Today we’re sharing some secrets for being a good hostess to ensure a pretty & memorable gathering. These tips will keep your guests secretly wishing that you’ll be the hosting all of the future gatherings — guaranteed!
When it comes to the art of entertaining, my mother-in-law truly has it mastered. She has this incredible gift of making any gathering in her home so special and inviting.
Over the last few years, I’ve had the privledge of attending a number of gatherings at her house, ranging from Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas dinner to baby and bridal showers. Each event has been incredibly thought out, beautiful and memorable.
The minute you step in the door, the house is filled with warmth and the aroma of delicious food cooking. You just instantly feel the love.
What I really admire is the amount of effort that she puts into hosting these events. These gatherings aren’t just whipped together at the last minute.
She will spend weeks planning the perfect themed décor, menu and gifts that makes every guest feel so welcomed and loved. Now that I’ve recently started a family of my own, I hope to one day host similar gatherings in my home and make every guest feel just as much warmth, love and appreciation as I’ve experienced. From all of these events she’s hosted, I’ve learned a few things about being a good hostess.
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I thought it would be fitting to share some of these secrets that have inspired me to help you host the perfect Mother’s Day gathering.
Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned!
1. Set the Table
I’ve never been that great when it comes to proper table setting etiquette. Even though I’ve taken fine dining courses, I can never seem to remember where to put all the different forks, spoons and glasses. So naturally, when I set the table, it usually just consists of me plopping down some forks, knives and whatever other dishes and cutlery are required to get through the meal.
Even though in the past, I haven’t paid much attention to proper table setting etiquette, the funny thing is, I LOVE going to an event or gathering with a beautifully set table. It justs feels so professional and fancy, like you’re at a fine dining restaurant. Doesn’t it just make you feel special?! Even simple things like putting some pretty flowers and napkins on the table and getting out your best dishes and silverware can add a special touch that your guests will be sure to appreciate. Which brings me to my next point…
2. Do What Your Momma Told Ya
The other day, my mother-in-law was setting the table for a gathering that she was hosting at her house for friends and when I commented on how beautiful the setup looked, she mentioned that her mother had taught her how to set the table from a young age and it’s something she had always helped her mom out with when she was a kid. I’m not surprised. She’s a pro at it!
So with Mother’s Day just around the corner, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to get some of her secrets for setting the perfect table so that I would be well-equipped for upcoming gatherings. You can check out some table setting tips here!
3. Serve Good Food
Now this one might seem obvious, but good food can definitely go a long way in terms of making guests feel welcome….and making them want to come back to your house again. Nothing can turn off guests faster than a bad meal, whether that’s in a restaurant or someone’s home. Now obviously if someone is hosting an event and welcoming you into their home, you’re gonna eat what they give you and not complain, but it’s amazing how a well thought out menu can make all the difference between a successful and not so successful event.
It’s always a good idea to serve up some type of appetizer for when guests first arrive so they aren’t feeling ravenous by the time the meal is served. Nothing can be a bigger turnoff than going somewhere and all you can think about is your stomach because you haven’t eaten for hours and there’s absolutely no food in sight.
Including a healthier option in your spread is always a good idea for those guests who might be a little more health conscious or have dietary restrictions.
4. Do Your Preparations before Guests Arrive
If you’re anything like me and have trouble focusing on meal preparations when guests start arriving at your home, it can be a good idea to prepare a dish in advance to avoid the stress…. AND so that you can focus on spending time with your guests and not slaving away in the kitchen. Because really, what’s the point of having guests over if you’re locked up in the kitchen the whole time?
For a great make ahead brunch, I LOVE to make dishes like this baked apple oatmeal, these sweet potato muffins, chocolate energy balls, or this pesto asparagus crustless quiche because they can all be made in advance! Serve it up with some fresh fruit, tea and/or coffee and brunch is served! Or you can check out this post for some other healthy and delicious Mother’s Day brunch ideas!
5. Be Thoughtful
At a recent Easter gathering at my mother-in-law’s house, she had bought everyone, (and I’m talking both children and adults) chocolate Easter bunnies and pastel coloured chocolate eggs that were carefully and creatively displayed in a little dish at each table setting. Additionally, for every child in the family, she had bought gifts and cards that were beautifully presented in cute and colourful Easter-themed bags. It seems that every gathering that we attend at her house involves some type of thoughtful card or beautifully wrapped gift adorned with the prettiest wrapping paper and gorgeous bows.
Now I’m not saying that you need to go out and buy everyone that comes to your house a gift, but even a small gesture like little themed favour or a pretty card with a thoughtful message can be a great way to make your family and friends feel welcome and loved. For Mother’s Day, I came up with some pretty and thoughtful gifts that you can find here if you need some inspiration!
At the end of the day, the fact that you’re hosting a gathering and welcoming guests into your home to begin with is something to be appreciated. But going above and beyond to beautifully decorate the table, provide a well-thought out menu and provide small tokens of appreciation can be a great way to make all of your guests (including mom) feel more welcome, and loved. Not to mention, if you follow these tips, they’ll probably be secretly hoping that every future event is hosted at your house!
What are some of your strategies for being a good hostess?
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