Unfortunately, I think we are all a little out of practice when it comes to hosting parties. Last year for example, my fiancé and I started our own holiday tradition by celebrating our “Christmas” the Sunday before actual Christmas because the holidays were especially bleak with few social interactions. Well, this year we are toying with the idea of hosting some friends over for this new tradition of ours and “out of practice” is a bit of an understatement. How much food should we make?? How should we decorate? What does hosting even look like nowadays?? It’s a little overwhelming but luckily, EHD has years of holiday hosting posts full of practical advice. After discussing with Emily and the team, we came up with 8 hosting mistakes to avoid so you can have a successful party and actually enjoy it. Let’s begin:
“Too High” Centerpieces
We love a centerpiece (seriously, they are an EHD tablescape staple) but one that is too high and bulky is not ideal for a dinner party. You want your guests to be able to see each other and make conversation without craning their necks, so opt for a shorter vase and minimal floral arrangements. A good rule of thumb is to keep the arrangement below your eye level and don’t overcrowd the table with too many centerpieces.
Not Having Place Cards
This personal touch lets your guests know you care and that you put effort into making them feel welcome. It gives off a VIP, “special guest” vibe and is very cute, too. The above name cards were a simple DIY made with inexpensive glass ornaments, a sprig of eucalyptus stuffed inside, and then wooden gift tags with the name of each person written on it. We’ll even give ya extra bonus points if you make the name tags a sweet gift your guests can take home.
Relax The Rules – Don’t Make Your Guests Take Off Their Shoes (But With An Important Exception)
We completely understand that asking your guests to take off their shoes when they enter your home can be cultural and important. In that case, disregard this one. But if that’s not the case, and it’s more that you’re simply worried about your floors getting dirtier, maybe bend the rules and let your guests show off their party outfit head to toe.
Make Sure Your Bathroom Is Stocked
Make sure extra toilet paper rolls are in sight so your guests don’t have to rummage through cabinets or god forbid, be left scared, alone, and TP-less. Matches and candles are also a nice touch because well, you know, and a few hand towels available for drying hands is a must.
Avoid The Bottleneck
The best way to create a good flow and avoid “bottlenecking” is to designate several drink/snack stations. Use your best judgment depending on the space and number of guests, but at least two stations are key. Another hack is to leave out snacks in the spaces where you’d prefer people to sit and mingle. This is also a great option if you want to keep guests outdoors and 6 feet apart 🙂
Having a drink-making station can be fun, but it can also turn out to be messy and a bit unpredictable. In fact, guests probably don’t want to make their own drinks per se, especially if you have a great-tasting cocktail ready to go. Pre-batched drinks are super easy and are one less thing you or your guests have to think about.
Have A Playlist Ready
The pre-made playlist is such a good party hack and yet one that is often forgotten about or overlooked. Unless you are an actual DJ, spending the evening trying to think of what song should go on next is exhausting. Avoid that anxiety altogether behaving a playlist ready to go beforehand so neither you or your guests have to think about anything besides having a great time.
Make Sure There’s Something Other Than Booze & Water For Those Who Don’t Drink
My fiancé is sober and 99% of the time when we go to a party the only nonalcoholic drink available is water. It is a huge letdown (he typically brings his own because it’s bound to happen), and usually means my fiancé and I will be leaving the party earlier rather than later. Don’t get me wrong, water is great! We love water, but it’s not a ~fun~ drink and caffeine is a nice option when you are not getting tipsy. Great nonalcoholic options are diet soda, La Croix or sparkling water, and fresh coffee. All the DDs and sober folks will thank you. Oh, and if you are throwing a non-dinner party, don’t forget snacks. Even a bowl of chips and dip is great because while drinkers might not be hungry (due to the calories in alcohol), the nondrinkers usually are.
Okay sweet friends and party people, I hope these tips will help you host your best holiday party yet! In fact, we’d love to see your holiday festivities so please tag us on Instagram with #ShowEmYourHoliday. Cheers! xx
Opener Image Credit: Photo by Sara Ligorria Tramp | From: How to Create a Casual, Affordable and Beautiful Holiday Tablescape (All With Target)