12 Tips to Make Entertaining Easy

As you know, I love to entertain. I can find pretty much any reason to invite friends over. Sometimes it is a large celebration and sometimes it is a small intimate gathering. Sometimes it can get pretty elaborate, but most often I keep it rather simple.

I believe that entertaining should be as enjoyable for the hostess as it is for the guests. Here are 12 tips and tricks to make entertaining easy.

I believe that entertaining should be as enjoyable for the host/hostess as it is for the guests. Here are a few of my tricks to make entertaining easy.

12 Tips to Make Entertaining Easy

  1. Decide on a theme or concept. What is the purpose for the gathering? Are you celebrating a birthday or a milestone? Maybe it is a game night with friends or a Saturday bar-b-que. A theme or a concept helps set the menu and the decor. backyard party set up
  2. Decide on a location. This could be in your home, backyard, a park, the beach, or even a restaurant. Party in the park
  3. Decide on the invite list. If you are not used to entertaining, start small. Invite a few friends over on a Friday evening for an in-home happy hour.
  4. Decide on the date and time and get the word out. I am a huge fan of Evite. Evite has worked well for me for the last ten years or so. If you are only inviting your neighbors over for pizza and a movie, a phone call or text will be just fine.Crab Dinner Party
  5. Plan the menu and the drinks. I really try to plan for most all of my food to be items that can be made ahead of time. I never like getting stuck in the kitchen. It is also completely ok to have friends bring an item to share for casual gatherings. Antipasto platter
  6. Make a list for the grocery store. Think beyond the food and drinks to paper goods, and simple decor.Dig In Cutlery
  7. Plan the timeline for getting everything ready. I do this even if I am having a family birthday dinner. With my busy schedule I break everything down into smaller chunks so that I know that I can be prepared. Fall Dinner Party
  8. Set the stage. That might mean setting the dinner table, organizing a buffet, or pulling out the board games. Make sure you have what you need ahead of time.Wine barrel drink cooler
  9. Check the bathroom. Make sure your bathroom is stocked with TP, towels, and maybe a lit candle or potpourri. You don’t want guest to be shouting out from the bathroom needing some TP!
  10. Add a few special touches. Candles or flowers are always nice. Turn on some music – a simple playlist or favorite music station that complements the theme.Dinner table party
  11. Make use of the space you have. Do not let a small space hinder your attempts to entertain. I have hosted and enjoyed gatherings in some of the smallest of spaces. It’s about the people and time shared together. wine glasses on fireplace.small entertaining space
  12. Keep it simple and enjoy! Your friends will be happy that you have included them in a night of friendship and fun. If things to not go according to plan – just simply roll with it. Never apologize. Disasters will happen and “Oh well” that is life.cheers

What are some of your tricks or tips to keep entertaining easy?



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38 Replies to “12 Tips to Make Entertaining Easy”

  1. These are some fabulous tips! Location really is key! You need to know what the people your are entertaining like!

    1. Yes! My menu is different given the attendees. Knowing dietary concerns is important.

  2. Love #12 – it is the most important

    1. Absolutely! Keep it simple and enjoy!

  3. All of the accessories are super cute! I love the cheese plate = it is making me hungry. And that wine barrel cooler? How do I not own that?

    1. Thanks! Love our wine barrel cooler. A local man builds them for sell.

  4. Very thoughtful post! Especially after kids I have felt it so hard to plan and entertain! This helps organize such planning.

    1. #12 keep it simple 🙂 It is really ok! Your friends will not enjoy themselves any less and you will enjoy yourself more.

  5. These are awesome tips! I have heard great things about evite, but haven’t tried it myself. I finally realized that my house is never going to be as perfect as I want it to be, and I can’t let that keep me from entertaining. I really love to practice hospitality, and while I love to do formal affairs, it doesn’t always have to be that way!

    1. If I waited for my house to be perfect – I would NEVER invite people over. I gave up on that a long time ago. Evite is soooo easy – I love it. I think practicing hospitality is important. I really believe that time spent together is the best way to spend time.

  6. I love your tips! I use so many of them when I entertain. I love picking a theme to keep everything (including me) focused!

    1. Themes are so much fun because it also allows your creative juices to flow!

  7. With a backyard like that, I would always choose the backyard.

    1. Thank! Depending on the weather – we most often do!

  8. I love LOVE entertaining! These are all such great tips. I get so overwhelmed sometimes!

    1. #12 keep it simple 🙂 It is really ok! Your friends will not enjoy themselves any less and you will enjoy yourself more.

  9. These are very helpful tips. I love entertaining friends at home. I love the table setting.

    1. Thank you!

  10. Wow, are all of these your own photos? You’ve got some gorgeous table settings. Thank you for all of the tips, I’d really love to start entertaining more.

    Be the author of your own story,
    Rebecca Kelsey Sampson

    1. Thanks! Yes they are all my own photos. And entertaining 🙂

  11. All of these are great tips and I love your pictures. We don’t entertain as much as we used to because we’re so busy. This inspires me.

    1. Sometimes it is simply pizza, wine, and games on a Friday night. Kids can play and adults get adult conversation. And the good thing about a Friday? Everyone is tired, so it never goes too late.

  12. These are all wonderful tips! I love hosting with a theme; it just makes the planning easier for me!

    1. Yes, it also gets the creative juices flowing.

  13. I think finding a location is one of the most important details about entertaining although it depends what type of entertaining you do. Pinning this x

    1. Thanks, Ana. I agree with the location. It is fun to think beyond our own homes.

  14. Great ideas! We do lots of big family events and big parties for my boys but my goal is to do more small get togethers this year.

    1. There is something special about the smaller gatherings. More time for conversation and relaxing with friends.

  15. My problem is I go overboard. I need to learn to keep it simple….. Some great ideas!!

    1. I have learned to keep it simple! No one enjoys themselves less and you will enjoy yourself more 🙂

  16. My problem is starting small, haha. So many people are interconnected that if I invite one and not the other, someone is upset which deters me in general from inviting anybody unless I can accommodate all of them.

    1. It sounds like you need to gather in a park. Gathering your friends for a potluck BBQ would be a great way to start.

  17. Great tips. I love love to entertain. I’ve learned to keep it simple. Guess what. When I do nobody has less of a good time. Mind blown haha!

    1. You are so spot on! It’s the time with friends that makes it a great time.

  18. We usually don’t entertain so when we do it’s nerve wrecking! I can certainly use these tips to get me through the next gathering I host.

    1. Entertaining is something that feels easier with practice. You learn to let a lot go.

  19. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says: Reply

    These are awesome tips. We entertain a lot and I always plan out my menu ahead of time. It makes life so much easier.

    1. Yes! That saves stress as well.

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