With Halloween over and the holidays in full swing, there are going to be parties galore! And if you’re lucky, you may just be hosting one of them. Whether you’re throwing a major bash or a quaint dinner, being prepared for, well, anything, is key to being an awesome hostess or host. One of my favorite things to do is to host gatherings at my home. Regardless if it’s fifty people for a major house party or ten people for a delicious dinner, it matters to be ready so you don’t freak out the day of or during your special event.
As you all have read, I love my mom. She has taught me a ton in life. One of the biggest lessons she ever taught me was to not freak out the day of the party. You see, she always freaked out the day of the party. Lord knows she threw some great gatherings and made some of the most delicious meals ever, but dang, homegirl was stressed. After years of witnessing her stress prior to parties, I realized there must be ways to not stress so much. Over the past several years we have thrown many parties, both large and small. It has taken a few parties and I’m still learning, but I think I have sorted out a few tips for before and during parties to help keep my cool. Although I still have a lot to learn in order to master the skill of hosting…here is what I have come up thus far!
Whether it’s a fake mustache or a real one…have straws on hand for your guests! I totally dropped the ball on this one when a friend walked into our costume party as Cheech with a killer fake stash. Even without an upper hairy lip, some folks just prefer a straw – so don’t forget to have them just in case, ya hear!?
Prepare two lists. A to-do list and things you need list. Keep the two separate to avoid confusion and wasting time sifting through what you need to get and what you need to do.
Stage everything at least a full day in advance. This will allow you to tie up all loose ends the day of. Setting out plates, bowls, candles, cutlery, and coasters will have you much more ready for your shindig.
Be ok with glass breaking and dirty floors. Don’t waste energy fretting over the small stuff, you’re having a freaking party.
People still smoke. So have a designated ashtray and smoking section outside. It sure beats picking up the butts the next day.
Who’s on the list? Create your invite list and send invites accordingly about a month in advance. Peek at your RSVP a week before your party and see if any invites have gone unanswered. Contact anyone you haven’t heard from to be sure you have enough food to feed your people.
Dress to impress. Have your ensemble ready a week prior to your fiesta so you don’t have to deal with any wardrobe malfunctions day of. It’s your party and you’ll look badass if you want to! Get it, girl! Or guy!
Stock up on the TP. Oops, I messed up here the last party. Right as I was hauling ass somewhere to go do something, two guests came up to me telling me we were out of toilet paper in the first-floor bathroom. Grateful my little sis stepped up and ran upstairs to fetch more. Next time, at least three rolls before the night gets going.
What’s to eat?! Write out your entire menu, including snacks and desserts. You want to be fully prepared with plenty of food and drinks for all of your guests.
Whatever you do, DON’T drink a ton of rosé before the party starts. Yeah, I made this mistake a couple years ago. It sounds like I threw a really fun party. #inbedby930
If you throw a rager, they will come. And by “they” I mean unexpected, surprise guests. Perhaps, people, you have never even met before. We threw a massive Halloween costume party. Friends of friends came and then two college students totally crashed our party. After they promised they wouldn’t hurt anyone, not that they looked like they were going to, just wanted to be sure, I was so flattered that our party attracted two crashers I let them stay. Although I did threaten them with death if they did anything messed up and told them not a word to any more of their friends. Side note: later on in the evening, my brother in law, who was dressed in an American Gladiator costume ala a wrestling singlet, found one of the crashers asleep in our bed (yup, lol!) and then promptly escorted him back downstairs. They took the whole “make yourself at home” to another level!
Do not pass GO! With that being said, it’s okay to mark off areas that guests shouldn’t be going in.
Don’t forget to have just as much fun as your guests. Don’t let the stress of being a party host take away from you having fun. Everything is going to turn out great and the party is going to be badass no matter what, so remember to join in on the party!
Allow yourself to not have 100% control. I truly need to work on this when I have parties because I find that I am obsessed with every detail and having control over the entire situation. It’s not that I get stressed out over it, it’s just a waste of energy to try to be in charge of it all. It’s just impossible. I know I need to chiiiiiiillll when it comes to this.
As difficult as it may be, try to chat with every guest for at least a few minutes. There is no doubt that it may be close to impossible to have in-depth conversations with each guest. However, it’s important to try to engage with each party goer to some degree, even if it’s a big hug and five minutes of catching up.
A toast! Carve out a few minutes to raise a glass to your guests, the holidays and a moment to thank everyone for coming out. I find it brings the entire party together and allows the host to properly acknowledge the group and show some love.
Accept a little help if someone offers. As much as you want to do everything yourself as the host, you’re not a superhero, so if someone offers to take the trash out while you’re shaking up the martinis, take them up on the offer.
The idea of doing this may suck, but clean up as much as you can the night of. You will be thrilled when you wake up and your house isn’t a total freaking disaster. Pour yourself a digestif or a cup of tea late night and bust a move. Trust me, you’ll be happy you did. Side note: drunk cleaning sure beats hungover cleaning.