The biggest tip I can give you is be a part of your party. Enjoy your friends and family; don’t spend all your time serving guests or worrying about every little thing and then the party is over and you are exhausted and didn’t enjoy yourself. Some things will not go as planned (and that happens more times than not) so go with the flow. Most of the time only you know there was a mistake.
There are the occasions when people will notice and that is ok too. Don’t sweat it. I know this sounds odd coming from a person obsessed with party planning down to every last detail, but if you don’t have a good time at your own event, it’s just not worth it. Remember, we all have those days when everything seems to be crumbling around us. Make lemonade out of lemons.
For example, a few years ago (in June), I set up tablescapes for my son’s high school graduation party on the patio of a restaurant which took me quite some time to set up ; for each table I set up beautiful floral arrangements with balloons, color coordinated linens, and beautiful favors. Unfortunately the temperature reached 102 degrees midway through the party and my guests (and the staff) were wilting in the heat. So we had to rush inside for the air conditioning, leaving the decorations outside. The restaurant was full so we had to crowd into the only space they had (and I mean crowd) into the back corner of the dining area. The tablescapes wilted outside along with the flowers but the food was good, the company was great and we had a good time…just not too many pictures that day. No one wants a picture of themselves, sweating and gasping for air from the heat. At least we have pictures from the ceremony.
On another occasion, (my husband’s 50th birthday) after months of planning with the hostess of another restaurant and going over every little detail, the restaurant served the main entrée before the passed hors d’ oeuvres went around- no one noticed that but me. Guests were just mingling, eating and talking, having a good time and I think they thought this was a new trend to serve hors d’ oeuvres after dinner- it all worked out.
So I am not telling you to never have a party at a restaurant because there are problems, I am just saying to relax and enjoy the party, the moment, the occasion, no matter where you are. Make the memories…