Entertaining to me is all about being in good company. I do have a lot of fun setting the table and decorating my place to revolve around a theme, but what excites me the most is when guests enter the house, ready to have a good time!
When entertaining, there are three rules that I always keep in mind, and I’m sharing them with you today!
1) Keep Things Simple
Keeping the table setting and party decor simple reduces the amount of stress that comes with planning a dinner or party. When there are too many things going on, it can keep the focus away from the most important thing: people. When entertaining, I like to keep the table setting simple and include only one focus point, which doesn’t always have to be the centerpiece. I have an obsession for tableware. I probably have 5 different sets of tableware in different shapes and colors. Sometimes, I like to make my tableware the focus of the table setting instead of an item in the center.
I’ve realized that when I “try too much” that’s when everything falls apart. To me, simplicity is one of the keys to a successful party.
2) Don’t Procrastinate
I like to entertain during the weekends, and when I do, I make sure I give myself the whole day to prepare. But I’ve learned the hard way that when the cooking and preparation are done on the same day of the party, I can get easily overwhelmed because things don’t always turn out the way I want. Oh, and did I tell you that I also used to do the cleaning on the SAME day? Most of the times I don’t end up crossing all the items on my to-do list. For this reason, I’ve learned to prepare for the party in advance and not to procrastinate.
If I want to serve a new recipe at a dinner party, I’d try the recipe a couple of times beforehand. All the ingredients and party decor are bought a couple of days before as well as the cleaning of the house. All that’s left for me to do on the same day of the party is to pretty up myself and prepare the drinks and amuse-bouches that will be served to the guests as soon as they enter the house.
3) Be Part of the Party
It’s easy for me to forget to be part of the party when I’m the host. That’s because I always want to make sure that my guests are not missing anything. Most of the time I end up staying in the kitchen, and Tim, my husband, ends up being the one who entertains the guests. You can say I have OCD, but the truth is I do like things to be in order, especially in my kitchen. I don’t like seeing dirty dishes in the sink or my counter top covered with plates and cups, so I have the tendency to wash the dishes while guests are still at my house (This is HORRIBLE I know! Please don’t do that!). But I’ve realized it’s actually a big No No when you’re the host.
The whole point of entertaining is that you, the host, are part of the party. So I’ve learned to not be too obsessive and keep the dishes for tomorrow to be washed. I also make sure that I’ve prepared enough drinks and small bites for guests who want to snack later on at night instead of preparing them during the evening while we’re having a great time chatting or playing board games. When I'm hosting a big group, usually more than 12, I'd rather use plastic plates such as these pretty ones - perfect for a bridal shower, baby shower, and other types of girly get-together.
These are the three entertaining rules that I try to respect which keep me away from being stressed but help me enjoy the time spent with my loved ones.
What about you? Do you have any entertaining rules you can share? Or was there something you’ve done before but realized it’s a big “no no”? I’d love to read your comments and stories! :)
Photos by by Lena Han