A few days ago, I asked the audience via IG stories about tips for entertaining/hosting a party and the responses did not disappoint. There were so many wonderful tips and ideas, and I thought I could roundup the ones that stood out to me/were repeated multiple times to share in this blog post!
- Have a drink station/beverage bar so guests feel comfortable refilling on their own and not having to ask. Make sure it’s fully stocked with water, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks
- Make signature cocktails in large decanters (bonus if you can have signature cocktail recipe cards for them to take home)
- Place appetizers out so guests can start picking when they arrive. And have more apps than you think is necessary (just in case dinner is taking longer to make than you expected)
- Have more food and drinks than anticipated. You can always hand out to-go containers for guests to take food home
- Ambiance is key – candles, plenty of fresh flowers, music and low lighting
- Menu prep, cook and plan as much as you can in advance so you can enjoy time with your guests
- Keep mints/mouthwash, a toiletry basket and a tide-to-go stick in the bathroom. Make it easy for people to find something they need
- Have a drink in your hand or hand guests a glass of champagne when they arrive. It helps to set a fun, laid-back tone
- You don’t have to cook/bake everything. You can always buy dessert, appetizers or even get some of the food catered.
- Or, have your guests bring something. It helps take the pressure off and less cooking time = more time with guests.
- If you don’t know what to ask guests to bring, ask them to bring ice. Can never have too much ice
- Not the time to try new recipes. Always cook/bake something you’ve made and are familiar with
- Ask your guests if they have any dietary restrictions and have something special made for them
- Hire a babysitter (or two) to keep the kids entertained while the adults have fun
- Plenty of seating areas that allow for multiple conversations. Bonus if you can place snacks, flowers and candles in these smaller seating areas
- No one is ever too old for games or fun activities. And there is a game for every crowd
- Make sure the basics are easily accessible: tissues, napkins, water, silverware, trash
- A well-set table with floral arrangements, cloth napkins, fun plates and candles make your guests feel special. Bonus if you can add personalized touches, like seating cards. It’s the little details that make an impact!
- Have a good playlist ready to go. Music sets the mood and helps to fill any awkward silence too
- If you’re feeling overwhelmed, say yes to letting guests help
- Handout bottles of water, a snack and some aspirin when your guests leave, especially if they’ve had a few drinks
- Relax, be present and have fun with your guests – save the cleaning for when they leave and don’t worry about perfection. You don’t have to have every minute planned!
I’ve had entertaining on my mind a lot lately (friends + family coming for some outdoor fun over the next few weeks), so I’ve been scouring one of my favorite places to shop online for niche products – Etsy.
A hand blocked table cloth with matching napkins arrived from India a few days ago along with Jeanette Roman Wedgewood glasses and I’m already excited about creating a beautiful, traditional tablescape.
Nothing better than an abundant charcuterie board!
Here are some of the table linen, tableware and table accessories I’ve saved or have purchased lately on Etsy. Enjoy!