Since Mother’s Day just passed, and I hosted 13 people for brunch that day I thought I’d share with you my tips on how to make it as stress-free as possible.
1. Tidy up your house the prior week.
I had gotten really behind on housework the week leading up to the brunch and did not have everything as tidy as I would’ve liked. That meant I was scrambling to clean, along with cook right up to the first knock on the front door. The food portion was the easy part.
2. Make a plan.
It’s far better to over plan and nix a few things than to have no plan at all and forget things. When I started planning brunch, I originally wanted to make those cute succulent cupcakes on Pinterest. That was quickly crossed off the list. I wrote down the guest list, what I wanted to serve, what things I could make ahead, and the grocery list. As the old adage says, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
3. Cut a few corners.
Or in my case, most of the corners. Don’t be afraid of box mixes or pop-open biscuits. When you’re cooking for a group, sometimes quick and simple is better so you can just relax and enjoy the time of fellowship.
4. Make what you can in advance.
Breads and biscuits will hold for a day or more. You can also make things ahead and freeze them (like I have done with my most recent batch of scones). I cooked my bacon in the oven probably 3 days out and kept it refrigerated.
5. Borrow, don’t buy.
I have a ton of stuff for hosting meals from our SCA adventures and the wedding. Honestly, they are a bit of a pain to store. If you don’t have something, check with a friend! There were a few things I borrowed like my mother’s coffee pot. Yupp. I don’t own one. Well, I do own a pour over pot, but for this many people, it was not going to work. I also borrowed her 2-tier pie rack to serve plates of cinnamon rolls.
6. If you do buy, buy cheap.
I love the Dollar Tree. I had this carafe that I bought a while back at TJ Maxx, and when I was at the Dollar Tree recently I found the exact same one. For $1 I snagged two and had a mini juice bar!
7. Presentation is key.
See number 5. I have a ton of hosting stuff. The majority of that though is rustic wooden trenchers and baskets. When we have company, I pull out our long wooden trencher and fill it with snacks like pretzels and Wheat Thins. Biscuits and baked goods go in baskets lined with flour sack tea towels. It’s quick, easy, simple, and I think it’s pretty.
7. Figure out seating in advance.
I didn’t bring up extra seats on some bad advice until after people had started getting food and finding seating. I wish I would’ve gone with my gut and brought up extra chairs earlier. I also wish that I just owned folding chairs. Our families are so large when they are together that seating is always a struggle.
Don’t make it obvious that you’ve done a ton of work. Be gracious and enjoy your time with your guests. Dishes will wait to be cleaned, and if something doesn’t turn out quite right, it’s ok. It’s the company and the feelings they had on that day they will remember!
What are your best easy hosting tips? Help a girl out and let me know in the comments below!