Spring has sprung, and summer is simmering on the burner! Nice weather means tons of invitations to sift. Pour a glass of champagne and let’s talk entertaining!
There’s nothing I love more than hosting a good event. Ever been to an affair and notice something small and special: creative appetizers you’ve never thought of; perhaps an exotic signature cocktail that just HAS to be costly to make; floral accents that are too good to be homemade? Be it a cocktail party, a sit-down dinner, or my annual holiday soiree, the magic is all in the details!
Know what detail is absolutely free and yet often overlooked? Manners.
It starts with making others comfortable, which is ALWAYS elegant and budget friendly! You don’t need to spend a million to make others FEEL like a million.
Here’s a few quick tips to get you off on the right foot!
- RSVP. Literally, it stands for the French request, “Répondez s’il vous plait” – “Please respond.” You’ll see it at the end most invitations for a reason: your host needs to plan appropriately! There’s a big cost difference between dinner for 4 and dinner for 10. There’s also logistics that your host needs to consider: are there enough plates/glasses/ice/wine/bail money…wait…strike that last one. You get the picture. Whether you can make it or not, please respond!
- Arrive on time to 15 minutes after the start time. It is SO stressful when a guest arrives 30 minutes early. You might catch your host fresh out of the shower, coated in cake frosting, or just arriving home after a last minute ice run. The polite host will stumble through excuses and apologies and pause their prep to tend to you, but you’re not supposed to see the magic before it happens – arrive when the show starts and we’ll all have a better time. Of course, if you’re close to your host, offer to come early and help if you’d like. Key word: offer. Don’t just show.
- Never arrive empty-handed. A host/hostess gift doesn’t have to be huge or expensive – you’re simply making a gesture that says “thank you for having me.” A bottle of wine, a set of coasters, a candle, creative spices for the kitchen – there’s many ideas out there, under $10, that are ideal to grab and go!
- Don’t flip over those who can’t make it. When RSVPs are “with regrets” instead of “with pleasure”, never guilt or hold it against your invitee. For every event you throw, there will be some on the list who simply cannot make it. Be gracious, not petty! “It’s a shame we won’t see you – you’ll be missed!” That’s all the reply you need. Last minute no-shows and cancellations are another story though. You may hold it against them…in the form of limited invitations in the future. You’d be surprised how this fixes those issues
- As host, you set the tone of the night – plan your pre-event time well. If you answer the door in a tizzy, with half-done hair and a face that says “CRAP! You’re here!” it’s hardly a welcoming start to the evening. Plan your time out well so you’re relaxed and in party/dinner/cocktail mode when you open the door for the first guest. You should open the door, drink in hand, smile in place! You ARE the party, Socialite!
- Make introductions. Obviously, you know everyone at your own event. But do they know each other? As each guest arrives, welcome them to the room with a quick introduction. No need to be formal or complicated – a quick “this is my friend Jane Doe!” usually leads others in the group to embrace the newcomer with conversation… or the pressing business of getting them a cocktail!
::champagne glass >CLINK<::
We’ll chat monthly about how you can pull off feats of entertaining fab on a budget! Being a good host doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. But you know that already, right? Afterall, you’re a Budget Socialite.
See you next month!
(Image Source: EvaSaidIt.com)
Socialite Savvy: now it’s your turn! Have any hosting (or guesting) tips to share? Have any entertaining horror stories? Let us know in the comments.
Contributor | Eva Said It