Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hostess with the Mostess

     Yesterday, we talked about what makes a good guest.  Today, I want to explain how to be a great host.  Now, please understand, I am not Martha Stewart.  You won't find tips on how to make handmade invitations from me.  I am going to give you tried and true suggestions from real life and they work!
     Many of these are inversely related to the guest tips.  I may take them one at a time, because hostessing is what I do best.  So let us begin,

1.) Send your invitations out, giving the guests ample time to R.S.V.P.   You can't be angry at not getting responses if you only gave them a few days to decide.  Also, if you give too much time to respond, your invitation is apt to be lost in the shuffle.  May I suggest this time frame:
    4 weeks for a large bash, by this I mean 30+ bodies.  (Bodies means any eating mouths, small babies obviously won't eat much, so don't count them, however, toddlers do count, not because of the food, but because they can be a handful and you cannot always expect their parents to have read my rules for guests!).        
     2 weeks for a small dinner party or theatre party.  You are usually only inviting 1 to 2 other couples and you will probably get a response in the next few days.
     Now, that being said, impromptu invites from you to dear friends can be immediate.  Some of our best times have happened when we call and say,
     "Hey, we are bored, want to join us for cocktails?"
 However, that is best reserved for only your dearest friends, as you will not have to plan or clean too much.  They already love you!
     Here is where you ask me where I stand on Facebook or email invites.  I am all for them!  I used to be a purist and send out invitations to large parties only by snail mail, but your old-fashioned lady has joined the new era and now I do a combination of both.  I like the FB invites, because you can nudge your guests gently if they do not respond in a timely fashion.   It is much better than calling up and asking,
    "Will you be joining us?"
Also, most people check their social media daily and are less likely to lose or forget your invitation.  There is a caveat:  Be careful to not send the invite to your whole friend list by mistake.  I did this once and was a bit panicked that 200+ people were about to descend on my house.  As I am a member of a home school group, many of these folks, I had never even met.  Fortunately, they had the grace to decline.  Oh, one more thing.  Keep the guest list PRIVATE.  That should go without saying.

I guess I've talked your ears off, so go start planning something for the holidays and we'll talk again soon!


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