Posted by Aaron and Ashley Wilcox in Home Design

​Hosting comes naturally to some. To others, that balance of creating an enjoyable evening for friends while enjoying the evening yourself is a struggle. We have a couple tips help you attempt both!

1. Size

​Think about the size of space you will have. Fill it, but don’t overfill it. Keep your group manageable.

  • Cost: You want to treat your guests well without over extending yourself financially.
  • Time: Consider how much time you want to visit with each guest.
  • Preparation: What can you realistically manage preparing for number of people invited?
Covered Patio

2. Music

Hosting a brunch for your girlfriends will require a much different playlist than a paella party in the backyard. It’s important to create an experience using all senses.

3. Food (And Food Allergies)

If restaurants are adjusting to food allergy-friendly menu items, so should a good host. If you don’t already know of any allergies in play, reach out to your guests individually. Be prepared to create a meal that is appropriate for all types of allergies.

4. Environment

Are you hoping for easy conversation? An easy barbecue and eating under the open sky might be your best option. If you are inviting a mixed group and hoping for new relationships to be made, consider hors d’oeuvres and drinks in different rooms, forcing people to walk around.

5. Plan

​Good planning relieves stress: what can be made ahead of time, the day before, up to the hour before. Cleaning the house ahead of time and pulling out your dishes the night before can help avoid last-minute stress.

*Bonus Tip: If your guests offer to bring something, graciously accept. A good host can do it all, but a gracious host invites people to be a part of the experience.

Cheeseboard for Party

Recreate This Grilled Paella Party


This recipe feeds six; invite accordingly.

Cost varies based on cost of seafood, but plan for around $60.

Prep time: 20 minutes / cook time: 35 minutes.

All ingredients can be measured and chopped ahead of time.

Set each ingredient in a different bowl so it’s easy to pour.

​2. Music

Think hot summer, Motown, or even something with a Spanish feel to go along with the dish.

3. Food

Make sure guests don’t have a seafood allergy; you can always switch out seafood for chicken or veggies.

4. Environment

This party is best in the backyard around the grill. The cook can easily participate in conversation while manning the grill, drink in hand.

5. Plan

​Shop, clean, and pull dishes the night before. You will only need to set aside time to prepare ingredients the day of.

​Enjoy your company, the weather, and the amazing food you’ve prepared!

Guests Sitting By Grill on Patio

Source: Kaufman Blog


Aaron and Ashley Wilcox


Aaron and Ashley Wilcox's collaborative blog project is called "Ginger and Birch." By day, Aaron is a surgery resident and Ashley is a graphic designer. They share a love for hosting people in their home and cooking good food. They believe sharing meals creates authentic community and gives a chance for real conversation to be had.

What Is a Tray Ceiling?

What Is a Tray Ceiling?

Home Design

Buying a New Construction Home: Do You Need a Real Estate Agent?

Buying a New Construction Home: Do You Need a Real Estate Agent?

Home Buying