My parents have always been keen entertainers and some of my earliest childhood memories are of the wonderful parties they used to throw for friends and family while I was growing up. I especially learned a lot from watching my mum play hostess over the years and to this day I’m still impressed by how she manages to always entertain with such ease and grace. From thoughtfully introducing people to each other, to cooking beautiful meals, and making jokes – she’s truly the ‘Hostess with the Mostess’!
Since it’s Mother’s Day in Australia today, I thought I’d give my mum some well-deserved props and share some of the best party advice I ever got from her.
1. The more doesn’t always mean the merrier
Don’t feel like you need to invite your entire Facebook friends list in order to host a kick ass party. In fact you’ll have much more chance of hosting an amazing event with a small but well curated guest list than if you just invite random people that have nothing in common and nothing to say to each other.
Here are a few of my mum’s handy tips to compile the ultimate guest list:
- Invite people with different energy levels
- Don’t be afraid to invite a mix of new and old friends – try to think of what people might have in common (i.e. travel/ work/ hobbies) and introduce them to each other on the night
- Invite both singles and couples but don’t try to set people up – you’re a hostess not Tinder
- Don’t invite people who openly dislike each other – invite them at two different events instead
2. Smile !
Not in a creepy way – but more in a ‘I’m in control and totally enjoying myself whilst I’m juggling a million things’ kind of way. Yes it can be tricky when things aren’t going to plan and your roast is burning in the oven but at the end of the day, you’re the hostess and your guests will always look to you to set the mood. If you’re stressed then you can bet everyone else will be too!
3. Embrace store-bought food
When I first started hosting parties, I was obsessed with the idea of making everything myself. As a result, I’d spend the whole time stressing out in the kitchen whilst my guests were left to entertain themselves. Not exactly ideal.
Then, I finally realized my friends didn’t care whether the crackers they were eating were homemade (seriously, who makes their own crackers anyway!?) – they just wanted to spend time with me! So now I follow my mum’s 50/50 rule; meaning that I cook half of the dishes and buy the rest ready-made. Sometimes, I’ll even buy everything from the store or serve takeaway and it’s absolutely fine!
4. Don’t try any new recipes on the day of your party
There are times to experiment in the kitchen but the day of your big party definitely isn’t one of them. Instead, stick to recipes you’ve already mastered and feel confident making for a crowd. Make-ahead recipes are especially great for parties since it will allow you to spend more time with your friends.
Oh and don’t worry about repeating yourself either – my mum makes the best spring rolls and this is something her guests always look forward to whenever she hosts a party! I think there’d actually be a mini riot if she didn’t make them for our family parties now haha.
5. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate!
This goes hand in hand with #3 but still, it’s worth repeating – don’t try to do everything yourself!
Accept help from others – whereas they want to lend a hand in the kitchen, pass around appetizers or even bring a plate. Not only is it a great way to keep your stress levels down but it will also help people mingle and bond.
I hope you found these tips useful! Does your mum enjoy entertaining at home too? What tips did you learn from her?
Happy Mother’s Day!