11 Best Tips to be a Great Party Hostess

This past year on the blog I had a monthly “Tips to be a Great Party Host” series. Each month I interviewed somebody in my life or internet that I admire for being an excellent part host or hostess. Each month they answered questions about their party hosting style, why they love party planning, their go-to recipes & dishes, whether or not they decorate, the best party they ever hosted, their biggest party challenge, and my favorite question: what’s your best tip for someone who wants to be a great party host(ess)?

As we go into the New Year, if party hosting is something that you’ve thought about trying, but didn’t know where to start, here are the best tips from some of the best.


Tip from Chrystina at Chrystina Noel

Chrystina blogs at Chrystina Noel (right here!) about hosting parties, handmade greeting cards and how to stay in touch. The best party I’ve ever hosted was my 25th birthday party boozy brunch. You can check out my complete set of hostess tips and tricks here. My best party tip for those who want to be a great host is:

Give everybody all the details ahead of time. Tell them the who, where, why, when, what, but also make sure to include logistical things that will make it easier for them. Should they eat before they get there? Should they bring anything? Can they bring a plus one? Is there a theme? Is there a dress code? Where should they park? Are there any tricks to finding your street? The more details you can give someone ahead of time the more comfortable they will feel when they walk in the door.

Chrystina

Tip from Chrystina’s Mom

This is my mom. I’ve been telling her that she should start a blog for a long time, but she’s just not biting. The best party she’s ever hosted was a fathers’ day luncheon where there were a honey tasting. You can read her complete set of hostess tips and tricks here. Her best party tip for those who want to be a great host is:

Relax and enjoy the moment – that’s the reason you are entertaining in the first place.

Chrystina’s Mom

Tip from Jessica at Sweet Love & Ginger

This is Jessica, she blogs at Sweet Love and Ginger. She’s an engineer living in the great northeast with her husband, Chuck, and their dog, Brody. She’s all about real, good food and good times with awesome people. She says that every party is the best party so long as there are happy people, food, and music. You can read her complete set of hostess tips and tricks here. Her best party tip for those who want to be a great host is:

Just start. Don’t think too much. Just invite people over and keep it simple, or invite your closest friend and try something crazy. The only way to overcome the fear and figure out what works is to start doing it.


Tip from Beth at Recipes for Success

This is Beth. I sang in church choir with Beth for a long time, and man, she throws wonderful parties. She blogs at Recipes for Success about maintaining a healthy lifestyle for herself and her family. The best party she’s ever hosted was her wedding (and believe me, it was damn good). You can read her complete set of hostess tips and tricks here. Her best party tip for those who want to be a great host is:

Do everything in your power to give yourself a chance to enjoy the party too. Yes, hosting a party is a lot of work but if you do some prepping in advance and plan your day right, you don’t have to spend the entire day in the kitchen while everyone else is having fun in the living room.


Tip from Brigette at Brigette I. Design

Meet Brigette! She is a graphic designer specializing in logo/identity and non-profit graphic design. (She also just won a board game creation competition which is just cool.) The best party she’s ever hosted is her annual New Year’s Eve soiree, complete with folks dressing to the nines, New Years resolution sheets, and a classic silver/gold/black and stars motif. You can read her complete set of hostess tips and tricks here. Her best party tip for those who want to be a great host is:

Don’t be afraid to go big with your ideas, but also try to keep it simple when possible – party planning should be fun!


Tip from Heidi at Parties for Pennies

Heidi blogs are Parties for Pennies. She adores entertaining, champagne, and watermelon bubblegum. I love the way that she breaks down even the most elaborate parties into pieces that feel do-able for someone who hasn’t done it before. The best party she ever hosted was a Mad Men themed 40th birthday party for her husband. You can read her complete set of hostess tips and tricks here. Her best party tip for those who want to be a great host is:

Have fun with the decorations and food, but remember to keep the focus on your guests! The best hostess, in my book, is one where guests leave saying, “I felt so special and loved.”


Tip from Sarah at Pretty Providence

Meet Sarah! She is one-half of the duo that runs the blog, Pretty Providence. It’s a frugal lifestyle blog where she and her best friend Jessica share cheap and easy recipes, crafts, home decor DIYs, thrifty tips, and afforadable fashion. The best party she ever hosted was her nephew’s Star Wars birthday party. You can read her complete set of hostess tips and tricks here. Her best party tip for those who want to be a great host is:

Collect white serving dishes, they go with everything! You can find great ones at thrift stores, keep your eyes peeled.


Tip from Andy at Plum Deluxe

This is Andy. He is the founder & creator of Plum Deluxe, which is a place on the internet (and in real life) that combines delicious tea and moments that matter. It comes with a subscription service, a motivational podcast, and a weekly newsletter. He does it all. The best party he’s ever hosted was a dinner party brunch complete with a bloody mary bar and homemade biscuits. You can read his complete set of host tips and tricks here. His best party tip for those who want to be a great host is:

People don’t care about how clean your house is. They care about being heard, connecting with like-minded people. So make time to listen. Have some thoughtful conversation starters. Connect people. Worry more about deep connection than dust bunnies.


Tip from Nida at Mommy 411

This is Nida. She blogs at Mommy 411 about motherhood, family life, and party tips. The past few times I’ve visited Georgia was to attend the fantastic first birthday parties of her adorable children. So much fun. She says that these two birthday parties were the two best parties she has ever hosted. (And I have the proof for it right here and here.) You can read her complete set of hostess tips and tricks here. Her best party tip for those who want to be a great host is:

PLAN PLAN PLAN. From ribbons to centerpieces everything requires details. And in my opinion, details is what makes a party fabulous. Go the extra mile and do the effort; results will show on there own. Hosting a great party requires a lot of hard work, so make sure you work days/weeks ahead of time.


Tip from Lauren at Lauren Caselli Events

Meet Lauren! I met her at The Yellow Conference in Los Angeles this year. She is the owner of Lauren Caselli Events. She believes that live events have unparalleled power, and I have to say that I totally agree with her (and that’s why she’s a wonderful hostess). The best party she’s ever hosted was a networking event for female entrepreneurs called The Boss Lady Bash. You can read her complete set of hostess tips and tricks here. Her best party tip for those who want to be a great host is:

Understand that your guests’ comfort is important, and try to walk through your part from the perspective of the guest. When they walk in, is there a convenient place to hang their coat? If not, have someone taking coats and placing them in a bedroom (a great job for a partner!). Are the plates in a spot that makes sense? Is there enough glassware or plastic cups so people don’t have to hunt for glasses? Think about what people are going to need before they have to ask, so you can relax during the event (or if you’re me, run around and clean up after people).


Tip from Johanna

And finally. Last, but never least, Johanna. Johanna and I have been friends for over 10 years now. Through that time I have been to countless parties, and I’m still always impressed by exactly how much she is able to pull off, and how much she has it down to a science. The best party she’s ever hosted was her husband’s 30th birthday, which was an around the world Epcot tour right in her own house. You can read about that party and her complete set of hostess tips and tricks here. Her best party tip for those who want to be a great host is:

Cover the big things first then worry about the smaller things. Only you will know if something that you had planned didn’t come to fruition by party time. Don’t forget to have fun! It’s easy to get too wrapped up in the details.

– Johanna

 

And that’s it. 11 great tips for you to consider in your journey towards becoming the best host or hostess you can be.

I’m super excited to share next year’s hostess series with you all. A lot of times I feel like I’m writing to people who already love to host parties, but I want to make sure to include some of the tips and tricks for people who are looking to start hosting parties and don’t know where to begin. I have a list of a few questions to answer so far, but if you can think of any additional ones, please let me know in the comments below.

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