It is the holiday season and I can be cheeky with the titles of my blog posts from time to time 😉. So allow me to introduce to you the hostess with mostest. Whether you are catering a small gathering or a larger party there are certain things that make sense to think about and prepare in advance in order to have an amazing time – for both you and your guests.
Let us start at the beginning. Invitations. Think about who you are inviting and whether the group will be a good mix of people as a whole. You do not have to invite everyone and it is ok to sometimes not include certain people. You want everyone to have a great time, preferably without any drama involved 😉. Whether you are going “old-school” paper, or making digital invites both of them are a wonderful way to engage people and welcome them. Oh and also – if you know you have a certain end-time to a party, do not be afraid to state that on the invite so people are prepared.
Have a Theme
A theme, especially this time of the year is always a wonderful idea. You can make a fancy PJs party or a Christmas sweater one. Even if you are not having a theme, it makes sense to let people know the dress code. Is it a bit more fancy or completely casual? I always struggle with what to wear to any kind of party (you do not want to be overdressed, but equally, you do not want to be underdressed either) and this helps me tremendously.
This time of the year, the decorations can be anything from loads of candles, to different twinkling lights. You can totally set the mood with that one. It does not have to be overtly complicated. Even a nice throw rug on the table, Christmas baubles, and/or some flowers can do the trick and set the mood completely.
Do not forget to set a good playlist. You can either choose an already existing one on Spotify, Apple music, or Amazon music (or where ever you get your music) or create your own. There are so many awesome different options. Again, this certainly supports setting the mood.
What to Eat
Always the biggest question for party… here are all my favorite tricks for making eating a breeze.
Cook, Cater, or Potluck
Whether you are going more traditional and serving holiday food this time of the year, or you are making charcuterie boards, snacks, or small appetizers. You do not have to cater everything yourself!! There is always the option to order some food in (for example, I never make meat at home because we are a vegetarian household, so this is something I would likely get cooked somewhere else). You also do not have to shoulder the entire “burden” of making the food yourself. Make it a potluck where everyone contributes something or ask some friends to bring along some dishes you know they love anyways and that fit with your theme.
Prep in Advance
When you are cooking, be sure to choose dishes that you can easily prep ahead of time and either only need assembling or a re-heat. That way, you definitely save yourself a lot of stress and effort on the actual day of the party.
How do I Measure the Correct Portions?
The number one question I always ask myself. How much food to buy. You are always worried about not having enough, which usually means you end up eating the party food for the next 3 – 4 days, because, of course, it was all far too much 😂. Here are some general guidelines and rules of thumb:
- Appetizers: About 4 – 6 per person if you are still serving dinner and dessert afterwards. If you are only doing finger food, plan about 5 – 10 pieces per person per hour. Extra tip: Keep the appetizers close to the drinks, so that people can munch when they start to arrive
- Sit-down dinner: 1 – 2 protein dishes, 2 – 3 grain dishes, and about 2 – 3 vegetable dishes. If you know you have vegetarians, vegans, or anyone with other dietary requirements at the party, be sure to include options along those lines as well
- Dessert: 1 – 2 options served with a choice of coffee or tea
I certainly think that the drinks are almost as important at the food at a party. Remember, guests will drink all night long. You can make a signature drink (loads of options and variety if you google this online). Be sure to also include options that are non-alcoholic. My Strawberry Basil Smash Drink or my Easy Peach Bellini are awesome options here, which can also be served with alcohol.
The most important part of being the hostess with the mostest. Do not stress. If you prep everything in advance and have a few options brought in – either by a catering service or your friends – this will definitely help. You also want to enjoy your evening whilst everyone else is having a good time. I know, personally, I get super stressed before a party. These are simply nerves. The more I am prepared, the more relaxed I am. This will ensure that everyone is having a good time – you and your guests.
I hope you enjoyed my tips for being the hostess with the mostest and for throwing a successful party! What is the number one thing you do when you are having get-togethers? Let me know in the comments below!! Have a fab party and enjoy!! Beautiful cover photo by Michael Discenza on Unsplash.