Be a Great Hostess With These Fabulous Tips

Be a Great Hostess With These Fabulous Tips

Planning a party may be an overwhelming task if you don't follow these simple tips.


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By: Shayne R. 

A friend once told me that she always tries to remember that it is more important to have friends over regularly in order to build community than it is to create the perfect setting. And you know what? That is totally true. Most of the things we think we have to do for a dinner party -- make a gourmet meal, break out the good dishes, have a spotless home - are things that our friends would probably not think twice about if we didn’t do them. Now, that doesn’t mean that we don’t want our guests to enjoy a comfortable atmosphere and delicious food. It just means that we are free to redefine what exactly that entails. Sometimes it may be steak, red wine and a perfect table setting, and other times it may be burgers and iced tea in front of the television. Either one sounds like fun to me! On that note, here are some great tips for hosting an awesome dinner party without all the stress:

Keep the size down. Try to keep your evening manageable by limiting the size. I know that inviting more than three couples usually makes things too chaotic for me, especially if there are kids involved. In fact, our sweet spot is six adults total, plus all of our kids.

Carefully curate. The guest list that is. You’ll want to make sure the people you invite are likely to get along with each other and have some things in common so that you’re not the only one keeping the conversation going and there aren’t any (or too many) awkward situations.

Clean selectively. As much as we would all love to host friends when our homes look perfect, it’s unrealistic and can create so much pressure that we never end up having anyone over at all. So do what you can without killing yourself, focusing on the most important areas: the bathroom and wherever you plan to serve the meal. I typically grab my Swiffer Sweeper and do magic in no time! I also strategically place scented candles throughout the house (I love all the ones by Febreze!) to help make the spaces more welcoming. If those rooms look and smell good, I can almost guarantee that no one will notice anything else.

Be cool with comfort food. You know what people love? Food that they can relate to - dishes that they may have grown up eating or classics that are becoming trendy again. There’s no shame in serving a casserole and a salad or big pot of soup or anything else that’s tasty and filling and can be thrown together and on the table in less than an hour. Not only will these things require less prep, but they’ll allow you to spend more time actually hanging out with your guests.

Gourmet is good too. If you do decide to go with a fancier menu, that’s great too. Just be sure you can prep some things ahead of time. You don’t want to end up cooking things to order or slaving over something complicated that has to be served immediately, while everyone else is having a good time. Oh, and don’t ever debut a dish you’ve never made at a dinner party. That’s just stress waiting to happen.

What kind of party are you hoping to plan soon?

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