party menus

Hosting a Party

    A beautiful fruit platter makes a great centerpiece that is also edible! 


A beautiful fruit platter makes a great centerpiece that is also edible! 

This summer has been one of celebration for me! I love throwing parties, making food for them and helping to host them. I was honored to help host two baby showers this summer within two weeks of each other. They were both wonderful parties and I learned a lot of tips that I want to pass on to you. These tips are great for baby showers as well as all kinds of other types of parties. 

    A pretty baby shower flower arrangement in a mason jar. 


A pretty baby shower flower arrangement in a mason jar. 


Tip #1: Get Help: I was fortunate that for both parties I was a co-hostess and didn't have to go it alone. If at all possible, if you are throwing a baby shower, bridal shower or any other type of party, ask friends and family for help. Lots of people love to pitch in, share dishes and share in tasks that they are especially good at. 

The first baby shower I helped to host was at my home. I had the help of my mom, sister in law, aunt and cousin. My mom and I sat down and came up with a general plan for the food, table arrangements, dishes to be served and what plates, silverware, napkins and other things we would need. 

The five of us divided up the shower duties: hosting, games, invitations, set-up and food. This worked very well because we all worked together to create a fabulous day for the mom-to-be! 

The second baby shower I helped with was for a dear friend. There were three of us working together on the shower. We divided the tasks evenly this way: 

Friend #1: Hosted at her house, helped buy decorations, made salad, made punch, helped set up for the party.

Friend #2: Was in charge of the games, thank you cards with stamps for the mom to be, helped set up for the party and made tea sandwiches and a vegetable/dip tray. 

I made sent the invitations, kept track of the responses, helped buy decorations, made the mini desserts and fruit platter and helped set up. 

In this way, we each had 5-6 tasks to do and it worked out so well! 

An added benefit is it is so much fun to work with friends and family on a party! Everyone can participate and add their special touch to the party. 

    The beautiful buffet spread for the baby shower. 


The beautiful buffet spread for the baby shower. 

Tip #2: Use What You Have:  It is a great idea to use serving pieces, plates and other items that you have on hand and that your friends and family have for a party instead of always buying new paper goods for each party. This is not only earth-friendly but budget friendly. 

Things you can use & borrow: 

  • plates
  • cloth napkins
  • cups
  • a punch bowl
  • coffee cups
  • silverware
  • tables
  • chairs
  • tablecloths

At both showers we were able to brainstorm items that we had or that others had and could bring for the party. It worked out well and made the party very special. 

    Cloth napkins tied with ribbon hold forks for the baby shower. 


Cloth napkins tied with ribbon hold forks for the baby shower. 

Tip #3: Get Creative and Have Fun with Your Party Platters! 

    Rainbow Flower Fruit Platter.


Rainbow Flower Fruit Platter.

Many parties have platters/salads on their menus. Why not get creative with what you serve on a platter. Use lots of colors of fruit, shapes & flavors of cheese and crackers and more. 

Above I created a flower motif out of fruit. Pictured below is my cheese platter with a heart for a baby shower. Have fun with the materials you have to work with and with the shape of your platters as well. 

   Heart Cheese Platter. 


Heart Cheese Platter. 


Tip #4: Make Your Menu Simple: Through the years I have hosted and helped with lots of parties. One important thing that I have learned is that you do not want to have a lot of complicated dishes to make. You may want to spend some time on one special dish, then make the rest of the dishes easy, like fruit platters, veggie platters and such. 

Here are the beautiful, simple menus for both baby showers: 

Baby Shower Menu #1: 

Chicken Salad

Cobb Salad & Dressing

Cheese/Cracker Platter

Fruit Platter

Iced Tea Punch, Lemonade & Coffee


Cream Cheese Brownies

Mint Shortbread Cookies

Fruit Tarts


Baby Shower Menu #2: 

Croissant Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Cucumber Dill Tea Sandwiches

Pea Salad

Fruit Platter

Vegetable/Dip Platter

Lemon Cheesecakes

Mini Smores Tarts

Peanut Butter Brownies

Blue Juice Punch, Water & Coffee

    Iced Tea Punch with an Tea Ice Ring. 


Iced Tea Punch with an Tea Ice Ring. 

Here is a simple template that will help you come up with a a general menu plan: 

1. Main dish/Cheese & Crackers

2. Salad

3. Fruit Platter

4. Vegetable Platter or other Salad

5. 2-3 mini desserts

6. 1-2 drink choices

I hope these tips and ideas help you to plan your next party. I post many party tips and ideas on Instagram. Make sure to follow me: @thecheerychef. I love to share ideas!