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Are you hosting a Friendsgiving this year? I’ve experienced my fair share and trust me they are a ton of fun! Well, that’s if you apply the secrets i’m sharing with you today on how to slay as a host. The goal is to always have your guests leave looking forward to the next one. Having had such a great time that they go around town telling people about the awesome time they had. The type of memories that you are proud to have pop back up on your Facebook feed for years to come. So much attention to detail that it’ s a no brainer when receiving more than one invite that your friends will be attending your Friendsgiving instead!

Somehow over the years I’ve made a name for myself from the type of events I host and how I go about ensuring my themes are unique and that my guests have a great time. I’ve been called on to plan events, to give advice, and to host. I’ve been put in charge of games and called upon to decorate. Quite frankly, event planning is my thing!

The Secrets to Slaying Your Friendsgiving

BUILD SOME HYPE

Okay, so ensuring that your guests get excited about your event is all in how you word your invite.

Sending out an invitation that say:

” You’re invited to come have dinner at this years Friendsgiving” or “Come have dinner with your friends”

IS BORING!!

You need to get them excited! If they are extended more then one invitation for Thanksgiving you need to make it easy for them to choose yours. This is easily done by creating a Friendsgiving theme.

For Example:

You’re Invited to Come Eat, Drink and be Thankful at This Years Friendsgiving! Come in Your Cutest Thanksgiving Socks! 

OR……You are cordially invited to this years Friendsgiving Orange Party! Come Photo Ready In Your Best Orange Attire!

Do you see what I did there? I gave the guests something to look forward to. I gave them a sneak peek of what’s to come. I alluded to the fact that it will be more than just dinner happening. So build some hype when extending your invites.

SEND THE INVITATIONS

Email Invites

Now that you have your invitation wording in order you need to actually send out the invites. You can send them by mail, email, text or social media! My favorite way to do this is by email using Evite. Evite is a digital platform that allows you to email invitations to your requested parties. They have tons of designs to choose from that are completely customizable. The platform helps you keep track of RSVP’s, you can create polls, you can make your guests list private, you can accept donations, add registry’s, and establish sign up lists in the event that your guest are required to bring something (i.e potlucks). I mean you can do it all! You can send reminders as the event approaches and even send or receive messages from guests in the event there are updates or questions.

Text Message Invites

My next favorite way to send out invites is via text messaging. There are two really cool Apps that I have used in the past to create some buzz. Sending invitations by text message is perfect if you are missing email addresses or you have friends who you know rarely checks their email but always have their phone in their hands.

The Apps are hobnob and Invitd. If you download the Evite App you can also send invitations by text message.

Mail Invites

Millennial’s don’t have time to waste money on envelopes or stamps! We are last minute, impromptu and don’t normally have time to wait on delivery. However, sending invitations by mail is an option for those that choose to. You can pick up store bought invitations but they won’t embody the excitement. If you decide to go this route create your own, print them out and then mail them!

Social Media Invites

These are my least favorite type of invites. Why? Because they are so impersonal. You can use them for big parties where you want to invite the masses but for events held in your home I think it’s not the best way to send invites. If your friends are truly your friends you should have their contact information outside of social media, a phone number, email address or physical address. An exception may be extending an invitation to an friend associate off social media who will be alone for the holidays and you have an extra place setting but other than that don’t bother!

DECORATIONS

Your home needs to get everyone in the holiday spirit. Whether it’s the smell of cinnamon and nutmeg candles, the sights of your beautifully decorated Christmas tree or your gorgeous Thanksgiving inspired tablescape you need to take your guests on the journey of the holidays. Small elements go a long way!

ADD A SURPRISE ELEMENT

You need to add some sort of surprise element to your gathering. In the past I have done wine tastings, chocolate tastings, Bingo, etc. I also like to do raffles. When your guests enter give them a raffle ticket. Then mid-event pull the raffle ticket that will get the lucky winner a small gift basket, bottle of wine or something similar.

Ideas to get you thinking:

  • Wine Tasting – Bring out your best wine glasses and create a wine tasting atmosphere. Do not serve in plastic cups! Ugh
  • Beer Tasting – This works great if your friends are more keen to beer versus wine. You can even do a beer tasting for the men and a wine tasting for the women.
  • Whiskey Tasting – If you have friends with more mature palates you can do a liquor tasting. This works well with Vodka and Gin too!
  • Chocolate Tasting – Grab some of the finest chocolates and create a sampling plate with score cards. You can even pair the chocolates with the wine for a Wine and Chocolate Tasting.
  • Cheese Tasting – Grab some gourmet  cheeses and let your guests sample. You can also pair the cheese with the wine for a Wine and Cheese Tasting.

Can you tell that I love “tastings”? They are the most easy, fun and entertaining thing to add for an element of surprise. I also love providing what we call bars or stations.

Ideas to get yo thinking:

  • Candy Bar
  • Mimosa Bar
  • Pie Bar
  • Cookie Bar
  • Sangria Bar
  • Fruit Station

These are all conversation starters! This will get people up and out there seat, mingling and having a great time.

GAMES

There is no Friendsgiving without games! Having some form of entertainment is a must! I remember when I surprised my guests with Bingo. They were so excited! I made sure that I had enough coins to make change for every one and we had a blast. They requested it at my annual event every year after.

This is the set I used.Some fun card games I’ve played recently that would be a huge hit are LCRCards Against Humanity, Black Card Revoked, and What Do You Meme.


Another fun entertainment staple that I’ve enjoyed is Karaoke! Who doesn’t love karaoke! I’ve used this one a couple of times and thought it was really fun.

This is the one I have experience with.

Lastly, I like interactive games that get people up and out their seats! There are some great minute to win it games out there. My suggestion is to roam Pinterest and select your minute to win it games based off of whether you have a remotely couples Friendsgiving, family oriented Friendsgiving or single ladies Friendsgiving. Whatever you select, just have a great time!

GIVE FAVORS

You should always give your guests a parting gift, just a trinket to say thank you for coming. It can be a box of chocolate, a candle, or scented seasonal lotions. It can even be just a thank you card!

PLAN FOR THE FUTURE

Don’t let your Friends slip away without planning what’s next! It can be pulling names for a future Christmas gathering gift exchange, setting a date to go feed the homeless, selecting the restaurant that will host your ornament exchange, deciding on a family in need to adopt for Christmas, or selecting who will host your vision board party for the new year.

I hope this lists of secrets I shared with you takes your Friendsgiving from BORING to BOMB! Enjoy your Holiday Season….Gobble, Gobble, Gobble!

What are some of your hosting secrets?

What are you waiting for!?! GO OWN YOUR FANCY!!!