In the midst of COVID-19, at-home parties are more common than ever. We collected some tips for hosting a party at home from AJ Williams, Founder and Creative Director at AJ Events.
If you’re getting ready to host a dinner party, small birthday celebration or an outdoor party—you’ll want to make sure it’s the kind of party where everyone has a good time.
Who says hosting a party has to be hard? With these easy tips, your guests will be enjoying your at-home party, and ready to come back as soon as they can!
Here are 5 ways to become an at-home party hosting pro.
House parties are essential to celebrating all of life’s special moments—no matter how big or small. What we’ve learned from some of these event pros is that the planning is half the fun of it!
“Want to be known as a house party entertaining pro? Plan, plan, plan ahead, have a great playlist, and make it fun! Nothing is better than attending a house party! When planning, plan for every stage of your event–the arrival, the cocktails, the bites, the dinner, the desserts, and post-dinner fun,” says Williams.
With safety top-of-mind these days, planning ahead is a must. Feel free to opt for smaller guest lists, deep clean your living room or dining room (if you’ve been avoiding it!), and set up mini sanitizing stations throughout the party.
Pro Tip: Read these 8 tips for safely hosting an event while social distancing.
Think About the Little Details
With little details, these can be anything from creative touches to practical needs. According to AJ, this can be something as simple as having extra closet space for coats. These thoughtful details will let people feel and know that you’ve put a ton of effort into this at-home celebration.
“Light a candle and display a framed fun tagline in the powder room...it makes for a great conversation piece! Make sure glassware and ice are readily available and add garnishes and a specialty glass. I have found that people (especially the ladies!) love drinking out of a fun or colorful glass,” says Williams.
Know Your Guests
This is a key ingredient to becoming an at-home entertaining pro! Knowing your guests means knowing what they like, what they don’t like, and what they think is the most fun. As we all know, party entertainment is everything.
AJ Williams says, “For the music, keep it upbeat and fun, but most importantly, know your crowd. Play to their likes, or get them out of their comfort zone! Music is essential, and a great rule of thumb is to always keep it upbeat. You know you’re at a great party when guests sing along!”
Add Special Touches to Food and Drinks
When it comes to food and drinks, everyone loves a good cheese plate or bottle of wine, but there are easy ways to make these staple items even better. Before adding these special touches, make sure to consider any dietary restrictions (for example if someone requires gluten free treats).
“Lay out a well-displayed variety of cheeses and charcuterie with dates, fruit, honey and nuts. I love Fastachi nuts – it's a hit every time! I also find that when you have a special wine or vodka that’s creative, people will ask about it out of curiosity, so make sure you are well versed,” Williams shared.
When it comes to dinner, Williams says to “break out the china, be very creative with the place setting, and make it feel fun and special. When you make it special, you’ll create good energy! Whether it’s plated or family style, it doesn’t matter. Your guests should be so happy that come dinner time, it’ll be all about the conversations, laughter, beautiful table décor, the food, and capturing photos of these special moments.”
Pro Tip: Looking to really kick it up a notch with food and drinks? Consider hiring a local bartender to craft amazing custom cocktails or a caterer to prepare your favorite light bites and appetizers.
Enjoy the Party for Yourself
According to AJ Williams, “The key here is to plan like it’s your favorite party every time. The thoughtful execution will show, and your guests will appreciate it.” Plus, if it’s your favorite party, then you know you will enjoy it.
And finally, some last words of wisdom from AJ, “Most of all, don’t be a slave at your own party. Enjoy yourself and try to entertain and have fun as much as possible: remember, it’s your party! Your guests will want to enjoy your company too, not watch you work!”
Before hosting any at-home parties this season, be sure to check guidelines provided by the CDC, and your local government regarding events and gatherings.
Find more party inspiration, ideas, and tips from The Bash.