09.25.2015

Autumn Party Prep – Tips and Tricks

I hosted a little gathering of girlfriends at my house this week. Once a month we meet with a different food theme. This month was Mexican food… next month will be a pumpkin theme for Thanksgiving. Each guest must bring a dish that has pumpkin as an ingredient. Pumpkin night is always a favorite of the year!

I didn’t have to do a ton of prep for this event, as each guest was bringing a topping or ingredient, but I thought I would share a few of the little touches I used to help my guests feel at home.

1.  Fall is in the air, and fall decorations definitely go a long way in making people feel cozy. My home is small and I try to decorate simply, but a few festive touches gave it just the right feel. And of course, fall candles are a must!

Fall Mums

Fall Wreath

Fall Candle

2.  I purchased this beautiful water pitcher in the sale aisle of Costco. The quality is wonderful, made of porcelain and glass, and it is a stylish and convenient way for guests to serve their own water. I tried to stick with a theme of clear glassware, so I used glass pitchers to hold some tea and lemonade as well.

Water Pitcher

3.  I prefer to use real dishes for my guests. I set these out ahead of time on my island so my guests can serve themselves buffet style, and I use decorative glasses or vases to hold the flatware. The drinking glasses I simply sit next to the beverages. I do use paper napkins, but I try to pick a design that complements the dishes I am using. Also, I try to make sure that my dishwasher is completely empty when my guests arrive so I can have plenty of room to clear dirty dishes quickly.

4.  Fall weather seems to call for hot beverages, so I decided to set up a tea station. I set out a teapot with hot water along with cream, sugar and honey and a selection of various loose teas. I made a homemade chai latte mix as well which was a hit! I set out each of the teas in matching containers and made paper labels with each flavor.

Tea Station

Tea Selection

5.  I try to keep at least one lamp on in each room, even those that guests may not enter, so that the house seems more open and bright. This is a great tip for small homes! Finally, I add a candle to the bathroom so it is never dark, even if a guest turns off the light.

Bedroom Lamp

bathroom candle

I hope these tips inspire some of you with your next gathering, and I would love to hear some of your favorite tips for hosting a party! Feel free to share in the comments below.  Happy Friday!

Cup

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