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 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
- 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.
- Decide on a location. This could be in your home, backyard, a park, the beach, or even a restaurant.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Make a list for the grocery store. Think beyond the food and drinks to paper goods, and simple decor.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
What are some of your tricks or tips to keep entertaining easy?