Since getting married and becoming a wife, one of the things I desire is for us to us to open up our home to others for meals and get-togethers. It is something that I have felt God calling me to but not something that I am naturally good at. I am a pretty disorganized individual so the thought of having large groups of people over to our house and "hosting" them used to make me really nervous.
Over the first year of our marriage I have learned so much about being a hostess and inviting people into our home. It has helped to have some wonderful ladies in my life who have given me great examples of what it looks like to be a great hostess. Today I am going to share with you some of the tips that I have learned over the last year about hosting an incredible and welcoming get-together.
1. Create a plan at least two days before.
I have found that for me it is important to sit down and think about what I want this event in my home to look like and then come up with a game plan as to how I am going to accomplish this. If you do this at least two days before it gives you enough time to meal plan, go grocery shopping, discuss with your husband and acquire all the dishes/items you will need. This also is a good time frame to let the guests know if they should bring something.
2. Straighten up your home.
Now I know many people say that you don't have to clean before they come over and they don't care if your home is messy. And to a certain extent I agree with that because I don't want to try and be someone I am not to the people who come to my home. I want to to be real with them and show them my real life. However, I know myself and I know that if my home is a mess and have people over that I will not enjoy my time with them as much as I could have if my house was clean. I want to be able to listen to what my guests are saying instead of sitting there thinking about all the dishes in the sink. I'm not saying I deep clean my carpet or dust every inch of my house before people come over but what I am saying is that I think it is a good idea to tidy things up. Pick up the laundry all over the floor.Wipe up the bathroom sink, and clean the toilet. I think that a tidy home shows your guest that you care about them and want them to be comfortable.
3. Make as much of the meal as possible before guests arrive.
This is probably the hardest part for me because I am not that great at timing food perfectly. So what I have done and I would suggest, making meals that I are comfortable with. I try and not make brand new, complicated or fancy meals for the first time when I am having people over. I usually always make meals I know I can do and that I think people will love. Having the meal ready (or almost ready) when guests arrive will help you to enjoy time with your guests instead of busy cooking in the kitchen. That has happened to me a few times and it is not as enjoyable. One time though it was because the couple arrived 2 HOURS EARLY!!! A hostesses worst nightmare!!
4. Have snack food and plenty of drink options.
I love going to someones house and having to choose between different drinks. They don't have to be super expensive or complicated but simply having a beer, wine, water, lemonade or sweet tea would be appropriate. I also try to have an appetizer or snack food on the table or coffee table while guests are waiting for the food to be done or after the meal is over. I think it makes people feel at ease when they can snack and talk at the same time!
5. Add a couple of candles and good background music.
I love walking into someones home and having it smell fresh. I like to have at least one candle burning that has a fresh and clean scent so people automatically feel at ease. Right now my favorite candle is Lilac Blossoms from Bath and Body Works. I also like having quiet background music on while people are eating and talking. Since we are from the Midwest and are by no means "fancy" people we do not have anything like classical music on. We usually choose music like Needtobreathe, Ben Rector, or Phil Wickam to have playing softly in the background.
So there you go! Those are just a few of the tips that I have learned over the past year about hosting! I would love to hear more if you have any that you would add!
Something that I am probably going to add to my book collection in the next couple of months is the book Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist. I first heard about the book from my bloggy friend Rachel. She has absolutely RAVED about it and I am excited to read it and learn even more about hosting!
Hope you enjoyed these tips!
Have a beautiful day!