Gracious (and Practical!) Hosting Tips
This blog is part of a three-part series on setting your table in style with our friends at Gracious Garlands. View the first blog post in the series here, and the second blog post in the series here.
Guests first! Elle from Gracious Garlands shares her top three entertaining tips:
"The table for me is where I come alive and where I’ve seen others come alive as well. This is obviously the biggest reason I am so passionate about Gracious Garlands. We’re a company focused on how to encourage one another to gather around together and how to make it simply beautiful in no time. For me, I want to create an intimate and intentional time together and believe that if your guests see that you brought intention to setting your table, they will bring intention to their seat. Here are my top three entertaining tips for a beautiful, intentional gathering."
1. Create a beautiful space for where your guests will gather.
The pro-tip is that is doesn’t have to take much time or skill to make this happen! Our all-time favorite go-to is greenery + candles. This is so simple, so elegant and will really make your guests feel special.
2. Create intentional conversation.
If it is a dinner party where you will gather around your table, which we highly encourage you to do, then pick one of your guests (days in advance) to prepare a table question for the evening and to be prepared to offer their answer to the question first to make others more comfortable sharing. We love to do this in our community here in Austin. It should be a conversation starter that inspires others to think deeply and share a part of themselves they may not share in surface level table talk. After the usual 15 mins of musings at the table, share with your guests that you asked “named guest” to come up with a question for the evening, that not everyone has to share but that stories shared here at this table will be honored with trust and grace.
3. Set the mood with candles and music.
Having a backlog of white or cream candles of all sizes is essential for entertaining. They are such an easy way to bring warmth and welcomeness to a space. I love to fill the home with candles and dim the lights when entertaining to set a tone of relaxation, peace and nostalgia. We don’t have enough moments in our lives these days when we slow down and rest with one another. This is what entertaining is about for me. And always, always have on music. It offers ease with new guests and joy to everyone. Spotify has amazing ready-to-play playlists for every occasion and this way, after dinner, if you’re looking to pump up the party. You’re one shuffle away from taking the intention from the tables to the dance floor. In my family, we believe every good party turns into a dance party.
Through 11/29/19, Fig & Dove followers can get 15% off their Gracious Garlands purchase with code FIGANDDOVE15 at checkout.
With years of hosting everything from holiday dinners, to bridal showers, to cocktail parties under our belts, the team at Fig & Dove has learned a thing or two about entertaining. Here are our top three hosting tips as we enter the holiday season.
1. Prepare what you can in advance.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but hosting is 10x easier when things are already done by the time your guests arrive! Instead of serving craft cocktails one-by-one, make the recipe in bulk ahead of time and serve in a punch bowl so guests can help themselves - leaving you free to welcome your guests!
2. Don’t be afraid to accept help.
This certainly does not have to be a one-woman (or man!) show. If a friend, or guest, or husband is generous enough to offer help, take them up on it. I always keep a checklist in our mind of simple tasks that I can delegate at a moment’s notice if needed - lighting candles, refilling the ice bucket, replenishing crackers, etc. Asking how they can help is also often a way that guests who may not be totally comfortable yet can ease into the party, so keep this in mind as well.
3. Remember to enjoy yourself - your guests take a cue from you!
A frazzled hostess is easy to spot, and we know we’ve all been there at one point in time. Your guests will feel more comfortable, and enjoy themselves more if you’re enjoying yourself too. So take a deep breath, make a drink, eat the food you’ve worked so hard on, and take part in the party - we promise you won’t regret it at the end of the night!