Tips For Making Guests Feel Welcome In Your Home
Making your guests feel welcome in your home is an art that is easy to master. From the time you open the door and invite your guest in to the time they leave, these are simple tips that make a real difference on the comfort level a guest will experience when you welcome them into your home.
A Nice Greeting. A nice greeting goes a long way. Your visitor may have had a rough drive, or a rough day. A simple greeting can help them focus on the event. It may not be convenient, but not allowing guests to linger outside the door for too long is a good way for them not feel cast out from the get go. If you feel you may be too busy to see and welcome everyone upon arrival, ensure your close entourage or family are available and informed to answer the door and greet the guests. Its obvious, but a reminder is a good idea in this case. Some light music can also help.
Show your pearly whites! The host with the most is always smiling, and all their guests automatically feel welcome. My brother is known for being an amazing host. I have always seen him welcome his guests with a greeting. And like clockwork, a few moments later, he’ll offer to make each new visitor a drink. This is a nice trick I picked up from him. If you start with a drink and directing your guests to the appetizers, they can start munching, and get into the party mood even faster. You can also learn a lot just by looking around ever so often. You’ll want to train yourself to do this if you don’t already. If your guests are smiling with a drink in hand and a plate of munchies, you can be assured it will be a great night. If you see people with a puzzled look or people rubbing their arms you may need a quick check. For instance, we’ve had our AC break down during a dinner party once, so we had to get the fans going pretty quickly. The key to maintaining a good mood is maintaining a good smile, and with it an accommodating attitude.
Significance and Contribution. According to Anthony Robbins, Significance and Contribution are two of the 6 basic human needs. Now that you’ve already made your guest feel significant with a gracious welcome, you can move on to allowing them to contribute. Never feel shy about asking for help. Moreover, don’t try to do it all yourself. Share the love around. Take advantage of this human need to contribute and assign duties that you don’t want to do yourself – If you’re not much of a dishwasher, assign a “Washing Dishes” task. You can assign it to your nephew who may be a college student with no time/place to cook. Setting the table can also be a task you assign (unless you’re “Type-A”, like me, and want to ensure the table is set just right to your liking). A good thing you can do with Potluck Buddies is create a “Tasks” category on your menu and either request for task volunteers or assign specific tasks to specific people. You may want to assign setting the table to a creative person who will set your napkins, coasters, and other items in a sensible manner. Of course, you can also assign food dishes to specific people. I like to assign rice to my friend Renae. She makes it perfectly every time. (Mine is usually too mushy.) I can’t be great at everything. *Sigh*
Kitchen Comfort. Review your final list before the party, so you can figure out fridge space, what will need the oven, and what will need the microwave. If you’re using Potluck Buddies to plan your potluck party, you’ll know who is bringing what so this should be even easier! The most common party problem my husband and I have seen is the moment when you run out of ice! So, make sure to always have a big cooler handy and fill it with ice before guests start to arrive. Also, be sure to have an ice scooper near the cooler, so people aren’t using their hands.
Use Fancy dishes. You don’t have to break out the fine China for each and every person, unless you want to of course. Even if you want to use disposable or simple stacked dishes for individual servings, fancy serving trays can help make the serving station even more appealing. For getting fancy serveware on the cheap try TJMAXX or Home Goods. No, they are not paying me, I just really love them. They usually sell a Silverina line of glass bowls that are really nice. (They’re more expensive on Amazon based on my last search.) The one in the pic is from TJMaxx. I got it for only 12 dollars!
Steady & Ready: Keep whatever you can on low in the oven.. I love that trick. Sometimes I’ll order from a restaurant, place in fancy dishes and stick it in the oven on 200. It’s great because you can take it out and immediately place it on the table. P.S. – Remember to keep your oven mitts handy! I usually have my serveware decided for appetizers and dinner items. Even during Thanksgiving, when we use large foil trays, I don’t plan out the serving trays, but I do ensure I have a general idea as far as what table I will serve my appetizers, main meal, as well as dessert. If serving on a dining table, keep your coasters handy or on the table. Depending on size of the potluck party, I will use my granite counter tops as a serving station.
Kids. If you have plenty of seating you’re fine but growing up in a large family, we learned to make do. I usually keep a large plastic tablecloth handy and set it on the floor so kids can all eat together. Even if you aren’t worried about your rug, a colored tablecloth makes it obvious and allows them their own space. Be careful not to put teenagers and small children together. For a while, I thought my teens loved hanging out “in a separated” space, until one day my daughter told me, “Mom, I don’t want to sit in the kids section.” So you may want to keep age gaps in mind when doing the seating.
After Party Tips. Take pics and send Thank You’s – This reminder is good. Your guests will feel a sense of connection with the image. Based on Huffington Post’s Photography and Psychology, “because an associative mnemonic already exists in your brain, the image lodges itself in your consciousness.” So it is a nice way to ensure your guests look forward to your next gathering!
Be in the Moment. This is a given and also a point stated in our Tips For Hosting Potluck Parties article. This remains relevant for getting those rave reviews. Guests will sense when you’re not all there and also when you are truly listening. The truth is, you’ll be happier when you are in the moment.