Party Planning: Hostess With The Mostest

Both by nature and by trade, we are absolutely, ridiculously, endlessly infatuated with hosting parties. We’re quite familiar with the in’s and out’s of being a successful hostess, and our rules don’t involve complicated meals or fussy details. Making sure everything runs smoothly and that guests are having a good time shouldn’t be stressful – there are so many options that don’t involve cooking, with a few of our personal favorites being a pot luck or a fondue party. But hey, even if you do wind up burning the entire meal, your friends will be grateful you had them over in the first place and opened up your home to them, not concerned over that apple pie you left in the oven a tad too long.

The winter months are filled with numerous activities for everyone, so we know how tempting it can be to opt out of throwing your own holiday bash, but fear not! We want to spread holiday cheer to everyone, and that begins with having the courage to open up your home (messy or not) to friends and loved ones. We thought we’d share a few of our tips for hosting a successful holiday (or any time of the year) party!

a romantic dinner table setting

Photo via Sophie Epton

Guest List: Make sure that the number of people attending is manageable. Anticipate and overestimate the total attendees so you are prepared if that many people actually show up. This will prevent overwhelm when you see all of the YES! responses flooding your mailbox. If you’ve never hosted before, start small and gradually increase your guest count as you become more experienced.

Food: We tend to stick to a tried + true menu for our parties. We often select meals that can be prepared hours in advance, or even the day prior, so that we have more time to mingle with guests. A charcuterie spread is our go-to for hosting, as it allows people to mingle with one another while grabbing a bit to eat as they get hungry. We love finger foods that don’t require utensils, too — less cleaning at the end of the night! We’re always careful to include at least one vegetarian and one gluten free option for guests, as you never want to leave out a party-goer.

the bartender pouring punch in a glass

Photo via Jessica Scott

assorted golden tumblers

Photo via Katherine O’Brian

Timeline: Probably one of the worst things a party hostess can do is become glued to a timeline. It’s necessary to have an idea of when things will be happening, but people are attending your party to have fun, not to be bossed around. The meal is taking longer than you expected? Guests can enjoy a few more cocktails. You wanted to start playing games at 8pm but guests are still eating? Let them enjoy their meals. A no-pressure hostess is always appreciated.

Music: Make your tunes likable. You only listen to classical music on a record player? You prefer heavy metal that causes your speakers to vibrate the floor? That’s fine — as long as your guests are in agreement that that is the best thing to be played at the time. Sure, the playlist can reflect your own personal taste, but try to accommodate the number one priority: your beloved guests. We typically create a playlist ahead of time and make it a few hours long, spanning a huge array of music. Overall, the music should sync with the ambiance of your party and somewhat drift into the background. Spotify is one of our favorites, as you can even borrow playlists from friends!

assorted glass and brass wine glasses

Photo via Jessica Scott

We hope a few of our tips helped you prepare for your upcoming party! Be sure to let us know how it goes.

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