When I host my signature Happy Hour at Home events the most common remark that I receive is: “I could never do something like this myself. I’m not a good host + I just don’t have the time.”
That’s further from the truth. Entertaining at home isn’t as time consuming or scary as you think. It can also be budget friendly! Here’s a few tips to help you be a better host/hostess:
1). Have RSVPs. There’s nothing worse than planning for a party + not knowing how many people you’re expecting. Have a cut-off date for your RSVPs + stress to your guests the importance of confirming their attendance. Now you’ll have a better idea of how much food + beverages that you’ll need to accommodate your guests. Always buy a little extra (keyword: little) just in case your friend brings a guest at the last minute. Use online sites such as Evite or Paperless Post, which provide free invitation designs that can easily be sent to your friends via email.
2). Simplify your meals. Ditch the foil pan and Bunsen burners + make bite-sized options. Unless you’re hosting a dinner party, your guests are really just coming over to be entertained. Don’t waste hours in the kitchen making food to feed a village. (God forbid that village doesn’t show.) Now you have a table full of food with no one to eat it. I suggest investing in Athens fillo cups, which are pre-baked + can easily be filled to make small hearty or lite bites and even desserts. Also, mini cupcake pans are great for strinking all of your favorites down to tiny portions. Honey I strunk the food. If you can, do some prep (chopping vegetables, seasoning meats, etc.) the night before to save time.
Small bite ideas for your next party:
Mini hummus + roasted red pepper phyllo bites
Raspberry ganache brownie bites
3). Make it pretty. Plate your meals on cake stands, tiered stands or trays/platters to display your food + desserts. It gives your guests something to look at when they enter the room + they’ll think you’ve been entertaining for years. People love to see pretty things + pretty food always looks more appetizing.
Decorative stands + platters for fabulous plating:
Aqua Tin Cake Stand- $16.66 (also available in white)
4). Have a signature drink. Signature drinks give your event a classy touch + can be served in large pitchers, mason jars, cups or flutes. They also make your life easier when shopping for alcohol. Instead of loading your cart or basket with various bottles of liquor, you’re only keeping to the ingredients needed to make your cocktail. Stick to large-batch drinks such as SoCo punches, rum punches, etc. that rely on juices rather than alcohol, which keeps your costs low + still packs a punch (no pun intended).
Spiked punch ideas for your next party:
Blood orange sangrias
Cider rum punch
5). Interact with guests. I’ve never been a fan of attending a party then spending the next 2 hours or so sitting on the couch talking to one person all night. Let’s face it, we all have friends that may not know each other. You’ve been friends with them separately for years, but they all may not have the same relationship with each other. I love when guests leave my home laughing and cheerful + waiting to come to the next event. Know why? I give them fun things to do while they’re there. I play a few of my signature games that include questions where guests can share their opinions + a trivia game that creates friendly competition amongst guests. Free interactive apps + board games also do the trick. These activities encourage conversation and interaction between guests + keeps everyone engaged. The key is to not leave anyone twiddling their thumbs.
Fun game options for your next at-home event: