked your general notes..very interesting!
Hema said…
You have thought about every small thing linked to a party, very useful..
hemalata said…
Wonderful post.
preeti garg said…
wonderful post...

visit @my blog for my first event in ur free time :-)
Ongoing Event--Color n Sweet-HOLI FEST
Preeti's Kitchen Life
Anonymous said…
Useful pointers and nice menu! Loved the organised manner with which you went about posting the whole week. Was gr8 to run BM 13 with u Pradnya :)

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