Inviting people to our home (I still live at home with my family) is one my favorite things to do. I love hosting, planning, organizing, and watching my friends enjoy a fun time together.
I find much joy in creating a time and space for people to connect and have good, clean fun—so the work that goes into planning and hosting a dinner, game night, or party feels more than worth it to me.
Romans 12:13 encourages us to “contribute to the needs of saints and seek to show hospitality.”
But have you noticed that hospitality seems to have become a lost art? People just don’t invite people into their homes anymore. Our homes are more like quick rest stops rather than places we welcome people inside to build relationships.
My goal is to change that. I would love to see you open your home (or parents’ home), your apartment, or whatever space you have access to, and plan a time of fellowship for your friends and other people around you. You don’t have to have money, talent, or decorating skills to make it work. The goal is simply to use what you have to bless others.
I’ve been planning get-togethers for years now, and I’d love to share my favorite secrets to planning, hosting, and throwing a fabulous party. Here are a few tips!
Choose a Theme
I love themed game nights or get-togethers. Instead of just having a fall game night, my sisters and I recently threw a “Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice” fall-themed party. We made invites themed around fall colors and planned everything to follow that theme. This makes the planning process easier and also makes the game night extra fun and special for guests.
Choose the Group
It’s hard for people to get to know each other in massive group settings. (And it isn’t easy for me to plan activities for huge groups!) I’ve learned that it’s much better to plan events that are geared toward a specific group. You have to decide if your event will be for entire families, young people/singles, a few close friends, or new friends you’d like to get to know better. Pick the group of people you’d like to invite and plan to make the time fabulous for that group.
Remember that in Lies Young Women Believe, Nancy and Dannah encourage us to be more concerned with being a good friend than having the right friends. Keep their words in mind as you make your invite list.
If your focus is on who likes you, you’re not pursuing true friendship. If your focus is on who is asking you to hang with them, it’s all wrong. That’s not a spiritual mindset. Ask the Lord to help you be more concerned about who needs you than who likes you (p. 109, Lies Young Women Believe).
Send Out Simple Invites
Facebook event pages and text messages are my typical sources for inviting people to my parties. (I’ve basically given up on email because the responses are slower.) I can get instant responses through text, and I can send out quick reminders and updates without much complication. I’ll typically use an app like WordSwag to create a quick, cute, and simple invitation. I send out a picture of the invite and then include text with the details. It works so well!
Ask People to Bring a Side Dish or Dessert
Don’t try to do everything on your own. Kindly ask your guests to bring something to help with the night. Be specific with what you want them to bring and graciously remind them as the time gets closer to the event. I always ask my guests to bring a side or a dessert, and it’s a big help!
Send Regular Reminders
Not knowing who is coming to your party can be stressful. A head count is important for planning games and food. Don’t be afraid to ask for an RSVP. I’ll kindly remind people to RSVP multiple times if I don’t get a response.
An Outline for the Night
I love a good and detailed party schedule. Here is the general idea of my schedule for my Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice party.
- Everything (appetizers, drinks, games, etc.) completely ready to go.
- Name tags by front door. Sister by front door welcoming people as they come in.
- Fun music playing in the background to give a comfortable atmosphere.
- Guests arrive.
- Make them feel welcomed.
- Introduce them to other guests they may not know.
- Offer them an appetizer or drink.
Welcome everyone, and give a rundown for the evening. (It’s always important to make sure guests have a general idea of what to expect).
Ice breaker game! I always start every party with a fun, crazy, outside-the-comfort-zone type of ice breaker. It loosens the mood and makes everyone more comfortable.
Game time! I just Google all sorts of game ideas and then mix and match to make them perfect for my party. Games typically last about an hour.
- Thank everyone for coming. Let them know the agenda for the rest of the evening and welcome them to stay if they are able.
- Serve dessert, coffee, and pumpkin spice lattes.
- Encourage everyone to go outside by the fire pit to make s’mores and hang out.
- Enjoy time with the group, and let people socialize.
Kindly kick everyone out of the house so I can go to sleep! Haha!
If you would like more inspiration in this area, I encourage you to look through my family’s blog OhHappyHeights to read our party and game night blog posts. You can also check out my personal Instagram @BethanyBaird. I constantly post videos and pictures of my party happenings.
I would love to see a movement of young women planning, hosting, and throwing fabulous parties. As God’s people we need to be willing to open up our homes and welcome people in. I challenge you to be that person.
I’d love to answer your questions! Feel free to ask me anything to do with planning, hosting, and throwing parties in the comments section below.