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Your major checklist for home entertaining flawlessly
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Your major checklist for home entertaining flawlessly

Whether it’s a holiday, birthday, graduation or just a gathering of friends on a Saturday night, entertaining at home can be really fun - but also really stressful! Preparing a menu, figuring out seating and creating a vibe are all really important and can make or break the whole event. But, how can you host without breaking a sweat and still have quality time with all your guests? Never fear - with a few simple prep tips and a healthy timeline, you can entertain like a pro in your very own home!

Up to three weeks prior: Now that you’ve nailed down a date and invites have been sent, it’s time to create the theme! If you’re having a small gathering, this is the time to decide on your color scheme and ensure you have all the elements you’ll need to execute. If you need to place orders for balloons, a cake, catering, favors or other specialty details or décor, now is the time to get it done!

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Two weeks prior: Two weeks prior is where lots of finishing touches take place. Follow up with guests that have not RSVPed, finish up any DIY projects you may have started for the event (like name cards or custom menus!) and then get down to the nitty-gritty details. Now is the time to figure out where you will put coats and bags; where people will be eating both snacks and dinner; and ensure your menu has been solidified.

One week prior: Make your shopping list, because now it’s time to prep anything you may be cooking yourself. This is also the time to create a schedule of what needs to get cooked/warmed/served during the event, whether you are doing it yourself or have help. A deep clean of your home may also be on your agenda this week, as you can simply wipe-down leading up to the event. Now is also the time to set your home up the way you would like it to be showcased during the event, whether that means moving furniture or swapping out décor. 

Final checks should also be done during this week as well: Make sure your cooking and serving vessels are clean and accounted for; stock your bar; ensure everything ordered for the party has been delivered! 

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Now is also the time to make a playlist for the party that matches the energy and the style of the event. Bonus: You can play it yourself a few times to ensure it’s exactly what you want - and it will also get you excited to host!

One to three days prior: This is where the magic starts to happen! Give your house one last wipe down to ensure maximum cleanliness and then begin to decorate! Arrange chairs accordingly; purchase florals for arrangements if you are having them; ensure your cooking and serving schedule is on point and has not changed; and finish prepping and cooking anything you can prior to the gathering.

 Day of: It’s time to party! Finish cooking and decorating the morning prior to the gathering; one hour before, set out non-perishable snacks (and wrap tightly to keep them fresh!); get the music going, open that first bottle of wine and get ready to greet your guests! 

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