Y'all. It can seem like there are some major disadvantages to having people into your home for drinks or dinner. Will it be stressful or cost a fortune or leave you exhausted? Not if we can help it!
Here are my top 5 tips on keeping the event fun, as it should be.
1) Plan last minute.
Call me crazy on this one, but my husband and I love to have people over last minute. Like, hey, wanna come over tonight? Tomorrow? This gives us less time to worry or clean or care, for that matter the state of our house. We don't overthink the menu. And your guests are more likely to commit right away than perhaps maybe wait and leave you hanging.
2) Only clean the bathroom.
No one is gonna see the piles of stuff in the corners of your room or the dog hair on the floor. And if they do, they will be so happy that they got an invite to your home that they won't care. (Getting an invite to someone's home is a rare treat these days, I think!) Also, my philosophy is if your guests see the imperfections of your home (because no one has a spotless house), then they will be more likely to host a gathering and have you over, too. But I do believe a clean bathroom is nice. And by that, I mean take some cleaner and a paper towel and give it a 5-minute wipe down. Or as my grandmother would say, "a lick and a promise."
3) Potluck the heck out of it.
Potlucks are not just for church picnics. And this is the big key to keeping costs low and stress at bay. Let people bring things! In fact, don't worry about being heavy handed about it, cause folks should know that it's a bit impolite to show up empty handed and they will probably appreciate the direction. If you are hosting a dinner party, you could take care of the main, then let everyone else bring a side. If you are just having friends over for drinks, pick a beverage that you will provide and have them bring a snack to share. I can promise you that if you go the potluck route, you'll spend way less than if you all went out to restaurant or bar and split the bill.
4) Get yourself ready an hour before people show up.
This is one that I have failed to remember time and time again. I look at the clock and I'm still in yoga pants and friends are coming over in five minutes. Then I rush up to the bathroom and throw on whatever clean clothes I can find. Then lipstick. Then the doorbell rings. Not the right mindset for a beginning of a party. Instead, I say, get ready a full hour before your guests will arrive. Maybe make yourself a mini-cocktail, and get to enjoy the last moments of chopping, tidying, what have you. Put on music! It makes getting ready for a party so, so much more fun.
5) Clean up the next morning.
There's nothing more unpleasant than saying goodbye to your last guests in the wee hours of the evening and trying to load the dishwasher. Don't clean up the night of the party! Unless you are worried about food spoiling or rain (from an outdoor soiree), leave it until the next morning. When you wake up the next morning, put on coffee and some jazz (have your partner hit up McDonald's) and think about all the fun you had the night before as you clean.
Photography: Anna Hedges / From our last styled shoot, and yes, a fake dinner party cause we're just too busy having fun at our own parties to take pictures. ;)