How to Be a Gracious Host
How to Be a Gracious Host
by Melissa Nichols from Lovely-Vision.com
So you want to host an event at your house.
And people are coming over next week. A million things start going through your head: Do I need to feed them? I need to clean the house! How do I entertain them? Don’t freak out, this should be exciting! If you prepare yourself well, you’re sure to not only have a good time, but your guests will too!
It’s Okay, We All Get Nervous
With starting a new group and inviting new people over, it can seem overwhelming. How do you make them feel welcome and how do you get them to come back? These are common questions to ask yourself when hosting a group at your house, but don’t worry! It’s not quite as daunting at it seems! Whether you are having people over for a bible study or having a girl’s craft night, here are a few things you can do to allow your guests to feel welcome when they come over to your house:
Give Off The Cozy Vibes
It starts before the guests arrive. Put on some on some easy listening music in the background and light some candles. The atmosphere is not only about getting the house ready, but it’s about the feel of the room when they walk in. They should feel like you were expecting them and excited for them to come over. Of course you should make the house tidy, but focus on making it comfortable. This sets the tone for the evening. Ask yourself, how would I want to be treated as a guest? When you go over to someone’s house, what makes you feel comfortable and special?
Quick tip: If you have a pet, make sure to clean up their fur and vacuum. No one likes to sit down in their cute dress and get back up covered in fur!
Always Greet Them
Always try to greet your guests at the door. When they first come in the door, say something like, “So glad you’re here.” And thank them for coming. Ask them a question about their day, this allows them to immediately feel special and shows them you care. You invited them over because you want them to be there. Allow them to feel that way with your actions. As soon as someone comes in, show her where she can set her purse and if she has one, take her coat and hang it up.
Quick tip: Make sure to have a meet and greet time before starting the main event. This allows for women to know each other first and get comfortable with sharing and opening up.
Next, ask if they would like something to drink. Which leads to my next pointer: Have beverage options. Everyone has a different beverage of choice. Not everyone drinks coffee. (We won’t judge you if you don’t) Make sure to have a variety of options available such as: coffee, tea, wine, water, etc. Float around and try to get drinks for people. Let them know what you have regarding beverage and snack options and make sure to tell them to feel free to help themselves at anytime.
Crunch & Munch
If you can, provide snacks for girls to munch one while they are chatting. Make sure to include something sweet and something savory. Mostly quick grab snacks that are easy and don’t necessarily require silverware and plates.
Quick Tip: when people see food or drinks, they typically do not want to be the first one to partake. That is why it is key that you say, “Help yourself” or “Dig in”, which disarms the awkwardness of being the first one. It doesn’t leave them wondering, “That food looks good, but are we allowed to eat it yet?”
Conversation is Key
Keep things light & don’t ask personal questions, unless the situation calls for it. And usually, the initial meet and greet, is not the time. You want everyone to be able to contribute to the conversation so try to not bring up things that the others have nothing to say about.
Now you have to be a bit of a multi-tasker here. Remember: greet people but try not to spend too long talking to one person if another gal shows up. You want everyone to feel included in the conversation. If some people do not know each other, make sure to introduce them! Start it off by telling them how they know each other.
Where Do I Sit?
Don’t leave your guests to wonder, “Where do I sit?” Make sure to show them if it is not clearly visible. After everyone has met and grabbed their drinks and snacks, direct them to the main area where everyone will be. Explain what you will be doing and take this opportunity to open up and share why you have invited everyone there and your purpose for the gathering.
Leave The Clean Up For Later
Your goal is for your guests to relax, try to not start cleaning until after they have left. When you clean up in front of the guest, they feel obligated to either start helping, or offer to help. If you say something like, “No, no sit down and relax.” This can tend to make them feel awkward sitting there while you clean. Don’t worry about the clean up and let the clean up worry about itself. In other words, it’s okay to leave it for tomorrow!
Relax & Have Fun!
When you are relaxed and enjoying yourself, the others around you will follow suite and relax as well. One of the best things you can do is don’t put to much pressure on yourself and have fun! This will put everyone in your home at ease.
Hosting does come with it’s set of challenges and nerves! I hope these tips help you feel more confident the next time you host! Which tip do you think was the most helpful to you and which one will you try next time? Let us know in the comments below!