There was a season of my life where it seemed like several weekends out of the summer involved parties celebrating the nuptials of a dear friends. A few lucky times, I would be one of the friends who got to throw the get-together.
The more I hosted, the more I realized being a good hostess is an art form and it takes practice to perfect it. Hosting is hard. But once you figure out the ins and outs, it becomes a blessing not a burden.
Shower after shower my group of college girlfriends and I developed a systematic and successful approach to hosting. A few of the techniques we discovered that made the party successful were:Delegate responsibilities to the proper hostess. For instance: the outgoing hostess should greet, the organized hostess should manage checking off the list of day-of requirements, the creative hostess is in charge of table arrangement, etc. Having everyone at the post they feel most comfortable makes for a more relaxed gathering.If possible, have two hostesses greet at the door to offer to take purses, jackets and gifts. One can direct the party goer to the gathering while the other puts up the belongings and gifts.
Make sure there is plenty of seating for everyone attending. Cluster the seating in groups of three or four to encourage conversation.
Prep the night ahead if possible– arrange flowers, set-up the food and drink stations, etc. It makes the day of celebration less stressful.Add fresh flower arrangements randomly throughout the party rooms make for a romantic and beautiful touch. By prearranged or get creative and make your own.Have a blend of homemade and pre-made food.
Aim to have everything set up 30 minutes before the party starts. This way all hostess should be able to catch their breaths AND be ready to smile and celebrate. These days with small children it seems as though the opportunities to host showers, weather wedding or baby, are getting fewer and fewer. However, I have now taken this same approach of shower hosting to dinner party hosting and it still applies– albeit it there is only one hostess versus the five or six I started off with.Celebrate your loved ones milestone with a party that is filled with intentionality, beautiful touches and delicious food. The next time your throwing a wedding shower let A Pleasant Little Kitchen be the hostess that arranges the food menu. And as always, these recipes are all make-ahead friendly which is huge when it comes to party throwing.