Giving parties in honor of someone in particular or for a special occasion gives focus to the party. All our dances have been in honor of someone or something -- it makes it more fun for everyone. Even the host/hostess likes to feel that the party is not just to have a chance to "live it up" but to please someone else and give them a good time.
When your invitations go out, the raison d'etre should be evident and your guests will begin anticipating your party. Not too long ago, Bill and I gave a four-way dance with Susan Mary Alsop, Polly Fritchey and Katharine Graham for Joseph Alsop. When people asked us why for Joe, we answered, "Because Joe doesn't dance." For years Joe had held court in the dining room at one of the cabaret tables -- not dancing but constantly surrounded by other guests who came by to be entertained. This evening -- given in his honor "because he didn't dance" -- he trotted right out onto the dance floor and danced with great style with one lady after another. (The party was really because all of us wanted to express our relief at having Watergate behind us at last.)
Before the dinner dance for Tish Baldrige, we decided that only Bill and Mac should give toasts. Too many toasts can ruin a party. Make up your mind ahead of time how you plan to manage the moment set aside for a toast to the guest of honor and then stick to if. If you let one guest carried away by the affectionate moment hop up and speak, you won't be able to control others. Nothing is more deadening to party spirits than one toast following on the heels of another and another and another.