About two months ago we moved into our new home in Arnold, MD, so now it is time to celebrate it, warm it up and let our friends see what we have done. It is the first home my husband and I have owned together, which makes it even more special to us. We want to give it a great warm welcome and fill it with all of our favorite people. The work we want to do on our home will take years and years, but that doesn't mean the party shouldn't happen now.
We are expecting around 40 people to our housewarming BBQ, which may seem somewhat daunting to some people. However, if you take the time to plan correctly and don't try to over do it, it should just be fun! Here is some of the advice I have for your own housewarming party or any large party really, that you are throwing at your home.
Tip #1: Don't over invite. 40 people may sound like a lot, but we have the space for everyone. Especially since it is summer and we will spend most of the day outside. Don't invite more people then your party or house can handle. It will just feel crowded. Also don't invite more people then you can handle. Know what number you feel comfortable with and stick to it. There are always going to be more people that you can add, but stay strong and stick to your number.
Tip #2: Set realistic goals. As I mentioned, there is years worth of work that we want to do to our house but the housewarming is happening now. A month before the party, my husband and I sat down to make a list of all the items each of us wanted to have done by the party. For the most part we have stuck to the list and are on track to have everything checked off. That makes us feel good about what we have accomplished, instead of thinking about all of the things that we still want to do.
Tip #3: Don't get carried away. With websites like Pinterest and the millions of blogs that are available today, our minds are constantly filled with inspiration. We think about all the things we want to do next time we have a party. Don't try to do it all. Pick a couple of your favorite ideas that fit into your party and just stick to those. Sure we all want to have an ice cream Sundae station, shabby chic furniture sitting area, a fun land for kids and a create your own martini area but we don't need to have it all. One of the ideas I really like, that is also very functional, involves setting up the food. Cover the table where the food will be placed with craft paper and leave some markers. When your guests arrive they can set their dish down and write next to it what it is so everyone knows.
Tip#4: Kids don't need a million toys. A lot of our friends will be bringing their young kids with them. We are still a household without kids, so I felt I should buy things to keep them entertained. I asked one of my friends who is coming and she gave great advice. "The kids will mostly entertain each other. Get juice boxes and bubbles because they are universally enjoyed and otherwise don't worry about it." So that is what I am going to do. The menu is already both kid and adult friendly, so I am not worried about that part. Kids don't need a whole fun land. Just get a few simple things and they will keep themselves entertained.
Tip#5; Don't do it all yourself. As a chef I have the urge to cook all of the food for the party, but there is not need to. First off it would be a huge expense to feed and buy drinks for 40 people. Second, it would take a lot of time. Instead we will have the basic drinks available, we are cooking the protein options and I will have a side and dessert. The rest will be filled in by our friends and family. Most people do not have a problem bringing a dish to a party and in fact many people feel rude if they don't bring anything. Keep your guests from feeling rude and tell them flat out to bring a dish to pass.
Just remember through out the whole process that you are putting the party on because it will be fun. Don't let stress take the fun out of it for you or your guests will feel it too!