This holiday season we had the honor of gracing the entertaining section of SouthPark Magazine. If you did not see our holiday entertaining tips in the November issue, you can check them out here.
5 Tips on how to be an Unforgettable Host
- Plan ahead for seating arrangements. Hosting a party during the holiday season means guests will likely need to be contained within your house or apartment. You should plan to have a seat for each guest, whether a chair at a table, a seat on the sofa or bar stools at the kitchen counter. While you don’t need to delegate seating arrangements for your guests, you do want to make sure that everyone can comfortably sit and eat. If you are planning a more formal dinner party and you’ve invited eight or fewer guests, allow them to seat themselves; but be prepared to give direction or utilize place cards, if you’re hosting more than eight guests for dinner.
- Prep and organization is key to easing the stress of hosting a holiday party at home. Deep clean the house a few days before the party, so the day before you can just do touch-ups around the house. Purchase groceries 3-4 days ahead. Prep and pre-cook any items that you can a day or two before the party, such as: your mise en place (dice up your garnish and veggies, put sauces in bowls, pre-mix a signature cocktail), make side dishes and appetizers, that can easily warm in the oven. Plan to finish preparation and cooking before your guests arrive. The night before the party; arrange chairs, set the table, pull out china and glassware, set-up your bar, and style your party décor. My most successful home parties are always the parties where I made time for the mise en place and staged the party set-up the night before. Prep is key!
- Selecting a theme for your holiday soiree will not only make your party more festive, but it will also help you narrow down menu options and make selecting decorations easier. Here are a few fun holiday party themes: “Mistletoe and Margaritas”, “Soup and Salad Party”, “Progressive Thanksgiving Dinner”.
- Greet your guests. Sounds simple, but it is one of the hardest tasks when hosting a party, but very important, it sets the tone of the party. When planning your party, don’t overdo it. Guests can tell when the host is stressed. Being a present host, starts at the planning phase, which means selecting dishes you can prepare in advance, catering a few of the menu items, or choosing a cocktail you can batch in large amounts. Keeping things simple will allow you to have a better time with your guests
- My 5 must have items for any party are fresh flowers, a scented candle, festive cocktail napkins, decorative hand towels in the powder room and music. Create the ambiance. Delight guests as they enter your space with a welcoming seasonal scent like vanilla, evergreen or pumpkin spice. Stop by the farmers market for seasonal bouquets to place around your home; don’t forget to place an arrangement in your powder room. Guests appreciate the small details, so put away your everyday napkins and store the paper towel roll that you have in the powder room and pull out your nice hand towels and fun cocktail napkins. Background music is a must. Keep music low but still audible. Create a playlist or let Spotify or Pandora spin great seasonal tunes or select a playlist that compliments your party theme.
Happy Holidays and Happy Hosting!
Photo credit: Photographer – Samantha Laffoon Photography, Venue – Kindred, Florals – From This Day Forward, Rentals – Party Reflections, Make-up – Adrian Howe Beauty