5 Things I Always Do Before Hosting
I was raised by the queen of hosting and learned a lot about how to organize a good time with friends and family. My mom really excelled at all the little details that go into a party. And when I say all the little details, I mean all of them! Allow me to explain.
In October of every year, she began the months long process of making Christmas tree shaped ice cubes for the Christmas party she threw in December. She spent months making ICE CUBES! She also cooked and baked everything, and loved to set up a beautiful tablescape.
I’m telling you, not a single detail was missed!
I love throwing a party like that from time to time, but I also really enjoy having people over for a casual dinner. In the summer we host a lot of swim parties with friends in the pool, and in the winter we’ll invite people over in the middle of the week to share a meal together, let the kids play, and enjoy each others’ company.
There are a few things I consistently do to try to make our guests feel comfortable and at ease in our home. There isn’t a right or wrong way to host friends and family, and you shouldn’t look at any of these ideas as requirements. They are simply things that I think of that work for Justin and I, so I wanted to share them in case it’s helpful!
One. When we invite people over, we share a start and end time. It helps both parties arrange any childcare if necessary and also helps me sort of think through a layout of the evening. As a planner, it helps me to know roughly when we plan to officially wrap up for the evening so we can organize the hang out in a way that flows the best.
Two. We share what we’re cooking with whoever is coming over. Maybe it’s because I’m married to a picky eater (and am a recovering picky eater myself), but I just want people to know what is on the menu before they show up. It always puts me at ease to know what I’ll be eating if we’re going somewhere, and I can often find a way to bring something along that may go with it! Or offer to bring a drink or dessert! On that note…
Three. If guests ask what they can bring, I always oblige and give them an idea. I hate showing up somewhere empty-handed, so if someone asks me for a way to chip in, I give them an idea! Knowing the menu ahead of time makes this easier. If there truly isn’t a way to contribute to a meal, though, I’ll bring along a drink that can be served or saved for another time.
Four. If we’re having wine, I open a bottle ahead of time. And I usually pour a glass for myself and keep it out/visible. I’ve been in scenarios where I hesitated to ask about opening a bottle of wine because I wasn’t sure if anyone else was going to be drinking. Doing this ahead of time, helps the guest avoid asking those kinds of questions altogether.
Five. I make sure the bathroom is clean, stocked with soap, and a clean hand towel. There may be kids books or toys on the stairs, or a rouge Nerf dart on the floor by the couch, but the bathroom will always be clean!
While these are typical protocols that I follow, and I hope they are helpful to you, I do want to emphasize that there isn’t a right or wrong way to host. Everyone has their own comfort level with hosting, and it simply may not be your thing! If it is, though, I would love to hear some things you always do when you have people over. Leave a comment below!