We’re in the months where entertaining dinner parties, hosting friends for dessert and having family gather in your abode is beginning to fill the calendar pages. These tips will help you host a festive fete to remember, AND you can enjoy yourself as well.
Time Your Invites
A guest list is a huge component to a great party… and if you want people to come, sending an invite is key. Depending on your affair, it can be as casual as a text or as formal as a mailed invitation. The key is timing. There’s a fine line between too early (people forget) and too late (they’ve made other plans). Between 2-4 weeks ahead is usually a good rule of thumb, though given the calendar-filled season, know that everyone is juggling so the earlier the better.
Set a Plan for the Food and Drinks
A busy entertaining season means busy markets as well. Planning ahead will save you both time and money! For laid back affairs keep it simple with finger foods and stick to dishes you know. Once you’ve planned your menu, you can shop early and even get most of the prep work done ahead of time.
Have a Good Playlist at the Ready
Whether you download songs or you use an app for it (there are plenty!), create a couple of great party playlists in your downtime, and before your doorbell even rings, you’ll be ready to set the mood with music. I recommend a soft and subtle mix as well as something to get people moving, you never know what you’re going to need!
Set the Mood
Lighting and scents can do SO much for the atmosphere of a gathering. Dim artificial lighting, light candles (while keeping the scented ones separate from the food), turn on the twinkle lights; and watch your space and the faces of your guests glow!
Keep the Drinks Flowing
While you’re planning your menu, think about a drink that can be made in batches and self serve! I love having food kept warm in the kitchen, and it’s easy to keep a crockpot or burner with mulled cider or wine or another batch drink ready. This way, you’re not having to mix or pour individual drinks every time a glass runs low. On the flip side, it doesn’t hurt to have other options, just set up an area where guests know they can serve themselves.
Make it Easy
Speaking of setting up areas for guests, use butcher block paper to tell your guests exactly what you want them to know and cleanup will also be a breeze afterwards as well… just roll up and toss or recycle!
Now Just Settle In
Relax and enjoy the bash yourself! As the host, you set the tone of the party, so do your prep work ahead of time and once your guests begin arriving, let your focus be on them and your time together. Running around, tired and stressed sends the wrong message. If you’ve done the planning ahead of time, you’ll feel less stressed and will enjoy the party as well!