Let’s start with the understanding that your guests do not need or want to be spoiled. Being a great host takes making your guests comfortable so that they can relax and enjoy their time with you. The homely feeling is something that all of us relish. If you have frequent guests, you need to structure the experience so that it does not exhaust you. Guests appreciate lucid coordination and a few good choices instead of too many options.
Being a good host does not necessarily have to be lavish or expensive. It is about paying attention to details and adding small touches that show your guests that you care. Here are some suggestions that you may find helpful.
Give yourself enough time for preparation
Start planning with sufficient time on hand. Make a guest list, send out invitations, get a headcount, and start thinking about the preparations. Being prepared takes much of the stress out of hosting an event and will allow you to enjoy yourself more on the occasion.
Keep the guests list reasonable
Invite only as many people as you feel comfortable with. Some people like the idea of throwing a huge party, whereas some others like to keep their guest list small as they feel more comfortable in small groups. A small gathering will allow you to pass quality time with your friends, constituting an enjoyable moment with people you are closest to.
Greet them on arrival
Make sure you greet guests as they arrive. This also helps you learn the names and faces of those people you may not have met before. Offer to take their coats and purses so they are not left standing in your entryway looking for a place for themselves.
Get it going
Get cocktails into a guest’s hands quickly and courteously. It’s amazing what a little drink can do for them to feel at home right away.
The guests care more about having fun than expecting an immaculate house. Do not stress yourself, just be who you are.
Make your guests feel at home
Let your guests be themselves. Do not over orchestrate their experience. Encourage them to help themselves to drinks or snacks.
Keep it simple
Do not overdo it. Invite only as many people as you feel comfortable to host. Make sure the venue smells good and has enough lighting. Lighting is important for setting the mood of the party, so make sure it is adequate and is giving off the right feelings. Similarly, scents help set the tone as well.
Play some background music
Play mellow background music to create an ambience. The idea is to beautify the silence and not to hinder conversation. Music makes sure that you do not have to worry about awkward silences.
Make sure to ask all your guests ahead of time about any dietary restrictions. If you are cooking yourself, make dishes that you are good at preparing. Do not experiment. Your party is more likely to be successful if you cook something you have made before, you are confident is going to turn out well, and you know tastes wonderful. Try choosing a menu that does not keep you stuck in the kitchen the whole time. People like simple home-cooked meals.
If it makes it easier for you, ask some people to bring extra appetizers or desserts to lighten your load.
Relax and enjoy yourself along with your guests. Soak in the good company, enchanting banter, and delightful ambiance. The essential thing about throwing a party is not only that your guests enjoy themselves, but that you enjoy yourself too.
Focus on your guests
Pay attention to your guests instead of seeking their attention. Listen to them Talk about them. Do not worry about what they think about you, empathize with whatever they are experiencing in their lives.
Mingle with your guests. There may be some people you are not quite as familiar with. Get to know them. Make an effort to chat with everyone at your party, even if it is just for a few minutes. This is the best way to make everyone feel comfortable and welcome as the host.
Do not surprise them
Avoid surprising your guests with sudden requests for speeches or toasts or something else.
Ask your guests to help you, if necessary
If you are stuck in the kitchen, you can ask some of the more familiar guests to give you a hand. To ease yourself into it, you can also ask a close friend to come over early. Having someone to chat with and laugh with before other guests start arriving can really help you get into the swing and socialize.
When someone asks if you need help in the kitchen, and you do, feel comfortable in graciously accepting. Having someone to help will make you feel more relaxed, and will allow you to do some socializing instead of spending the entire time in the kitchen. Also do not be afraid to ask people to help with the cleanup!
Uphold your house rules
Your guests are willing to respect your space and the rules you set. For example, if that is important to you, ask people to take their shoes off when they arrive at your home. Establish any other rules upfront with your guests. If you do not tell them, they will not know.
Say “Thank You”
Profusely thank your guests as they leave. Make sure to send a special note to those guests who contributed to making your event a success – helping you pull off a surprise party or bringing over food, for instance.