Rules to Always Follow
When Tim and I first started putting together events and celebrations for family and friends there was a lot we didn’t realize we had to learn. Through our successes and failures, we now have a few rules that we always follow, no matter how big or small the occasion.
- Make lists for everything – It’s no fun to arrive at a cabin over 30 minutes from the closest civilization and realize that you forgot to bring the pasta for dinner that night. Or to find at the last minute that you need a hard-to-find ingredient for that special birthday cake. Doing a little planning up front can end up saving you a lot of headaches. You should consider whether you need a menu plan, shopping lists, decoration plan, packing list, guest list (download ours!), gift list, and/or activity plan, along with a schedule for pulling it all together. Use what’s comfortable to you for making your lists, whether that’s simple pen and paper or a fancy Excel file.
- Make sure your guests know what to expect – Hosting an open house with snacks for family who thought they were coming for a full dinner or having a child show up to your boat picnic without their life vest is disappointing for everyone involved. Regardless of whether you are inviting guests via Facebook, phone, or paper, take the time to carefully spell out what the occasion is, what type of refreshments you are serving, what the appropriate attire is, what you are providing, and what guests should bring, if anything.
- Make the venue welcoming – Whether it’s your home, a rented picnic pavilion, or anything in between, do your best to make sure your guests will feel welcome and comfortable. This might mean taking the time to do a deep cleaning, putting out citronella candles to keep bugs away, or simply being sure to stock extra toilet paper.
- Make sure it’s fun – While you of course want to make sure you provide a good time for your guests, you also want to make sure you enjoy hosting. Don’t plan a complicated menu that means you’ll be in the kitchen for hours while everyone else is playing ping pong and pool in the game room if you’d rather join in the fun.