One week before party, confirm the guest list and send out invitations. Plan the menu wisely with an equal balance of dishes that can be made ahead of time, cooked in a jiffy, and are easy to assemble on party day. "Having dishes that can be made ahead of time is key, as they can sit at room temperature before the party and you have more time to spend with your guests instead of the kitchen," says Angela.
Three days before the party, make a list of what to marinate, freeze, thaw and chill. The general rule for wine is three bottles to every four guests. "Chill them to the right temperature before guests arrive, and tag the bottles your guests bring," says Angela. If it gets unopened that night, you can remember to open it with them the next time you guys get together.
One day before, take stock. You should be prepping, cooking, freezing and even decorating. Aroma candles help create a warm ambience as people walk through the door. Here's when you should take your party outfit for a test run, too, to "make sure you are 100 per cent comfortable in it."
On the day of the party — despite the flurry of activity and excitement — you must remember your fresh flowers. Angela says to also keep some extra vases handy in case the guests bring flowers.