Hospitality is an art, and nothing makes guests feel more welcome than how they’re treated by the host or hostess. Good hosts know how to create an environment before guests even walk through the door. Here are their secrets for pulling off a truly memorable soiree.
Create a warm & relaxing atmosphere
Hosting a party can be stressful—there are lots of things to plan and prepare before guests arrive. But a good host will get all of this out of the way before the first guest shows up, because they know that the mood of the party is largely dependent on the demeanor of the host. A frantic host who’s running around attending to last-minute details gives off a stressful vibe and makes guests feel like they’ve caused it.
Don’t hesitate to enlist help where you need it. Ensure the house is cleaned well in advance. Prep food ahead of time and warm up just before the party. Pour yourself a glass of wine and turn on some ambient music half an hour before the party starts. Put yourself in a relaxed mood and allow yourself to enjoy the party—guests will look to you to decide how to feel about the evening. If you’re having a good time, so will they.
Pay attention to details
There’s something about glowing candlelight that makes a space feel special. When hosting guests, you want your home to feel different in some way. Cozier. More elegant. Little details can add up to make your guests feel pampered, like you created an experience just for them. Hang fresh hand towels in the bathroom and put a glowing tea light on the sink. Garnish drinks. Put menu cards at the table. Find small ways to let guests know you are thinking of them and their comfort.
Stock the bar
A stocked bar shows guests you know how to have a good time. Instead of uncorking a couple bottles of wine, try learning some basic bartending skills. Knowing how to make a few classic cocktail recipes will impress guests and give them more opportunities to relax and let loose.
Make sure guests are well fed
If you’re hosting a dinner party and serving dinner well after guests arrive, be sure to set out a few appetizers for guests to munch on as they wait for the meal. A good host will have plenty of food on hand so that guests feel free to indulge. Use this quantity guide to understand how much food to make based on your guest count.
Don’t be in a rush to clean up
It’s easy to want to take care of the dishes after dinner, but guests may look at this as an indication the party is over. Some of them may even feel obligated to help rather than continuing to enjoy the party you so carefully crafted. One way to avoid this entirely is to use Chinet® Cut Crystal® tableware. As the only fully coordinated line of disposable tableware, it has everything you need to throw a party, down to the wine glasses.
If you’re serving dinner using china and silverware, pile the dishes in the sink and then leave the kitchen. Encourage guests to follow your lead and enjoy the party. Some of the best conversations and moments will happen after everyone is feeling full and relaxed. Saving cleanup for later keeps the focus on the guests and helps them feel more welcome to stay and hang out. After all, isn’t that the aim of any good party?
For more inspired hosting tips, check out our blog.