Friday, July 19, 2019

Friday Favorites-- Entertaining Tips

Good morning friends! Tonight we are hosting another party in our backyard and it dawned on me that we host parties a LOT and I have never written a post about my hosting tips. I'm sure none of these are anything too new, but sometimes it helps to see everything all written down in one place. (Just a heads up, all of these pictures are taken from Pinterest. I obviously don't have pictures of a party we have yet to throw 😉).

Tonight's party is a going away party for our friend who is moving. We will be spending our time outside in the backyard, and it is a more laid back/casual party. Here are my tips for prepping for a party:

Food- Think of the food before you even send out your invites. Is this a themed party? Is this a casual cookout? Is this a more formal get together? You need to plan ahead to see what is easier to make vs. pick up at the store pre-made. For our party tonight I am prepping some snacks/appetizers and then we are just ordering take out from our friend's favorite restaurant. I picked up some meats/cheeses/nuts/grapes/crackers from Trader Joe's and will make an easy charcuterie board (I pretty much follow the guide above from Pinterest). We lay our charcuterie out on our pizza peel because it is GIANT and can hold a lot of food. I will also grab some easy chips/dip and some veggies to make a crudite (veggie tray). 

Normally if we are having a more formal dinner party, I will make or prep as much as I can the night/morning before and store it in the fridge. If possible I try to use the crock pot for the main course so I can actually spend time with our friends rather than slaving over a meal in the kitchen. 
Drinks- Keep the drinks flowing! I usually try to have at least one "signature" or "special" drink for each party. I give the guests a drink once they arrive, which helps everyone to feel more relaxed and ready to settle in. Now some people don't drink, so I always have a variety of non-alcoholic drinks available too. I like to make an infused water (cucumber and lemon is always a hit), and then offer some sparkling waters and sodas. We usually provide beer and wine too but tell people in advance which kinds we have in case they prefer to bring something special (not everyone likes the same beer/wine and I don't go out and buy a bottle/case for each guest).

Music- We always like to play music in the background at our parties and try to keep it upbeat/light/fun. We just bring our Alexa outside, crank the volume all the way up and tell her what type of music to play. Depending on what type of party it is we may have Jimmy Buffet, or Michael Buble, or another upbeat artist. Having Alexa (or Pandora) do it takes all the pressure out of making a playlist. You don't want the music to be too loud and have your guests shouting in order to speak to each other, and luckily our Alexa doesn't get too loud, but keep that in mind when setting the volume.
Candles- I LOVE candles and think you can never have too many! I like to put several tea lights out on the table, near the bar, on side tables, one in the bathroom, one in the kitchen, etc. I'll usually choose one that is scented and have all the little tea lights unscented. Seriously, no such thing as too many candles.
Decor- If this is a theme party, I LOVE to decorate to match the theme. Otherwise, I just decorate to match the season. For example tonight I picked TONS of our limelight hydrangeas from the backyard and have put them into various vases all around. I won't lie to you.. there is a school across the street from our house that has no less than 25 GIANT limelight hydrangea bushes that are in FULL bloom right now... so I may have gone over and clipped a few of theirs too. 😊 In the spring we had the most beautiful blooming magnolia branches, so I snipped a few of those to use as a centerpiece for a party. I also grabbed several gold chargers from Michael's several years back and they make SUCH a big impression under our white plates. They were only $5 apiece and make such a big statement.

That is pretty much the basics of what I do to prep for our parties around here. Again, nothing too new or crazy, but sometimes it just helps to see it all written down in front of you. I hope you all have a great weekend!

Today I am linking up with Erica for Friday Favorites. 


  1. I love these ideas! Thanks so much for sharing! I like the lemon and cucumber infused water idea, so much yummier than plain water! :)

    1. Yes! And I drink so much more of it, which is always a good thing.