There’s no better way to share the excitement of a new home than with a housewarming party. To host the perfect housewarming party, all you need to remember are three things: you want your guests to be comfortable, entertained and satisfied. With those in mind, here are our must-haves for throwing a remarkable party.
The guest list: When we throw housewarming parties for our clients, we love to invite a good mix of friends, family, and coworkers. People are so busy these days – including yourself – that trying to host multiple parties is sometimes unrealistic. The key here is to consider the size of your house and invite the right amount of people to accommodate the space.
The invites: Call us traditional, but we believe paper invites trump an Evite any day. Mailed invites are more personal and can serve as a good reminder if hung on the fridge. Not to mention, you might have friends or family that don’t check email.
A good rule of thumb is to send invites a month and a half in advance of the party to avoid people’s calendars filling up. We encourage you to include a RSVP date so you can plan for food and drink accordingly.
The menu: When it comes to the menu, keep it simple. Don’t attempt new recipes, make anything that requires too much prep/cook time or is too far out of the realm of “normal” food where your friends would be terrified to try it.
It’s good practice to plan your menu in advance. Make sure to provide heavy hors d’oeuvres especially if you’re serving alcohol so people are full and satisfied. Be mindful of dietary restrictions; include a few vegetarian items, gluten free choices and a chicken option. Keep in mind that bite size or “pickable” foods are best so people can eat while chatting or standing.
If the idea of planning and preparing a menu sounds intimidating, we suggest hiring a caterer who can take care of it all.
The drinks: Treat your guests to a variety – beer, liquor, wine, water and soda are “musts” at any party. Generally we serve a few beer selections (try a few craft and a few domestic varieties), wine that will fit any menu or cuisine (both red and white) as well as different types of alcohol with plenty of mixers to choose from. If you don’t want to hire a bartender, our favorite thing to do is to have drink stations that make it easy for guests to pour their own drinks.
The house: Setting the tone and the ambiance is important for a housewarming party because this is when you get to show off your house. Too often we have gone to a housewarming party where all of the lights are turned off. People are planning on touring your new home so make sure the lights are on and people feel invited to check out your space. Candles are also great for making your house warm and welcoming and can be used in high traffic areas such as the kitchen and bathroom to help direct people.
Which brings us to the next step: planning the layout. We recommend keeping food and drink separate so people don’t congregate in one area. Also, create an inviting seating area.
And don’t forget to clean your house! Do a deep clean a few days before the actual party and on the day of, do a cleanup of the counters, bathrooms and seating areas.
Details: Although it sounds odd, we sometimes use name tags at our housewarming parties. That way, if you have a mix of guests, they will feel more open to talking to new faces and won’t be afraid of forgetting names.
Then there are the often-overlooked details. For instance, if it’s the middle of winter or it’s been raining all day, don’t forget coat racks and shoe trays for muddy and wet clothing.
Lastly, be mindful of your new neighbors! Let your guests stay as long as they want but be sure to turn down the music and dim the lights as not to disturb them if your party runs into the night.
We have plenty of experience hosting successful and fun housewarming parties – we actually throw housewarming parties for clients that buy a house from us! We send the invites, bring the food and drink, and even serve it all ourselves.