This past weekend we hosted a Friendsgiving for the first time ever! Because Dom and I had only lived in apartments prior to our new house, it has never been a real possibility to host an event like Friendsgiving because we just wouldn’t have had room to display all the food or even to seat everyone. But now that we’ve been in our first house for a month, we decided the perfect first official gathering would be Friendsgiving (an event I’ve always wanted to host!).
Although I had never hosted a Friendsgiving before (or even attended one, for that matter), I still had a pretty good idea of how to host one. That doesn’t mean I didn’t hit up Pinterest for some unique ideas and decor. Now after hosting my own Friendsgiving, I feel experienced enough to share how I think someone should prepare to host their own Friendsgiving. If you’re hosting your first Friendsgiving, read on:
- Pick a date – this was both easy and difficult because November really snuck up on us, so we realized we needed to host our Friendsgiving when we only had a few options left for the date! Because we wanted a bunch of our friends to attend and wanted them to stay a while, we decided to have our Friendsgiving on a weekend night. The earlier you decide on the date, the better, so that your friends can have more time to plan.
- Send out invites – this can be done the old-fashioned way, the modern way, or the lazy way. Mailing invitations would be considered the old-fashioned way – this is a good choice if it’s a more formal event or if you’re inviting an older crowd. Sending e-vites is another option that allows you to make your invitations super cute, but you don’t have to spend money on paper invitations or postage. The only hassle is getting everyone’s email address. Lastly, you can create a Facebook event or group text to inform everyone of your gathering. Can you guess which option we went with? The lazy option, obvi 💁🏼♀️ The advantage to creating a Facebook event (which we did) or sending a group text is that everyone knows who else is invited, the invitation goes out immediately, people can ask questions and everyone can see the answers, etc.
- Make a plan – we decided that if we were going to host, we should provide the turkey, stuffing, and some appetizers. We also provided a variety of drinks (water, beer, wine, and a speciality cocktail). We requested that our guests bring a side dish or a drink of their choice. I’ve seen other Friendsgivings where the host just provides the turkey and the guests all bring a side and a bottle of wine, but we decided to offer a variety of options, especially since this was our first gathering at our new house and we’re still at the age where everyone is #poor. We asked everyone to tell us what they were bringing prior so that everyone brought different sides.
- Decorate – this is the fun part! You can either go all-out with Friendsgiving decor, or it is super easy to decorate on a budget. I went with budget-friendly decor because I knew we’d be spending money on everything else (turkey, drinks, etc.) so it made sense to save money on decorations. The best part is – once you buy a few decorations, you can reuse them every year. I used the following items to make our house look “Thanksgiving-ready” that were actually pretty cheap (Homegoods and TJ Maxx holla) – table runners, mini pumpkins, fake flowers, pinecones, candles and a Friendsgiving sign. It’s mostly about making your home feel warm and cozy so that people feel welcome when they come over. You’re aiming to make it feel like real Thanksgiving, after all!
- Pick one splurge – this last item isn’t a necessity, but we wanted our Friendsgiving to turn more into a party after everyone ate, so we went all out and bought a keg! A keg is especially useful if you don’t want a bunch of beer cans/bottles taking up room in your fridge, plus everyone loves a good party. Other options for “splurging” could be to create a pie or dessert station, make party favors for everyone, or go all out with your decorations.
Hope this is helpful to all your first-time hosts and hostesses! If you have any additional ideas or favorite traditions for Friendsgiving, please let us know in the comments!
Decoration details: mini pumpkins (Trader Joe’s) | ‘Friendsgiving’ sign and vases (Home Goods) | fake flowers and pinecones (Michael’s) | table runners (TJ Maxx)