The art of entertaining is one that not all of us have mastered. Being a good host is a skill that must be developed. Whether it be for a dinner party or a long weekend visit, here are the rules on what you should and shouldn’t do when you have company over.
1. Create a welcoming space
All hosts should make a sincere effort to create a warm and welcoming environment. Guest rooms should include fresh bedding, clean towels, storage space and some welcoming touches like a vase of flowers and a selection of magazines for bedside readings.
2. Unplug as Much as Possible
When entertaining, it’s important for you to stay off your phone as much as possible. Good hosts make their guests a priority and show this by putting their phones and other electronic devices away. This demonstrates that you’re engaged and are enjoying the company of your friends and relatives.
3. Keep Your Eye on the Clock
When hosting, it’s important that you respect the timelines of your guests. You can’t expect that your company keeps the same schedule as you, so it’s important that what time your visitors usually eat breakfast and what time they typically go to bed, so that you can allow for them to keep their schedule as consistent as possible.
4. Prepare Meals in Advance
Nothing is more frustrating for guest and hosts alike than having to cook food while visiting. If you plan your menu in advance, try to get as many of your meals prepared in advance so you have more time to spend with your company.
5. Have some background music
Set the tone for the festivities by playing some appropriate music. Allow guests the chance to play DJ by making the playlist easily accessible. Even better, ask one of your musically-inclined friends to bring their guitar and you might have a sing-a-long on your hands before you know it!
6. Ask your guests what they would like to do
If you haven’t planned any activities in advance, it’s important to ask your guests what activities they would like participate in so that you can ensure that everyone enjoys themselves when they come over to visit.
7. Double check dates
It’s a simple but often forgotten thing to do that could prevent potential scheduling disaster down the road. Make sure you confirm the dates of their visit with your guests in advance to avoid any miscommunication. This includes arrival date, time, and any other relevant travel information.
8. Save your best parking spots
9. Explain the quirks of your home
As part of your role of host, it’s your job to tell your guests any relevant information they need to know about your house before they even ask. Have a tricky toilet? Does one of your faucets have a leaky tap? Make sure to let your family and friends know ahead of time so they are aware of how everything works in advance. This will help them feel more comfortable.
10. Offer a warm welcome
Make sure you’re ready for your guests—regardless of the time they arrive! Even if your company is arriving later on in the night, make sure you’re ready for them with the lights turned on, candles lit and food and drinks ready to be offered.