A proper checklist can be a planner's best friend. This basic party checklist will help set the stage for a fun party.
Food & Drinks
__Snacks: Chips, nuts and olives. If you are serving nuts with pits, be sure to have a pit bowl available.
__Cheeses: Provide an assortment of hard cheeses, soft varieties, local artisan cheeses, and herbed spreads with crackers and sliced apples and grapes
__Cold Cuts: Create a tray of cured meats like salami, jamón Serrano and chorizo with some sliced bread
__Vegetables: Olives, celery, carrots, broccoli and dips
__Fruits: Sliced melons, strawberries, sliced apples, grapes
__Wine: A mix of sparkling, red and white wines
__Spirits: Staples such as vodka, gin, rum and tequila
__Beer: Consider a locally produced brew and a domestic crowd pleaser
__Mixers: Club soda, tonic water, juices and garnishes (lemons, oranges and limes)
__Non-alcoholic beverages: Sodas, ice tea, water. You can also offer a more exotic option like a lavender lemonade or a mocktail like pomegranate juice and club soda with a lime.
__Ice: You can never have enough. You'll need about a half-pound of ice for each guest. Be sure to have an area for clean ice that can be used in cocktails that is separate from the ice you use to chill bottles.
__Coffee: Make a pot about half way through the party. Set out cream, sugar and artificial sweeteners.
__Plenty of glassware
__Plenty of plates and flatware
__Napkins (dinner and cocktail napkins)
__Ice bucket. Try using an attractive container like a large glass or silver bowl to place on the counter with a few chilled bottles of wine and refill the container from a more casual cooler hidden nearby.
__Corkscrews and bottle openers
__Ice bucket and tongs
__Sharp knives for meats and cheeses
__Cocktail accessories such as stirrers and shakers