Minniecourse: 7 key tips for hosting season
Despite the weather, Spring is HERE and summer will soon follow, so you know what that means…hosting season is upon us! Whether you’re planning a block party, casual kick back, bridal shower or even a formal, intimate affair, I’ve got a MinnieCourse (i.e. minicourse…you see what I did there?!) of 7 quick host tips to help you become a true hostess with the mostess!
1.) Send out invites AT LEAST
When hosting an event, it’s always ideal to provide proper notice. Not only does this allow your guests proper time to plan accordingly, and RSVP accurately, but it also helps assure you aren’t scrambling and have ample time to gather everything needed and make arrangements for anything you aren’t doing in house, ex. pick up flowers, grab décor for your theme, etc.
2.) Serve your meal family style
Treating your attendees to a family style meal not only reduces the need for excess getting up/sitting down, but it’s also great for any function you host with children, particularly those that are picky eaters. Having all the food options visible and watching others make their selections can influence children to try something new and it helps promote a general sense of unity and conversation amongst everyone. Depending on the age of your small guests, I always recommend a children’s table…ALWAYS. If space doesn’t permit having a family style dining experience for your guest, I suggest a designated food table!
3.) If need be, outsource…SHAMELESSLY
Hosting…the H is for hectic! If you aren’t operating with a team or partner things can get overwhelming very quickly, no matter how small the gathering. If you’re no Betty Crocker, no worries, but there’s also no need to be experimenting with those new Pinterest recipes…I don’t care how simple it looks. KNOW YOUR STRENGTHS! If you need to order that dessert from your favorite bakery, pay that deposit and make it happen. Do you have a friend who make an amazing dish, call and shoot your edible shot! Utilize your resources, like…all of them! This will help eliminate extra stress.
4.) Keep things colorful and chill
If you’re hosting a fun, casual kickback, whether indoors or out, I suggest using water balloons, in whatever colors match your theme, to keep your drinks cool as opposed to ice in a cooler. I’m not too good to reach my hand in a cooler full of ice to fish for my drink, however freezing water balloons helps you reach the same goal with less mess, a cute pop of color AND you can always use them for a water balloon fight once they melt…please wait until they melt!
5.) Get creative and stay covered
Spring/Summer functions typically end up outside, which leads to the risk of your delicious meal attracting insects and/or debris blowing by. While most main dishes will likely have some sort of cover, often times it’s hard to keep sides such as salads and fruit protected. Consider using large jars of various sizes to house them. You can grab some of these at your local Target and even use them for decorative candy storage in your kitchen afterwards. I don’t suggest using them for cookies, as they aren’t air tight and your cookies will go stale. This option allows your guest to remove the lid, get what they want and cover it right back up with minimal effort!
6.) Don’t overlook/underestimate the power of ambiance
Setting the entire mood and scene for your gathering is just as important, if not more so, than setting the table. It doesn’t matter if you’re hosting a kids party, adults only dinner or just light bites and happy hour, the ambiance will set the entire tone. If you want guests to come in and feel warm and welcome, create an environment cohesive to that. The plan is to not just host a gathering but a memorable experience.
7.) Do NOT hold up dinner for late guests
“Don’t wait for late guests. People resent being hungry.” -Isaac Mizrahi Now if something happens and more than half of your party is delayed, I say delay if you can, but don’t make your timely guests suffer. You MUST know your crowd. Some people are just generationally late…to everything. So you may have to let them know timeliness is a must, be prepared to start without them or give them an earlier time so they arrive at your scheduled time!
The most important thing is to have fun and make sure that once the actual event starts you have time to sit and enjoy the moment with your guests because after all…they’re the ones you chose to invite, entertain and make memories with!