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Know Your Party Style

Attitude: Classy Versus Kitschy
If Villeroy & Boch china, Waterford crystal, and Tiffany flatware all make you swoon, you are a classy hostess. If you prefer Fiestaware dishes, vintage barware, and eclectic, mismatched cutlery, you are a kitschy hostess. Similarly, if dinner parties, wedding showers, and open houses are your speed, you are a classy host. If you opt for scavenger hunts, disco parties, or tiki barbecues, you are a kitschy host.

If formal and casual denote budget and the amount of work you are willing and able to put into a party, classy and kitschy are all about attitude.

Classy hostesses are generally adept at throwing formal dinner parties, but also can pull off an outstanding costume party, neighborhood scavenger hunt, or block party. Kitschy hostesses can be equally adroit at kicky casual barbecues, cocktail parties, or high teas. It's all about combining attitude with effort.

Again, "kitschy" does not mean "low-class." Kitsch is all about fun, frolic, and style, which usually means you found the items at a great bargain. Cute vintage items should be clean and in good repair.

Creativity: Modern Versus Traditional
Is your favorite kind of party a structured affair, or do you like fun, quirky theme parties? Although the word traditional might have negative connotations for some people (boring, "been there, done that"), in the context of this book, it is anything but negative. Traditional hosts excel at sending out printed invitations, planning a swank buffet, coordinating entertainment, and providing a variety of beverages – everything you might expect when you think of the word party. Traditional parties have worked well for years, so why add a bunch of potentially explosive variables?

Modern hosts love to add excitement to tradition, mixing things up with personal touches. A modern party might consist of eclectic food served in nontraditional surroundings – a Cuban-Vietnamese fusion barbecue in the park – or other spicy touches, such as a funky theme, a diverse group of people, or out-of-the ordinary entertainment or activities.

Most people are not quite as easily defined as these categories might suggest. Can a traditional hostess throw a formal, kitschy party? Sure! A sit-down dinner (with printed invitations) followed by a Miss Betty's Dice Game would suit this hostess perfectly. Likewise, someone who considers himself a casual, classy, modern host would have a great time throwing a cocktail party with Asian finger food and a martini bar.

Don't be afraid to mix up the different aspects of your personality and reflect them in the parties you give. Remember: Creativity, effort, and attitude are the key elements to throwing a party that really works. Know how much of each quality you want to utilize, and you'll have no problems finding the kind of party that suits your style.

Determining your party style is the very first thing you should do before proceeding further into this book or with planning your party. Take a moment to reflect on your personality, and then continue reading with your decision in mind.



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Reproduced from Plan a Fabulous Party In No Time, by Tamar Love, by permission of Pearson Education. Copyright © 2005 by Que Publishing.

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