The Entertaining issue
Make Guests Feel at Home

10 Ways to Make Your Guests Feel at Home During Any Event

Whether you're hosting a big holiday gathering, a low key dinner party, or anything in between, as a host, you want your guests to enjoy the festivities and feel comfortable throughout the event.

Making this happen can involve everything from preparing a special dish for someone who has dietary restrictions to setting up an extra plate for a plus one. But no matter what approach you take, making your guests feel at home will ensure your events are always at the top of their list.

Read on for the 10 best ways to make your guests feel at home during any event.

1. Find Out Their Favorite Drinks and Foods

Make your event a memorable night for all your guests, especially when it comes to the food and drinks you serve. Whether you're catering or preparing the food yourself, you want to make sure that every dish is a crowd pleaser for all. Ask for your guest's favorite food and drinks in advance. This way you'll be able to craft a menu that everyone will enjoy.

2. State the Dress Code

We've all been invited to a party with no clear indication of what to wear. Prevent that uncertainty for your own guests by clearly stating the dress code from the moment you send out invites. Be as specific as you can, and consider giving examples. Whether it's a cocktail party or a casual soirée, you want your guests to feel confident and comfortable with their outfits. Nobody wants to show up over-dressed or under-dressed.

3. Ask Guests for Dietary Restrictions

Go the extra mile and ask for dietary restrictions from your guests before they arrive. This way, you can make sure everyone is able to enjoy the spread. A small gesture like this can go a long way and make everyone feel welcomed (and satisfied). Your guests will genuinely appreciate the thoughtfulness and effort.

4. Store Personal Belongings Safely

Nobody wants to casually throw their belongings in a corner of your home or have to dig through a pile of coats and bags when they're trying to leave. Creating a designated space to safely store your guests' belongings, whether it's an unused closet or the guest room, will give everyone peace of mind. Take it a step further by preparing paper tags with your guests' names. These can then be attached to their belongings to ensure no one leaves with the wrong coat or bag.

5. Make Space for Everyone

Sometimes, it's hard to plan for exactly how many people will show up to your event, so being prepared for potential extra guests is key. If your home is on the smaller side, consider setting up high-top tables so people can stand around, chat, and enjoy the little bites. This creates more room for people to jump from one table to another without having to worry about claiming a chair. If you're lucky enough to have a spacious home, plan ahead to see what kind of arrangement may be suitable for your event. From round tables to one long rectangular one, consider what works for the amount of guests you may have and how intimate you want it to be.

6. Create Conversation Starters

If you're inviting different groups of friends and family and they may not know each other very well, there's no need to worry. There are many ways to help spark conversations or encourage your guests to introduce themselves to one another. As guests start to arrive, give them a number between one and five and set up number markers throughout your place, so they know where to go. From there, you can hand out conversation cards to get the conversations going without the awkwardness of them having to come up with questions or make small talk.

7. Check in Throughout the Night

As your guests start to settle in, make your rounds to check in with different groups to see if they need anything. Some guests may be too shy to come up to you directly, so checking in can make a real difference. You'll get the chance to chat with all of your guests, and they will get the chance to make any needed requests.

8. Set the Mood With Music

To create a truly one-of-a-kind atmosphere, curate a designated playlist by asking your guests their favorite songs. This gives your guests the chance to feel involved with the music they're listening to during the event and could help encourage them to step on the dance floor if they hear a favorite tune.

9. Adjust the Temperature

Keep your temperature well-adjusted throughout the event, so guests aren't shivering or breaking a sweat. If the room starts to get stuffy, open some windows (or the door if you have a backyard or balcony space) to keep the air flowing. Let your guests know that they're more than happy to step outside to get some fresh air if it feels too warm, and in the colder months, prepare a stack of blankets or heaters to keep guests cozy and toasty.

10. Prepare a Guest Room

It's always a good idea to prepare a guest room if you have the space, so you can accommodate any last-minute overnight stays. Be sure to clean the room beforehand, provide fresh linens, and stock the bathroom with essentials so everything is ready if the room needs to be used.