How to Host a Stress-Free Party

I love any excuse to get friends & family together.  I especially love hosting a good party.  Unfortunately, hosting doesn’t always mean I get to enjoy the party itself.  Today I’m sharing with you guys some little tricks I’ve learned throughout the years that have helped me to stay stress-free with a drink in my hand & a smile on my face.

Getting started…

What are you celebrating?  Are you hosting a holiday dinner, a family BBQ or a game night with friends?  Whatever the reason for inviting people over you want to create a welcoming environment that makes your guests want to come back.  I always start by making a list of possible food & drink options.  You want to have something for everyone, so create a spread that will make both your carnivores & veggie lovers happy.  I’ve always heard you shouldn’t try a new recipe when having people over, but I’ve never been one to follow the rules.  If there’s a recipe on Pinterest or in your Food Network Magazine that you’ve been dying to make, go ahead & give it a try!

Setting the scene…

Once you’ve nailed down the menu it’s time to set the scene.  I’ve found that it’s easier to put up any decorations the day before, and set the table or gathering area the morning of.  I typically find my guests gathering around the kitchen island but you may have a diner table that needs to be set.  I also lay out my serving dishes & platters to ensure I have enough room for everything I’m serving.

Incorporating a theme…

A themed party is a great way to liven things up!  Holidays like Halloween & Thanksgiving are easy to incorporate a theme, I mean who doesn’t love the holidays?!  But, a family dinner on a Tuesday in mid-January isn’t as easy.  Some of my favorite go-to themes are Taco Tuesday with a make-it-yourself taco bar & margarita napkins, a wine & cheese party where guests bring their favorite bottle of wine to share over a charcuterie board & tapas, or a good old fashion BBQ with checkered tablecloths & matching papers plates, a fully stocked inflated beverage bar & everyone’s favorite food on a stick like meat & veggie kabobs (easily prepped the day before), corn on the cob & watermelon spheres.

This past Halloween, I hosted a pre-Trick or Treat get together for our friends that included finger foods, drinks & a scavenger hunt for the kids.  Being that it was Halloween I made sure I had festive tableware, snacks & décor.  Hosting a party doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank either; I snagged these plates from Target and the spooky glitter animals from the Dollar Store.

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I am also hosting my first Friendsgiving dinner in a week and I’ve already started to set the scene.  I know it’s a little early but being that it’s my first time hosting a Thanksgiving style dinner for 10 adults & 4 kids, I want everything to be perfect!  I picked up a colorful tablecloth from Marshalls and found matching fall-inspired paper plates from Walmart.  To make the patterns stand out I picked up gold charger plates, making the total cost of my table setting under $40.  Like I said, hosting a get together doesn’t have to break the bank!

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You don’t have to assign seats for a sit down dinner, but putting name cards around the table adds a little extra flare and allows your guests to avoid worrying about where to sit.  For our Friendsgiving, I decided to use spray-painted leaves from the yard & leftover gourds from Halloween; I love how they turned out!  I will also place wine glasses at each place setting & have red & white options on the table.

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At the end of the day, as long as you’re enjoying yourself your guests will too.  So pour a glass of wine or open a cold beer & have fun!  I hope that these little tips & tricks have inspired you for your next get together.

As always – the Wexford Housewife xoxx

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