The Ultimate Guide for Hosting a Party: The Art & Craft of Entertaining

Have you ever wondered how to be a good hostess, exactly how to host a great party, or maybe just need party planning ideas? If so, then the book you must read is The Art and Craft of Entertaining by Kimberly Kennedy. I got this book when it was first released in 2005, and it is still my favorite go-to book on party planning.

This book guides you through detail by detail on
  • coming up with a party planning schedule (day by day and hour by hour on the day of),
  • creating invitations,
  • planning a party menu,
  • setting a beautiful table, and
  • blossoming into a wonderful hostess - anything you might need to know about entertaining with style and grace.

It even includes advanced party hostess tips, such as

  • how to quickly clean your house for unexpected company,
  • what to have in your pantry at all times for impromptu entertaining, and
  • the correct way to react if a guest breaks your most beloved possession.
In case you're wondering on the last one, tell the guest it's not a big deal, and then cry your eyes out once all the guests are gone. I love her comments on what to have in your "entertaining arsenal", too, and can only imagine how much fun it would be to peek into her personal collection.

Veteran and beginner hostesses alike will enjoy discovering the wonderful and unique handmade party planning ideas featured. In the book, Kimberly Kennedy plans multiple different parties including a cocktail party, a dinner party, and a baby shower. For each, you get to see her invitations, party decorations, menu, and party favors. She provides some excellent case studies to illustrate all of her party hostess tips and tricks.

The organized party plan laid out in this book is fool proof and really takes the stress out of hosting parties. Since reading the book, even the holidays are less stressful at my house. I can enjoy my Thanksgiving and Christmas cooking like never before because I now know the best way to organize my shopping list, lay out and label my serving pieces ahead of time, and schedule when to cook various dishes to maximize my time and minimize my workload.

In addition to being a fun read, The Art and Craft of Entertaining would make a wonderful gift for a new bride or first-time homeowner.

What are your favorite party books, blogs, or websites?
I'm always on the lookout for great inspiration, so please leave a comment to share your faves.

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1) Contact me at to tell me about your party and what you're interested in ordering.

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