This is the last post in my series, The Young Wife's Guide To Hosting Dinner Parties. I've really enjoyed working on this series and sharing everything I have learned so far, but I know I still have a lot to learn when it comes to hosting!
On the day of our dinner parties I always tend to wake up even earlier than I usually do...just ask Matthew lol. I wake up ready to get started on whatever it is I need to finish up before everyone gets there. I go ahead and get my shower out of the way and just throw my wet hair up in a messy bun so it's out of my face while I finish up stuff. I will get ready and style my hair a couple of hours before our guests arrive later in the day.
Morning: I usually pop in our guest bedrooms & bathroom to make sure one last time that everything is ready for our guests (beds are fully made, extra blanket on each bed, air fresheners are plugged in, towels are on the end table and ready for our guests, our basket of extra toiletries for our guests in the bathroom is filled up, etc.)
Then I head downstairs and get started in the kitchen. I usually start prepping any dishes that I didn't get to the night before, it's usually not many but there maybe one or two. After those are finished I will make sure the dishwasher and trashcan are emptied, again, if I didn't get to that the night before. I will probably make something quick and easy for breakfast for me and Matthew.
Late morning/early afternoon: I will start setting everything up for our dinner party. Whether its the labels and prints or setting up table and chairs. I will also make sure all the pillows are straightened up on the couch, probably go on and light a couple of candles, and then make sure everything is in it's place before I head back upstairs to finish getting ready.
Mid afternoon: We usually start all of our dinner parties in the afternoon. So a couple of hours before it starts I'll run back upstairs and do make hair and makeup and change into whatever I am wearing that afternoon. How I style my hair is dependent on the weather. If it's rainy or the humidity is bad I won't try to curl it because it will just fall out. If it's nice out, and I have the time I will more than likely curl it.
- As soon as your think of your event and have a date nailed down, start planning! Pick up something small here and there every week when you go to the grocery store so you don't have one large bill the week of your event.
- Look online for ideas. Pinterest is always my #1 go-to when planning an event.
- Take advantage of free things...free prints, free labels, free banners, etc. on Pinterest/internet.
- Create a Facebook event to invite all of your guests to. That way they have all the information right in their hands.
- Ask your guests to bring a dish! Make it a potluck and enjoy the easy work load AND new recipes! If you don't feel comfortable asking them to bring a side dish, maybe let your guests bring drinks and/or desserts.
- Use what you already have. Those cute vases you have on your entryway table will make an adorable addition to your dessert table. Those cute candle holders in your bedroom? Add them to the table to add a little more to your centerpiece!
- I have one plugin air freshener in each guest bedroom and the guest bathroom. I only replace the refill when we have guests coming over. I do like to keep a couple extra handy in case someone comes over last minute and needs a place to crash for the night. I stick with a basic clean linen scent in each room and usually the bathroom. I usually add the refill 1-2 nights before our guests arrive. It smells great and helps get rid of that musky smell from having to keep the windows shut during the cold winter months and blazing summer months.
- I have this automatic spray air freshener in our entryway. I keep it on the bottom shelf so it can't be seen but the scent is still very much present. I only turn this on when we have guests coming over.
- Light a candle or two about an hour before guests arrive, not only do they always smell so good but a candle lit is so cozy and inviting!
- Make sure your refrigerator is cleaned out before guests arrive. You will want a place to store leftovers and having a full refrigerator can be annoying during this time!
- Make sure your dishwasher and trashcan are empty before guests arrive. That way when it comes time to clean up you can just load the dishwasher and not have to worry about piling dishes in your sink.
- I like to set our guest towels out in the guest bedrooms for them. I always hate going through someone's cabinet, even if it is just to get a bath towel. So I make sure to go on and place them in their rooms, but I always let them that if they need more they are under the sink
- Make sure the guest bathroom is completely stocked with toilet paper before guests arrive.
- If you aren't in to decorating and you have a friend that is, let them help you!