I love to host little gatherings at house all year but as we come up to the holiday’s my hostess vibes go into full gear. I used to be a really anxious hostess. I would worry about everyone having a good time, was the food good, does the house smell nice etc. etc. Over the years, I’ve honed some tips on how to be a chill hostess and ensure that not only your guests feel special and taken care of but you have a great time too.
Pick a theme- a theme can really help with all aspects of party prep. You can get your table layout designed with decor, decide on florals if any, work out your playlist and create your menu based off the vibe of your theme. This doesn’t have to be elaborate but something that sets the tone for you and your guests.
Add some charm- now that you have a loose theme worked out, you can add little accents to your meal and table to make your guests feel extra special. I love using name tags for each guest. You can get really creative with these sweet touches from wood etched to hand written. Cloth napkins and your nicer dish ware show that you have given the setting extra thought. Florals are always a lovely touch. I like to keep my florals low and scattered to keep cross table conversation easy.
Prep before hand- I love getting my table all situated and set up in advance to see what I’m missing or be able to play with the design a bit before hand. I pull out the appropriate serve ware based on my menu so I can have everything cleaned and ready to go. This also goes for the menu. I plan everything out in detail a couple days before hand so I have plenty of time do the shopping and food prep ahead of time. I’m still working on perfecting my cooking times but practice makes perfect right?!
Libations and Apps-I feel like cocktails and appetizers are the kick off to any party. I like guests to have something yummy to snack on right away and be able to fill their cup with something festive. You can never go wrong with a fall inspired spiked punch or sangria and a yummy rustic charcuterie. Make sure to keep a little something for every pallet at fingers reach.
Set the mood with a great playlist- the tone of any gathering is immediately set by the music. If you want a more energetic vibe get something tuned up that is poppy and fun. For a more laid back feel, find tunes that feel more relaxed and serene. Keep in my tunes with profanity. Some tracks have some sneaky lyrics that may make guests feel uncomfortable and may not be great for little ears.