Got a party or two coming up? Have a friend who's hosting a needs a little help? No need to stress! Here are a few tips and tricks I've learned that make hosting (fairly) easy...
01. Food & Drink | The most important element, let's be honest. Make sure when you're inviting people to tell them what to expect (whether you're sharing a Facebook event or a paper invite). I recommend setting the party time right after dinner-time or during brunch hours and let people know that there will be snacks. At our Christmas party, we told guests it was BYOB, but I also made a tasty sangria since I figured most people would bring beer or wine. I also made a savory/salty popcorn, bought a box of tasty cookies, and a bag of clementines (seasonally appropriate). Perfect treats to eat without utensils.
02. Music | The day before, I make a Spotify playlist for the event that's about 2 hours long and set it to loop at the party. We could play the music on our Apple TV or we could invest in some speakers, but I honestly prefer setting my phone in a glass on a side table in the living room. It's the perfect volume, and keeps me from looking at my phone - so I spend more time making eye contact with my guests! Chris generally keeps his phone in his pocket, so if guests have any trouble getting to our house, he can answer their calls.
03. Lighting | This does everything for me :) People love a cozy-feeling atmosphere and it sets the tone for standing close together in intimate conversation. Lamps, not overhead lights, and candles. Those things can be your best friend! I usually have one large scented candle on our coffee table, then lots of tealight votives around (battery-operated so they don't burn out quickly!). For a guy's birthday, I think it would be incredibly classy just to have lines of votives everywhere and no other decor. Ten across a mantle, 10 down the center of the dining table, 10 down the island in the kitchen? Even down the walkway to your door outside! It would be so cozy and sophisticated.
04. Decor | As much as I love good decor, it really is the least important part of the elements - but it does set a tone of festivity! I keep a "party box" under our bed - a bin that contains leftovers from any party we've ever had, and lots of leftover decor from our wedding. Most of the items are gold, which is so versatile. I have clear plastic plates, paper straws, lots of napkins in many colors, streamers, and garland - it's easy to pull out a couple of things to add an element of fun. I also have frames from Ikea that are perfect for me to type up a quick 4x6 and drop it in for any extra instructions needed. Also - use what you have! Books are awesome decor pieces - stack a few and place a flower arrangement on top, and your table instantly looks put together. Flowers are a worthwhile investment as well. I personally love the look of all white flowers in different types because it works for guys & girls, and is simple and put-together without being over the top. And look into DIY'ing a few fun things that you can keep in your party box! I love those big tissue paper fringe garlands.
So, the next time you want to plan a party to celebrate something fun (or someone asks you to be their maid of honor!), know there's no need to hesitate - hosting is easy and fun! Don't sweat the small stuff, and have a good time. It really is a snap!
PS - my advice if you get nervous talking to people or meeting someone new? Just pretend your Princess Kate. Smile, be sweet, and relax. Stand up straight. Sounds silly, but it works ;)
01. Paper Table Runner, Oh Happy Day | 02. Tealights, Jennifer Blair on Style Me Pretty | 03. Big Fringe Garlands, Oh Happy Day | 04. Glass Speaker, Pinterest | 05. Table Centerpiece, Jennifer Blair on Style Me Pretty