Here at KSE we're gearing up for a season full of parties, open studios and entertaining family and friends. We're realizing, as we're prepare to invite guests into our homes and offices that we're following our own wedding design advice when it comes to creating an inviting, fun and enjoyable party. So in honor of all of you hosts and hostesses out there, here are some of our favorite tips for creating an awesome party (and wedding!) experience for your guests:
- Establish dress expectations early. If possible and tasteful, be specific with your guests about times, dress code, and formality on the invitation. Just as you wouldn't want someone arriving at your rustic, outdoor wedding overdressed in black tie, you don't want your friends attending your formal dinner party in their workout clothes. Use easily interpreted dress code terms ("black tie," "cocktail attire," "dressy casual," or "theme/festive attire") over ambiguous terms ("formal," or "casual"), because let's face it… We all have the one friend that cannot dress appropriately to save their lives (amiright?).
- Create gathering spots. Encourage guests to mingle by shifting furniture or positioning the bar in the space that is most ideal for crowds to gather. Guests (both house guests or wedding guests) will congregate near flat horizontal surfaces like tables and countertops so positioning an extra bistro table or shifting a kitchen island will give your guests a cue as to where they should be. Lighting (think candles and slightly dimmed lights) and music are also great cues for guests when you need to transition from space to space.
- Ask for help! We can't stress this one enough. Whether you're planning a dinner party, a wedding or a birthday party, don't try to be a superhero. Invite a close friend over early to help you open the wine and light the candles so you can get dressed. When your sister asks if she can bring something, tell her it wouldn't be a party without her amazing pecan pie/butternut squash dish/cheese dip. Enlist the help of a professional (if your budget allows) to style the table, make the flower arrangements or even just clean up the next day. You can't be a great host at your party (or wedding for that matter) if you have too much on your plate.
Remember! Entertaining is fun and should be something that you look forward to! Stay tuned for more tips from the KSE Team in the next couple weeks for more tips on how to be a great host.