We absolutely love entertaining/hosting our friends and family. Regardless of the occasion, big or small, I find there is a lot of joy in finding reasons to just celebrate life. I think there is something special when you have a get-together at home. Having a welcoming home has just allowed us to create some beautiful memories for our family.
If you are wanting to entertain/host more often here are some tips that I try to keep in mind whenever I host. These were some overall tips that have given me the confidence over the years to host. I hope this can give you some guidance. As I share each hosting event with you, every event will be unique. I will try to share all the details that made that gathering memorable.
This is how I have built confidence to host :
- Just invite people over. Don’t wait for the perfect timing.
- Large or small gathering start the planning early
- Try not to overcomplicate things
- If you want others to contribute ask for help
- Pick things that you love about hosting and focus on that
- Always remember usually people just love to gather
- Be pleased with your efforts.
Tips for Hosting Anything:
- START PLANNING EARLY.
As soon as I set the date and invite, I start to plan.
- HAVE A REALISTIC BUDGET.
Don’t splurge on all the details.
- WRITE DOWN ALL THOUGHTS AND IDEAS FOR THE EVENT.
Anything that needs to be done for this event needs to go on this master list. I also use this as my checklist. This will likely change as you actually start to plan and do things. You may add or take some things out. Any inspirations and ideas you search should go on this list. I like to break it down to categories. Keep in mind these tips are for home, small gatherings. You also won’t be able to focus on each category. I would recommend focusing your time and energy on one element. Since I enjoy cooking, my main focus is always the menu, etc. Decorations for me are always minimal.
- Cooking, catered, potluck or a mix.
- Pick food items based on time of event/theme. Brunch, tea party, kids party, etc.
- Think about cake, desserts and drinks.
- How will food be served? sitdown or buffet style
- Keep in mind vegetarian, kid friendly, etc.
- How many adults and kids.
Once you have brainstormed about all the food details. You should be able to get a rough party menu together. Once you have the menu, you will be able to make your grocery list. I like to do grocery shopping at least 2 days in advance. This will give me enough time to sort the fridge and pantry. The day before the event is reserved for cooking/baking prep.
Decorations, Theme & Set-up
- Think about any particular purpose/theme/color. This can help you narrow down what type of decorations you would like or need. Write down any inspirations or ideas you may have searched.
- Will you be doing DIY, need to purchase, reuse decorations or will someone else do decorations.
- If you are reusing go ahead and take those decorations out. Purchase any decoration supplies early.
The sooner you finalize on some details you will less likely change your mind and start to get things done. For larger hostings I do my decorations a few days in advance. This way I am able to enjoy the process. The home can also feel festive for the event.
This also includes how the food will be set up because that is part of the decorations. I would go ahead and set up the drinks and desserts station. I bring out all the tableware needed. I use a sticky note to label what will be served in each dish.
4. GETTING HOUSE IN ORDER.
This will really depend on what you prefer. Some people want every corner of their home deep cleaned and others could care less. I like to clean at least a week before, anytime I am hosting. Of course this does not always happen. For more casual gatherings I don’t bother with deep cleaning, we just make sure the main floor is picked up. My kids are 9 and 12, so I put them to work.
5. GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO GET READY.
When I look my best I feel confident regardless of what I may be doing. When I have been planning a get together for weeks it’s actually fun for me to take some time out for myself and get ready. I may want to wear a dress I bought for the event or do my nails. If it’s really a big event try to see if you can get a mani/pedi in that week. Something like this can really help you feel put together. This will only happen when the event plan/prep starts early. 1-2 hours before the guests start to come I like to go and get ready. It’s not the best feeling when the guests are trickling in and you’re still upstairs. Once I am ready then I throw on my apron and finish up. If I am wearing heels they go on last.
6. KEEP IT SIMPLE AND FUN.
If you are new to hosting I highly recommend you keep it simple as possible. Keeping all elements of the party approachable will give you the confidence as a host. Each time you will learn what works best for you. Eventually you will figure out what you enjoy the most when hosting. That could be cooking, baking, decorating, planning or just gathering with others.
Hosting parties can be a generous way to show your love and care for others, but it shouldn’t overwhelm you. Regardless of what was on the menu or how beautiful the decorations were I think people in general are grateful for the time spent together. Most importantly don’t downplay your efforts. Be confident and proud of what you were able to plan.
Seasonal & Holiday Decorating
Seasonal/holiday decorating can be stressful. It’s actually hard scrolling through social media and not wanting to go out and buy all the beautiful seasonal decorations. I tend to get overwhelmed with ideas and expenses.
I’m truly amazed how people put together extravagant seasonal decorations throughout their home. It looks beautiful and no doubt it’s a talent. I think every season my inner interior designer wants to go all out but few things hold me back. After some overthinking I want to keep it simple, stress free and inexpensive for myself.
Tips for Seasonal Decoration
Here are few things I remind myself of when I am decorating for a season/holiday:
- Minimal decorating for the seasons but focus on a celebrated important holiday
- Pick few focal points in the home to decorate
- Use what I already have
For this setup:
- Use neutral color linens
- Any greenery, I used some eucalyptus
- Medium & small white pumpkins
- Candle holders, candlesticks
- Seasonal fruit, I used apples
Usually I like to serve buffet style. For the video I showed some inspiration with the place mats, plates & linen.
If you like a more full look then you can just add more greenery, pumpkins and apples. Just try a few different things and see what looks good to you. This inspiration can be used to decorate different focal points in your home.
Let’s Get Connected!
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