A Simple Guide To Hosting A Housewarming Party
Housewarming parties are a great way to introduce your new local to your friends and family, show off your new digs with pride, and christen your home with good times for a joyful future. Hosting can be fun, but stressful if planning and preparation didn’t go well. So, is there a housewarming guide to make it simple and carefree? You bet there is!
Read more to discover our helpful housewarming party planning tips and ideas, and raise a glass to toast your new hosting skills made easy.
Need to get funds for ambitious plans? You’ll need a Collection Pot!
Relaxing atmosphere and setting the mood
Whether you choose a theme for your party or let your new home be the star of the show, you should first consider the atmosphere and what sort of party you want to create for your guests.
Wait until you’re settled in
The ambience will be relaxed if you throw your party after you have settled into your new place, so set the party date for when you are ready for the guests to arrive, not because of an opening in the calendar.
Timing and preparation
The last thing you want is to rush the planning and preparation time because this will cause you stress and that could carry over into the party vibe. What time of day works best for you? Think about the season, does it get dark early? Do you want to have the party outside, or inside, or have a nice indoor / outdoor flow for your guests to choose from? If you set a time range for your party, you and your guests will be able to better plan around your event and bonus, you can sidestep the awkward dance between wanting to close up shop and the overstayer friend who likes to be last at the party.
Are you having an open-home style housewarming or a set time for all of your guests to be present? How long do you want your party to last? For the afternoon or the entire evening? Think about seating and the food you might provide when deciding when to have your guests over.
Is it going to be a breezy afternoon tea party with chintzy tablecloths, a tea and lemonade station, and a lovely selection of sweet and savoury finger foods, like mini quiches and macarons? A games or movie evening with popcorn, sweets, and a barbeque? Or are you going to go all out with a fancy, intimate dinner for a select few? Or have a cocktail party? Or simply a BYOB?
Whichever style you choose, make sure you feel comfortable with it. It is great to have goals, but don’t be too ambitious when it comes to what you can deliver. The last thing you want is to be so stressed and busy that you can’t enjoy spending time with your guests.
Food and snack selection
Do you want to serve a meal plus dessert and coffee or just nibbles and finger foods? If you want to have an afternoon party, set your time for after lunch and before dinner with a set time range, so you can provide snacks without disappointing people who were expecting a meal. Of course, if you are serving a meal, you will need to think about the layout, such as a buffet and self-serve bar, and extras like seating, place settings, cutlery, glassware, instead of paper plates, napkins and solo (plastic, disposable) cups.
Food allergies and sensitivities
Your guests may have allergies or special dietary requirements. When planning the menu or trays of food, ensure you have asked everyone if they need any special accommodations, and have a couple of choices for those with set requirements throughout the party.
Either way you go, label your food dish names and list the main ingredients on the card, just in case someone hasn’t mentioned some foods they are sensitive to or really dislike. This will help avoid the nasty surprise of finding a cocktail napkin stuffed between your cushion with half-masticated hors d’oeuvres inside that you spent a couple of hours making because you were just certain everyone would like them.
Variety of choice
If you have a food variety of sweet, savoury, healthy and natural, colourful, fresh and homebaked items, your guests will be satisfied. There are also so many food sites with fun party dish ideas. Take some time to pick a few signature foods and beverages you might want to offer. Don’t forget to stock the drinks fridge and top up the bar.
How big or small of a party do you envision hosting? Do you imagine handwriting individual, thoughtful and sweet invitation notes or sending printable invitations by mail? Or are you game to embrace modern technology and use a digital app to e-vite your guests and manage RSVPs from your mobile?
If you choose an app, consider one that doesn’t make your guests join up and have to create their own logins. Nobody wants that headache. There are applications, such as Punchbowl, Evite, and Paperless Post to choose from tons of customisable templates, or you can use Canva and create your own.
Save the date
If you are hosting your party during a busier time of the year, you might want to plan ahead with a ‘save the date’. Add a link to people’s digital calendars to avoid you and them missing out on each other’s company. Let them know you’re throwing a housewarming party and that they are invited!
We briefly mentioned indoor and outdoor flow, and you will want to think about your space and how people will be able to move about and mingle with others. Do you have enough space for any activities planned, or extra seating you might need? The idea is to create a space that doesn’t feel cramped or cluttered. You may have to consider limiting your guest list or choosing a drop-in style of party plan depending on your physical space allowance. If space is no object, then great!
You can rent a classy marquee, pagoda or awning if you don’t have one, in case there is excess sun or rain and put extra seating and tables outside for bigger parties and to create more covered space. Adding a garden structure adds another element to the indoor and outdoor flow which is great for parties.
Decorating the party space should be done sparingly and thoughtfully to provide a tasteful, festive feel. You don’t want to take up too much of the open area, let alone divert the eye from the true heroes of the party, you and your new home. Remember the adage ‘less is more’!
Some pretty tablecloths, matching serviettes, and a table runner are a nice touch, but it ultimately comes down to your personal style and the type of party you’re planning to throw. If you need help visualising your ideas or want more ideas, Pinterest is always a great place to start looking for party décor concepts.
The special touch
Some fresh flower arrangements are always lovely and can add a pop of colour and natural fragrance too. Don’t forget some ambient music to suit the mood and some soft lighting for the more intimate occasions. If making a playlist is not your thing, ask your guests to add three favourite songs with their RSVPs and voilà! You have an instant party mix tailored to you and your guests.
However, the main advice for our host is to relax and enjoy yourself. Surround yourself with the people you love or, at least those you really like, and they will likely take care of you too by refilling your glass or rolling up their sleeves when it’s time to help you clean up.
Housewarming parties don’t have to be stressful when you’ve got all your planning in place, but why not relieve part of the financial burden of hosting too? Put a stop your guests guessing what to get you and create a Collection Pot. Allow your friends and family to add into the Pot and then you get to choose how and where to spend it. Whether you want it to go towards the cost of hosting or perhaps for that really expensive coffee machine you have been saving up for, it is totally up to you.