Domino magazine recently published a great article: 5 Steps to a Foolproof Fete.
While each of the guidelines is spot-on, the most interesting to me was step 3 , "get the right light."
One of the first things I ever learned at my debut post-college event planning job was from an ambassador's wife. We were hosting a political fundraising reception at her lovely Annapolis home during the last presidential election. When we arrived to set up, one of my interns noticed her staff methodically replacing all of the light bulbs on the first floor of her home. When the hostess saw us observing this ritual, she pointedly let us know that this was a must-do for any party at her house. Soft, pink lighting "makes all ladies look better," she said. As skeptical as we were, I would have to agree -- it cast a subtley fabulous glow on every attendee. Even if you don't have an alternate set of blush light bulbs (found at most home improvement stores) to put in before you host a get-together, lowering your normal wattage is a must.