This week has been busy, filled with such good things. It is with hints of laughter, I realize that I may be saying this for the next twenty years. I think I may have said this in some variety every week since Jolene was born. My weeks have all been filled with wonderful things. There hasn’t been a day that my agenda, or my hands, haven’t been busy. What a beautiful life to be busy in!
This summer calendar was especially packed, with five different events I hosted for friends and family. Hosting friends or family is always such a treat; it is also a large undertaking no matter the size of your party. Even if the event is at a co-host’s home, you are still taking on a lot by offering to facilitate the event. I would love to offer my experiences in what I have learned to help us all with efficiency.
There is much to do when setting out to plan an event. Once you have offered to host, I suggest moving swiftly on selecting a date and location. This will allow the honoree peace of mind first and foremost. Having the date and location selected will also allow you the ability to get the invitations out with 4-6 weeks notice for all guests. This is best practice for consideration of the universal calendar, and should be kept as closely as possible.
When planning the event, I always reach out to the honoree about preferences and contacts. If there are other people in their life that would like to be involved in the event and how I can contact them. This ensures that all are able to participate who want to celebrate this occasion and no feelings are hurt in the process. The dual benefit, is that the responsibilities of a host can be carried by more than one. Sharing the load is always preferable as it is a large role to play.
As hostess or co-hostess there are five steps for efficiency I recommend for a successful event. Anyone can apply these tips to an event of any size to essentially “work smarter, not harder.”.
1.) It starts with Invitations. Set the tone up front with what the event will be. Guests appreciate all the information needed with ample time to prepare. Sending information out 4-6 weeks in advance is preferred. Make sure to supply information on dress or gifts if applicable. If you are doing a ‘no wrapping of gifts’ because your honoree does not like to open gifts, plan ahead and let everyone know.
2.)Neutral Decorations for repeated use. When you throw a baby girl shower, you tend to want to buy everything pink. My advice when throwing a themed party is to invest in neutral decorations that last. If you’re buying flowers or balloons color yourself happy. When it pertains to the table cloth and a cake stand make sure they are timeless. This will save you money and add classic design to the table setting.
3.)Be ready 30 min before guests arrive. This one is the hardest by a long shot. However, being ready early can change your entire experience at your own event. You can sit on the counter and sip some lemonade to relax yourself before being socially ‘on’. You could also use the new found time to change anything or complete your look. Having too much time is seldom a bad thing.
4.)Don’t overthink the food. When you attend an event you likely do not eat all that is offered. Many of the guests choose to socialize before eating. When guests do eat they tend to gravitate towards finger foods or things they can eat easily while holding a conversation. Spaghetti is a difficult choice for a baby shower, but finger sandwiches much more fitting. Displaying 3 high quality food choices for your guests will impress them and not overwhelm. Keep it simple. Not to mention the work and stress that goes into serving each piece.
5.)Dessert for impact. Pick a cake or a cookie bar, but keep it to a minimum. Many guests are enjoying the event and aren’t preoccupied with an array of assorted dessert. I choose to make the dessert inspiring over varied.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate you visiting this virtual creative space. Your investment of time means so much! For more inspiration and lifestyle shares follow me on Pinterest!
Photography by Shelley Foster