Hosting. A good host is an artist, and the party is their painting. There is an art to hosting, and when you nail it, it’s evident. There is something about arriving at a party where the food looks delicious, the flowers are plentiful, and the host is happy you came.
This past Monday, I threw my mom and her girlfriends a small Summer soiree. I wanted to keep it maximal but still keeping it minimal. Does that make any sense? Arranging just one flower arrangement, but one that pops! Preparing only a few dishes but keeping them beautiful and appealing. And for inspiration, I went to everyone’s favorite Pinterest!
So what made this small party stand out from just average to a night my moms friends, and your friends will, love(d)?
Love for the art of hosting.
Sounds cliche I know, but bear with me. What I mean is that you love preparing, arranging, and hosting. You search Pinterest for inspiration, you take time into planning the menu, and you arrange the flowers with excitement. All the planning and creating, whether simple or fancy, is done out of love for the art of hosting and spending time with friends.
A good party doesn’t mean you can’t use paper plates or serve up hot dogs. It means you put thought and love into the evening to spend with your people. Because that’s what it’s all about, spending time with the people you like and love.
So what essential practical steps should we take for a beautiful and fun evening?
- Include Flowers
I love flowers. But I especially love flower arrangements that look a bit different from the rest. Quite frankly, a beautiful centerpiece is vital no matter if you’re having boxed mac n cheese or filet mignon!
For this party, I wanted minimal arrangements so as not to crowd the table. So I went with just one but made sure that one was a wow factor.
Now don’t think they have to cost an arm and a leg. An arrangement can cost as low as $5; which is precisely how much I spent on mine.
I bought a bouquet of pastel spray roses from Trader Joes and scavenged the yard and bushes for the rest of the foliage but in the same color scheme.
Taping up my favorite bowl with parchment paper (brass can kill the flowers directly), and electrical tape, I made little holes to insert all of the foliages. I first added the weeds and then the flowers in the center.
2. Be creative with the menu
I wanted to keep the evening simple yet delicious. Instead of just laying out some cheese and prosciutto, I decided to do a charcuterie board instead. Never having done one, I studied the photos on Pinterest and went to work. The effect was beautiful while still being a cheese and meats board. We ate up on brie and fig crackers, a stone fruit galette and small souffles. It took me about 1 hour to prepare everything, and it was all very minimal yet memorable because of the way its presentation.
3. Be attentive to detail
First impressions mean the world to a good party. And the details make up the first impressions. When your guest sees the pretty brass cheese knife settled on the brie and the little brass birds on the cake stand, to the gold painted rim of the glasses, their brains will immediately tie it all together in a single picture, cohesive and inviting,
And once again, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. I picked some Queen Anne’s Lace and fern looking branches from the empty lot next to my mom’s house and voila plate settings for free! I took out my mom’s little crystal glasses that she hasn’t used in years. Not only did it feel good to put them to use, but it kept me from having to buy new glasses for the evening. I was able to create a pretty table using what we already had, saving money and time.
4. Enjoy yourself!
When the host is enjoying themselves, the guests feel more at ease and find themselves enjoying the evening because the host sets the mood. If I am flustered and overwhelmed, my guests will feel it as well. If I am relaxed and taking the evening as it comes, then so will my guests.
See? She’s smiling!
I hope this post was able to provide some useful tips for your next event or perhaps reignited your love for hosting a beautiful party with friends!