Hospitality 101: Guide to Hosting an Outdoor Party

Awesome post from Kaufman Blog…we had to share! 

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

1. SIZE: Think about the size of space you will have. Fill it, but don’t over fill 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?

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

3. FOOD ( + food allergies ): Food allergies are becoming more widely accepted. If restaurants are adjusting, so should a good host. If you don’t already know, 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 // 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.

{ Recreate this Grilled Paella Party }

1. SIZE: This recipe feeds six, invite accordingly

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

TIME: prep time 20 minutes / cook time 35 minutes
Preparation: 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 (recipe here).

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.

6. ENJOY! Enjoy your company, the weather and the amazing food you’ve prepared!

Ginger & Birch is a collaboration between Aaron & Ashley Wilcox. 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.

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