By: Michelene Lagdameo
It’s always fun to invite friends and family over for a small get-together. But of course, if you’ve hosted such gatherings, you know even the simplest affair takes a lot of effort and consideration! Truth be told, it’s easy to forget one very essential thing when caught up in the menu planning and décor DIY-ing: your guests don’t want you to stress out. They would rather you had fun too! So keep it simple, classy, and relaxed. When going the extra mile to make your guests feel more welcome in your home, try these practically effortless tips:
Consider diet restrictions and allergies.
Even before the big day, your friends and family will surely be touched by your thoughtfulness in accommodating any allergies or dietary restrictions they may have. A simple phone call before the event to check will already make them feel welcomed and accommodated. Alternatively, you can plan your menu around common allergies and restrictions (no peanuts, dairy, seafood) by having at least one or two safe dishes, thus avoiding any embarrassing “I can’t eat that” scenarios.
Plan simple place cards or a welcome sign.
Depending on your theme, you can opt to put DIY place cards to welcome your guests to their seats. If you’re going for a more free-wheeling vibe, an elegant chalkboard sign or bunting at the entryway is a great way to welcome your visitors.
Provide extra comforts to make them feel more at home.
If you’re a no-shoes-inside household, place a pile of new hotel/bedroom slippers by the door (you can easily order or purchase affordable ones in bulk). Check your powder room or guest bathroom and make sure you have the basics: toilet paper, mouthwash, sanitary napkins, and even a small sewing kit should a guest have a wardrobe mishap.
You might know that your friends’ children are afraid of your dogs, so keeping them in their cages or tied during the party saves you and them from any stress. If you have senior citizens coming over, making sure their spots are comfortable and well-ventilated is a definite must-do. If you know your party will stretch out into the wee hours, having a coffee cart or station set up and at the ready is a big help in making sure no one drives home sleepy. It all boils down to knowing who is coming over and thinking how to keep them comfy.
Hand out small souvenirs.
If it’s a birthday or another special occasion, simple souvenirs always make guests smile. It also helps to consider the time and setting of your gathering. If you’re having an afternoon garden party, handing out small fans or insect repellent is a cute and useful idea. Dinner party guests will enjoy a small bag of mints or candies for the ride home. There’s no need to spend a fortune—it’s often the simplest of gestures that are the sincerest.
A warning though—you might be such a good host, your guests might never want to leave! Kidding aside, it’s these thoughtful little touches that make you the quintessential host (and set a good example of proper manners and service to others to your kids). Enjoy your party!
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Mich Lagdameo is a mom to a precocious 1-year-old. She is a writer and editor by trade and calling, and she lives for books, leisurely grocery trips, cups of good coffee, long drives with her husband, and the Food Network. Her days are punctuated by the sound of her computer keys and her daughter banging into things.