How many times have you been interested in hosting a dinner party or brunch luncheon soiree for your family and friends but just didn’t know how to rock your table, spruce up those appetizers or make your guests feel like Kings and Queens? I am all about hosting especially at my own home where good company is always welcome! Over the years of hosting at my home, I have put together a ‘dinner party survival kit’ or some may call it ‘the real tricks and tips’ to make hosting lots of fun, easy and will leave your guests excited about the next time to reunite. Of course you’ll want the food to be memorable and the centerpieces sparkling, but there are 5 key tips that make hosting a party really come to life !
1.) The fun is all in the details.
Weather it’s the colorful fresh fruit in the sangria, the table cards customized with your friends nicknames, or the ‘Welcome Friends’ sign written in bright colored chalk as your guests arrive – you’re creating the tone for your dinner party. Depending on the season, fresh rosemary plants or tulips make for lovely centerpieces, but so do seasonal table runners with figs and grapes as centerpieces, wine corks placed in glass ball jars on display, or chestnuts during the wintertime! Friends will be fans of the vibe you’re creating and they usually greet it all with smiles.
2.) No need to stage everything before your guests arrive.
Not everything is perfect and timing is usually never on a hosts best side, so although you may be having guests over for dinner, your grilled pizza may not be fully baked as your guests arrive. It’s always encouraged to have a timeline to follow, but understanding it may not always go as planned especially when some of your friends RSVP the morning of your dinner party and you’re a few desserts off from your original guest count. No worries, kindly ask them if they want to be a part of the set-up process. I find, friends actually like helping out more than you may think. It may surprise you! The key is to delegate tasks and have fun while you do so. Ask a friend to wear an apron and help serve the lemonade, or help to set the table, or add some water to the fresh sunflower vase that your Nonna gifted you over 20 years ago … make them a part of it and you can’t go wrong.
What about those sweet desserts you simply don’t enough of to serve? How about you cut them in halves and make mini-desserts with a side scoop of vanilla bean ice cream or fresh fruit and pair together 🙂
3.) It’s all about the Music.
…And the beat goes on …
There is nothing that gets people more excited than a music vibe even if it is playing on low in the background. Weather the volume is on high or low, choose your jams to Rihanna, Frank Sinatra, or DMB tunes and have them playing as guests arrive. For the hosts ease, use a music app on your phone so it can travel with you and your guests as you may be in and out of the kitchen and dinner hosting party space. You’re friends and family may surprise you as they jam out and sing a song (or two!) that takes them back to a moment in time. They’ll talk about it and hopefully share, and after all, who doesn’t like when music may help break the ice while encouraging your guests to talk?
Silence is beautiful, but it’s nice to hear some noise and learn something new … from someone new when at a soiree!
4.) Not everything has to be “so fancy!”
Although some occasions may call for your finest wedding registry chinaware or your family heirloom tablecloths passed down from generation to generation, there are tricks and tips to a successful (and fun!) outdoor BBQ using simple paper tablecloths and plastic dishes (Not to mention the cleaning-up time it saves the host!)
First, decide on the event you are interested in hosting. If you would like your guests to attend a casual event wearing flip flops and jeans, suggest a more casual backyard soiree-style where the theme is “lemonade” or “beach” to make people feel more at home. If a day of the week is a Tuesday, perhaps suggest a “Taco Tuesday” theme or “Wednesday Wine and Cheese” party. Springtime calls for “Garden” or a Winter “Pasta Party” where you may choose a fun activity like creating homemade pasta of your very own from scratch.
Secondly, if a fancy dinner/appetizer soiree is more your style then perhaps recommend a theme to get your guests enthusiastic about attending. How about a red carpet event with some “Hollywood Glam” or some international flare for “Sushi Saturday” or a seasonal favorite like an annual Christmas time ‘Pajama and Pancakes’ themed breakfast party!
5.) What if it’s not a Holiday?
Remember, it does not need to be a milestone Birthday or Anniversary year to celebrate. Being in the company with friends and family is a celebration and a blessing each day! There does not always have to be a reason to join together, converse in good company, share laughs and cheer when hosting your soiree with some delicious homemade food.
Peace, Love, Gelato,