Wow, what a weekend. I feel like it’s too soon to be Sunday night because Saturday literally felt like a blur with all that planning and partying. Although I’m a little disappointed that tomorrow is Monday, I’m SO happy with how my housewarming party turned out and I’m already planning more parties in this apartment. Well planned parties are kind of my thing, considering I’ve been “planning” them since I was a kid. Every birthday party we had, whether it was for my brother or myself, I carefully “planned” alongside my parents. I had everything laid out in my little notebook: the type of candy, the quantities, the guest lists, and so on. I kind of dig being in charge, even if it’s only in my imagination as a six year old and on a piece of notebook paper no one will ever see.
Anyway, with that said, I wanted to give you five tips on planning your own housewarming party that are easy to implement but make a HUGE difference in the outcome of your event. Having people at your home for the first time can be TOTALLY stressful since you don’t really know what to expect. It’s a new place with a different vibe, maybe challenging parking, and perhaps one or two barren walls. But it can be amazing nonetheless and I want you to use my housewarming party as an example of how cleverness and effectiveness can go a long way.
Since I’m completely exhausted (thank you, SANGRIA), I’m going to keep this relatively short and sweet but I promise I won’t compromise on giving you high quality tips for hosting the housewarming party of your dreams. Please excuse the fact that there’s no photos of the actual event (I’m still getting a hang of this and sangria doesn’t mix well with good photography). Let’s dig in.
1.Consider Hosting a “Housewarming Potluck” Like I Did
I’m not usually a big fan of potluck parties since they remind me of baked beans and barbecues but it was a HUGE help to “outsource” the challenge of deciding what to eat to my friends. Not only was I able to focus on keeping the apartment clean and decorating, I also got to enjoy all their favorite foods in lieu of receiving a mountain of housewarming gifts.
To do this, I encouraged guests to bring their favorite dishes a long with a recipe card I could keep after the party. As someone who has never lived in my own apartment before, I wanted to learn how to make new foods inspired by the people I love and in the process of doing that, I saved money and made hosting the party a lot easier on me.
If you’re looking for a good way to engage your guests and save money, consider hosting a potluck. You might be surprised by the results (even if you hate baked beans)!
2. Wait a Few Months Before Inviting People Into Your New Home
In my experience, when we get really excited about something, we want to share it with our loved ones as soon as possible. It’s tempting to host a housewarming party right away, especially when there isn’t much else going on in our lives, but I encourage you NOT to. I moved into my apartment in January, so on top of it being cold as sh*t in the Northeast, it was also a really bad time to have a party with everyone settling in after the holidays and what not.
Even if that wasn’t the case, I know I wouldn’t have been ready to welcome people into my home. Moving is challenging. It means uprooting yourself and building a new life somewhere. You can rush it all you want but you can’t fake feeling settled. A successful housewarming party shouldn’t feel rushed for you or your guests; enjoy your home before you ask your loved ones to “warm” it. But take it or leave it, that’s just my two cents.
3. Give Good Thought to HOW You Want to Invite Your Guests
When I was planning this post, I was hoping to use tip #3 to rave about Evite. If you’re not familiar, Evite is a company that makes sending pretty invitations in the digital age possible without all that paper. With Evite, you can choose from hundreds of unique designs in premium and regular formats to invite your guests to a party. After sending the invitation, you have a personal forum you can use to send reminders to your guests, chat about the party, and share photos.
Personally, I think it’s an awesome alternative to paper invitations in the digital age, especially for small gatherings. Evite gives you the freedom to make your invitations “fancy” without the FANCY price tag. Premium invitations run for about $25 for 50 guests, which is a far cry from what you would pay for professionally-made paper invitations. You can even send free invitations which in today’s world, is the decorative equivalent to a text or email.
I think Evite is trying to solve an interesting problem in the digital age: how do you invite people to a party in a paperless world without abandoning formalities? As someone without Facebook (the only other real alternative I’ve heard people are using for invitations), I’ve often wondered this myself. For the past few parties I’ve hosted, I have relied on Evite to deliver my message stylishly and conveniently.
However, despite previous successes with Evite, this round seemed lackluster. Many of my invitees didn’t even see/open the invitation and it got me thinking about invitations in the digital age again. Is digital REALLY the way to go? Or is a good old paper invitation your best bet? My advice to you is to give serious thought to how you want to invite your guests so you don’t sabotage your chances of getting a whole lot more confirmed attendees. Every party (and family) is different so choose wisely!
4. Let It All Come Together Naturally and Don’t Be Afriad to Make-Do with What You Have
I’m a perfectionist, as you know, so it’s hard for me to let things go when life doesn’t go to plan. I like to have everything under control and coming prepared is one of my favorite pastimes. You can imagine the little terror I’ve been all week preparing for this party, knowing that my living room decorations are not quite up to my expectations party-wise.
I really had to remind myself this week to let things come together naturally. A lot will get done and… a lot won’t get done but that doesn’t mean it’s ALL HORRIBLE. In fact, not being perfect is the perfect (LOL) excuse to get clever and make do with what you have. For example, I used a “Cheers” balloon banner on a barren wall to hide the lack of art for my party. Although I’d prefer that the living room be completely decorated, it was fun finding ways to make the place look cute without looking perfect.
For your own housewarming party, remember to see the good before the bad and use creative means to make it the housewarming party you’ve always wanted to have.
5. Enjoy Your Family and Friends (And Take Good Notes on Who Is and Isn’t There for You)
It’s been a hard couple of months for me watching people I know and love become strangers due to conflicts, disagreements, and misunderstandings. Hosting this housewarming party, I knew there were going to be people who wouldn’t show and some that I would miss. At the end of the day, I had to be okay with that and remind myself to thank the people who truly love me for their constant efforts to be apart of my life.
It’s in these moments of darkness that we get to see who is truly there for us and who is just meh about their role in our happiness. I’m at a point in my life where I’m learning to focus on the people who love me and ignore the rest. It’s hard to have the energy for everyone’s BS all the time so for me, this party was an affirmation of something I already knew: to enjoy the people who never fail to make my day and to make my own happiness. That isn’t to say everyone who couldn’t make it doesn’t love me. It’s just that I don’t need the validation of others to know that I’ll have fun and be okay.
Wherever you are in your life, remember that the people who truly love you will be there. The rest will either have a really good excuse or they weren’t intending to be there in the first place. No matter what happens, have fun!
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