It's the most wonderful meal of the year! Gathering your best friends together to break bread doesn't happen often enough, so make it the best Friendsgiving ever. Here are a few pointers if you've never hosted a meal quite this large before:
1. Make sure the date works.
Before you send out an official invite ask your favorite friends for their availability to get a feel for other people's plans. This is a very busy time of year with lots of holiday events/concerts/dinners to attend. Just asking quickly in a text message or group email if there's a weekend or evening that works better will do wonders. This way, when you send out an official invite, the majority of people should be able to come. It's so much harder to work on changing the date after the fact. Plus, it will avoid that no-one-can-come-to-my-party sadness that will totally impact your hosting mojo.
2. Check your floor plan.
Don't be afraid to move your furniture around a little bit to see how many people can comfortably fit into your home. Be sure to check that there are pathways in and out of rooms, there's enough room for food on the tables, and space to add extra chairs if needed. Check to see if you have any folding chairs in the basement too. If you need some (they're handy to have around if you have the storage space), IKEA has nice inexpensive options.
3. Ask about food allergies.
Before you plan your own menu or dole out who's bringing what, you must ask about food allergies. While you probably know if your bestie has a life-threatening allergy, it still never hurts to pose the question for the larger group and their guests. It makes you aware of any dietary restrictions or preferences, so you can accommodate them without making someone feel like an inconvenience the day of.
4. Plan the menu.
One of the best things about Friendsgiving is having everyone participate. Work with your guests to figure out the entire feast and to make sure there are no repeat items. Not only does it mean less work for you, but also when everyone has to bring one thing they make sure it's their very best, most-raved-about dish. You end up with a dinner of standouts instead of some easy-to-forget sides.
5. Figure out your fridge/oven space.
If you're making a lot of food and have guests bringing dishes that need to stay chilled or be heated, you're going to need to have a plan. Cross your fingers that it's cold enough outside to store drinks and ice on your balcony, but you can also use your bathtub if you're really short on space! Removing all of the drinks should clear plenty of room in the fridge. If you know your guests are bringing things that will need to bake, make sure you try to prepare stovetop items. Or make as much as you can ahead of time and serve things that work at room temperature.
6. Plan for cleanup.
The sad and inevitable truth of Friendsgiving: It ends at some point, leaving a mountain of dishes in its wake. If you plan ahead before your meal, you can figure out if you even want to use real plates and proper silverware. Depending on the number of guests it might be easy to use pretty and inexpensive plates. Check out Shop Sweet Lulu or Harlow & Grey for pretty options that still feel special. You can also find some amazing plastic wine glasses and champagne flutes, too. If you usually don't love using disposable stuff, you might want to make the exception for one night.
Are you a frequent Friendsgiving host? What are your best tips?