Ready, Set, Host: 7 Tips for Last Minute Hosting

The season of impromptu social gatherings is here. Sometimes we have time to plan every tiny detail in advance. Sometimes, everything is organized in just a few hours. Either way, the main point is to have fun, drink and eat, so let’s see how to play the perfect host.

Make it warm and inviting

Daily upkeep will make this process a lot easier. So, if you have a party in mind, but don’t have the exact date, make sure it is tidy every day. If the party is set to happen at the last minute, you’ll be ten minutes away from having a party-ready place. It does not have to be perfect, but it must be clean. Remove everything that is out of its place. Think about the first impression – what are the things guests notice first? Then, focus on those details. Also, add a few festive touches like candles to set the mood. Hanging string lights will be a nice festive detail, as well.

Music is your best friend

Music sets the mood for every party. It is what keeps those negative conversation pauses more bearable. Even the last-minute entertaining is incomplete without a playlist, so make sure you have one ready. It should have a bit of everything, from upbeat tempo, latest hits to the all-time favorite songs. People don’t care about the centerpiece on the table as much as they care about the music. Moreover, they want to have fun. Dancing or singing along to your favorite tunes is a way to make some great memories. If this gathering is more of a calm get together, make sure to play jazz in the background. Whatever you choose, make sure it plays during the entire evening.

Keep your cool in case of unexpected plus ones

Some of the people invited might bring a plus one along, and it can be someone you don’t know. Some people know how to handle the presence of unexpected guests, some are indifferent, while other people feel nervous when there’s someone they never met before. These things happen and it is nothing to lose your cool about. Introduce yourself and treat them as any of your other guests. This chance encounter might become a friendship so be the best host you can be.

Drinks should be plenty

Drinks are always the ice breakers during any gathering. People love to exchange stories over drinks, meet over coffee so it is an integral part of every social gathering. Stock up on things you know your guests drink. Include both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Since you can’t buy it all, get those universal drinks like the vine, vodka, gin, soda, and sparkling water. Put some lemon, orange and lime slices on the side as these can add flavor to any drink. You can also make this party pop out by making a signature cocktail. Pick something vodka-based and fruit-flavored that can be easily refilled as the night goes by.

Serve a variety of finger foods

If a party is bound to happen at the last minute, you don’t have time to prepare a seven-meal course. Finger food is the lifesaver in this situation. Mix cheese with baguette, tomato with baguette, bacon with baguette and even quesadillas. Pick a few recipes that can be refilled easily during the evening. Have something for people who don’t eat meat and serve a platter of fruit for those who are always on a diet

Queen should be there too

Party, celebration or a quiet get together is incomplete without a dessert. This sweet treat is always the peak of the evening and to be honest, everyone expects one. A slice of cake is a mood booster as the sugar enhances the release of endorphins. Since this party happens at the last minute, you can avoid disappointing your guests and order a cake online. Bear in mind that some guests have a sweet tooth more than others but might be ashamed to ask for another slice. In order to make everyone happy, serve cake in the form of cake bites. For extra thoughtful presentation, cut it up into cubes equal to one or two bites and stick a toothpick in the middle. This way people can easily take as many bites as they want during the course of the evening.

The conversation should never end

The conversation is bound to pause at some point. A good host will have a few conversation starter topics hidden somewhere in his sleeve. Prepare some topic ideas like the what is the latest movie a person would recommend, questions like either or (Would you go to the Bahamas or Maldives?) and other conversational topics. This will light a spark to any dying conversation easily and make the party a success.

The last point we have to make is to just relax and enjoy yourself, even if it’s not perfect. A holiday party or an unexpected guest arrival can be enjoyable even if it’s been planned at the last minute. Enjoy!