GL: What is the ideal size for a sit-down dinner party? For a casual hors d’oeuvres-only party?
MW: Ten to 12 would be the ideal number for a hosted sit-down dinner party. You can get away with more than that if it’s simply casual hors d’oeuvres, but limit it to the number you feel comfortable being able to converse with. If you aren’t including a table for everyone to sit at, make sure you at least have enough seating for your guests. Most guests do not like to eat dinner standing up.
GL: If the party includes a sit-down dinner, should you play music? If so, what type?
MW: Your music choice should not be overpowering but rather just soft enough so your guests can still hear their conversation. I love hearing artists like Adele, Joshua Radin, and Michael Bublé playing in the background.
GL: What areas are best for splurging on versus saving?
MW: Splurge on food! Food should always be the highlight of the event because that’s what people will remember. You can save on decor and fun napkin treatments by buying from a 99-cent store, which will have great additions for setting the scene for your party.
GL: What is the number one biggest mistake people make when hosting a holiday party?
MW: Choosing the right candle is essential when you want to create ambience. However, the biggest mistake people make is choosing a scented candle that overpowers your home and takes away from the aromas of the food you are serving.