THE NEW RULES OF HOSTING
Hosting a party is an art form. It can be stressful, but with practice, you can find your groove.
If you're a pro, you know that the dinner, party or wedding you're hosting isn't about you, but rather about your guests. It's about creating a memorable experience they'll cherish and always remember!
Karli Haglund, the founder of The Framework Events, is an event planning mastermind, and we had the opportunity to sit down and chat with her about the new rules of hosting.
Spoiler: the new rules are the old rules, but with a modern twist!
1. Transform your space
Clean up! Clutter tends to make people anxious, so straighten your entire home before guests arrive. Give your glassware a fresh wash and shine up your faucets with a little windex to add sparkle to your space so your friends won’t need to use kirakira to make it shine. Crack open a couple windows and light up as many candles as possible (fragrance free if you're serving dinner) and you're practically ready for Jay & Bey.
While straightening up the bookshelves and dusting your home is a must, don’t forget to add some extra flair by adding fresh flower stems to your living room, or a candle in bathroom, and a vase of greenery near the food.
And of course be sure to play music that sets the mood!
2. Make sure your serving utensils are appropriate
If you're ready to host a proper social gathering, you're ready for a proper set of serving utensils. Every host must have the right cheese knives that make you look like a cheese connoisseur, salad tongs that work with one hand, and appropriate sized serving forks and serving spoons.
3. Ditch the drab disposable party ware
Trust us when we say your tableware can make or break your party. Get rid of the cheap plastic forks and ugly 80s inspired paper plates, and opt in for something a little more elegant.
If you’re a hosting pro and disposable isn’t your thing, then purchase nice, but affordable tableware that will last. We love toasting with the Dailyware® champagne flutes and styling a delicious spreads with multipurpose wooden cheese boards.
4. Drinks FIRST.
This is perhaps the easiest hosting tip of all. Be ready with cold drinks before your first guest arrives. As a rule of thumb, guests should have drink in hand within 5 minutes of arrival.
Keep a variety of cold favorites stocked for guests. If you know your friends favorite drink – get it! Even if it doesn't 'pair' with your meal plan. Surprising them with their favorite libation is the quickest way to put your guests at ease and instantly make them feel at home. So clean up your bar cart and add mint leaves, citrus peel and mixers so your guests can be their own bartenders.
There's a reason you saw all of those stocked refrigerators on MTV Cribs – it's a boss move and it works every time.
5. Get out of the kitchen!
Nothing makes guests more anxious than a host who's working – don't let them see you sweat. You're the host so you're in charge of introducing people and cultivating conversation.
You should have all your food prep complete before your guests arrive. So you can properly introduce your guests to one another.
The objective of a party is to get people moving around. Circulate, circulate, circulate. Place snack bowls with nuts or dried fruit in areas of the home away from the main dining location to get people relocating and meeting other guests.
And don't you dare touch a dirty dish until your guests have left the building. We believe hosts need a break after a big party, so hire a housekeeping service to show up the very next day to clean. You deserve a break!
6. Finish the evening.
If you're serving dinner, plan for your guests to stay about two hours, and make sure you offer coffee or tea as the final course.
Make it easy for them to leave as soon as it's appropriate by transitioning the party in a way that feels like a break – and if there are certain guests that want to linger (and you want them to stay)...let the good times roll!
Bonus tip. How to be a guest that gets invited back? BRING SOMETHING!
Never show up empty handed to a party!! Your host or hostess has spent days, if not weeks or months, working to create a memorable celebration. It’s proper etiquette to thank them for inviting you over by bringing a gift. It doesn't have to be a bottle of wine – it can be a conversation starter game, a potted plant, some good cheese, or even homemade dessert.