Throwing a party? Learning how to be a good host is integral to making sure your guests have a good time.
But it’s not always easy. If you’re new to the area, your guests might not already know each other. And if your guest list is long, you might find it stressful catering to different dietary requirements.
And of course, it’s important that you enjoy the night too! Here, we share some of the top tips and tricks on how to be a good host.
Prepare the setting
Long before the party even starts, you need to make sure that your place is clean and tidy. Store away any clutter that’s been left out and ensure that communal areas are spick and span.
Refresh hand towels in the bathroom and make sure there’s plenty of soap in the dispenser for guests to wash their hands. If your friends are staying the night, you’ll also want to make sure that their beds are made up with clean and fresh linens. A big part of the ‘how to be a good host’ mission relies on forward planning.
Set the scene
Whether you’re hosting an intimate dinner party or a full-on birthday celebration, creating the perfect atmosphere is key to making your night go well.
Start with the music. Pick a playlist that’ll put people at ease and suits the occasion. If it’s a day do in the sunshine, you might prefer something upbeat, while quieter dinner parties require a more relaxing soundtrack. Think about the lighting too. Candles are lovely for setting the scene indoors, while fairy lights are great for garden get-togethers.
Make your guests feel welcome
It goes without saying but it’s absolutely paramount that you make your guests feel welcome. But if you’re stressed or nervous, you may well overlook this important rule.
Keep an ear out for doorbells and knocks so that your guests aren’t waiting too long outside. And when you open the door, greet them warmly with a smile, hug or whatever you both feel comfortable with. You’ll score extra points if you offer your guests a drink on arrival and carve out time to speak to each of them individually over the course of the night.
Introduce your guests to each other
If you’re hosting friends that don’t know each other, it’s helpful to introduce them to one another. Try to find common ground between different party guests and if you’re arranging a seating plan, place those with similar interests next to each other.
All of this will require some forward planning. Prior to the party, have a think about your guest list and how well they know other guests. You want to make sure that your guests get on and have a good time. Trust us, this extra effort will pay off!
Wine and dine
Plenty of good food and drink is integral to a good party. Before you design your menu, ask your guests about any dietary requirements and allergies. Then, leave yourself plenty of time to do the shopping and prepare the food before the big event.
If you’re having a sit-down meal, make sure that everyone has a drink before eating. Finding the perfect wine to pair with the food will score you extra points! Or if you’re party’s more relaxed, set up a drinks and snacks station where guests can help themselves. The more variety, the better!
It’s equally as important for you to enjoy the party as it is for your guests. Before it starts, set aside some time for yourself to wind down and relax. Leave yourself plenty of time to get ready—a bubble bath with your favourite music will help to ease any nerves!
Once you’re ready, pour yourself a glass of wine to loosen up. Often, the hosts find themselves not drinking very much for the first couple of hours as they scramble around topping up everybody else’s drinks. And once the party is in full swing, breathe! Try to relax as much as possible and trust that it’s going to be a successful night. If things go wrong (which they can often do), don’t take it too seriously. Laugh it off and enjoy the rest of your night!
Now that you know the secrets of how to be a good host, we’re sure your guests will have a great time. Enjoy!