Ready, Set, Host: 5 Functional Tips for Last Minute Entertaining

We’ve spent weeks bookmarking ideas to take holiday hosting to the next level. An elegant water bar or well-styled tablescape will instantly elevate a festive gathering – but what if you lack the luxury of fore-planning?

This guide to last minute entertaining from the ladies of Darling Magazine is guaranteed to offset the stress of impromptu hosting. Study these five tips for creating an atmosphere of comfort and ease, and rest easy knowing you’re prepared for anything this crazy season throws your way!

Keep Your Casa Clean. Always have your home ten minutes from ready. This requires a bit of daily upkeep, but makes a world of difference for hosting unexpected guests. Instead of needing to Tazmanian-devil your way through a cleaning spree, keep the common living space free from clutter or mess. That way, the only things that need immediate attention will be leftover dishes in the sink or countertops to wipe down. Staying on top of those larger-mess-tasks will keep stress levels to a minimum.

Have A playlist on lock. Music sets the mood, and when you don’t have time to think about choosing the perfect list, it’s helpful to keep a few in your back pocket. With impromptu gatherings it’s best to stay on middle ground, meaning nothing too disco but nothing too drearily slow, either. Think easily enjoyable acoustic or jazz and you’re on the right track.

Always Have a Bottle chilling. It may be challenging to know the drink preferences of all your guests ahead of time, but a simple solution is to keep a bottle of Prosecco chilling in the fridge at all times. It’s a middle-of-the-road beverage as far as people’s tastes are concerned and it’s not as precious as champagne. Serving up glasses upon arrival is a sweet way to kick off the gathering.

Stash serve-ready Bites. Stocking a fridge for the perfect charcuterie board is costly, not to mention trying to keep perishable items on hand for any unforeseen events means a lot of spoiled food. So opting for an array of frozen desserts is the easiest and most economical option. Things like macarons or mini cheesecake bites are both aesthetically pleasing and endlessly delicious.

Light Up those candles. Scented candles are a simple touch that creates an inviting ambiance . Place one candle in the living area – but not directly next to food – and another in the bathroom. Choose seasonal scents that are recognizable but not overpowering. It’ll be the finishing, subtle touch that encourages guests to relax. Check out a few non-toxic faves here!

Are there any other hostess tricks you use when preparing for unexpected guests?
Let us know below…

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