Top Entertaining Tips

Dec 28th

For those of you who may be entertaining friends, family, and random stragglers while bringing in the New Year, I thought I would put together a go-to list of entertaining tips. Since being married I have noticed we entertain quite a lot! I’ve picked up on a few new things for my list. But most importantly, HAVE FUN! And if you have some other helpful hints please share! The more the merrier!

Snacks: Whether you want to get fancy with making a homemade spread and crostini or simply put out veggies and dip, make sure you guests have something to snack on. (I don’t recommend anything with too much garlic or onion). Local grocery stores have great meat and cheese platters. Who doesn’t like eating chips? Your options for appetizers are endless so have fun! Trader Joe’s has great already made apps so all you need to do is heat up!
Beautiful setup for holiday gathering at my sister-in-laws

Signature Cocktail: I have found making a signature cocktail is fun and also helps getting everyone a quick drink when they get there. Make a big pitcher of pomegranate martinis or margaritas. Sticking to something with vodka will pretty much guarantee everyone will like.

Everyone loves a signature cocktail. Mimosas are always loved!

Variety of Booze: You don’t need to spend a lot on alcohol but having a variety never hurts. Grab a few red and white wines (I always look for pricey ones on sale…shh don’t tell!), vodka, rum, and maybe a whiskey or scotch for the end of the night. If you don’t use no worries, but your guests will appreciate having options.

Mixers and garnish: This is easy and impressive! Grab different juices, sodas, tonic, and club soda so your guests can pick what to mix their drinks with. They will be very grateful if you have both their favorite drink and mixer. Score! Also, chop up some lemons and limes and put in a bowl. Orange slices, olives, cocktail onions, and cherries are easy garnishes. Make sure to have little toothpicks!

Pretty pretty pretty!
Spread, spread, spread: To help with the flow of keeping people in different rooms, put your appetizers on different tables. You can even have a different appetizer for each room. This will help people to mingle and move around.

Ice, Ice, and more Ice: A couple times when entertaining we have ran out of ice. I once read to plan on 1/2 pound per person. This may seem like a lot but it goes fast! (Especially if you are making martinis!!) Grab a couple bags and store. Make sure to put an ice bucket and tongs (no one likes hands all over).

Ambiance: When I was a wedding planner, I always told my brides the most inexpensive way to dress up a wedding was with candles. And I will have to say the same rule applies to a home. Grab some fun candles and stands to put around the house. If you have the time, put together a couple flower arrangements for your tables and bar. A little bit of this does wonders!

I have a candle problem….I’m obsessed

Cups, Plates, Cutlery: Whether you are using your own or using plastic, make sure you have enough! (Tip–have your dishwasher free and unloaded!!) The worst would be to run out of any of these. For plastic cups, put out a fun marker or stickers so people can remember which glass is theirs. If you are using your own cups you can use wine glass charms if wanted. If you go the plastic route, find some fun decor for the plates and napkins. Don’t just do white…BORING!

Keep it Simple: Simple is still delicious. If you are having friends over, the last thing you want to be doing is spending all your time in the kitchen. (Now for some family members on the other hand….just kidding!) Create a menu that you don’t need to spend too much time on or you can prepare prior then heat in oven. Our most common menus are a big salad, casserole of some sort (I love baked ziti!), and garlic bread. This feeds a lot of people but doesn’t require us to do much while our guests are there.

Baked ziti can be throw together and put in the fridge until ready to bake

Fun Jams: Obviously if a big game or event is on make sure to have it on the tvs. If not, I like to have music on. Sometimes I feel having the tv on is a big distraction and your guests are more into that. You can put together a playlist of your favorite songs or we like to put on a music channel from the tv. If you do have tv or music on make sure it is not too loud!!