It feels like we are already in the full swing of the holidays now that we’ve hit mid-November. We will all surely be rushing around from now until the end of the year to knock out all of our to-do lists. And I’m already feeling stressed just thinking about it – anyone else? One of my goals this holiday season is to take some of the STRESS and pressure off my plate (and the pumpkin pie onto it), so I wanted to share a few tips if you’re in the same boat. After throwing a festive, going away lunch for my friend Lainey, I have some tips for hosting a simple and stress-free Friendsgiving this year!
Check out last year’s Friendsgiving table for more hosting ideas!
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Split Up The Menu
For me, Thanksgiving can be intimidating since I’m not the most skilled when it comes to the kitchen. I love potlucks because not only are you not responsible for ALL the food as the hostess, you get to try other people’s dishes and recipes. I wanted to keep this lunch easy breezy (and stress-free), so we stuck to things that were easy to snack on. For example, we used the kitchen island as a snackable charcuterie space. I also picked up a pre-sliced turkey (thanks Honey Baked Ham) and rolls so people could assemble their own sandwiches. We divided up other dishes including a tossed avocado salad, sweet potato casserole and freshly baked cookies and apple spice cake – with real apple sauce and spice! (Eric always steps it up with the desserts!)
Call Your Creative Friends
I knew this year I wouldn’t have as much time to put off a full table setting on my own like last year, so I called my friend Angela – who was also my wedding planner – to help me pull things together. In addition to offering full event styling, she recently started offering floral design too. She put together a color board of inspiration and from there created the most beautiful centerpiece and accent bud vases. She also coordinated all of the place settings that came together so perfectly!
Angela used a combination of matte black plates and candle holders along with rustic accents and wooden details. The natural wooden handles of the flatware tied into the wooden bud vases. She kept everything else very simple with a few small pumpkins and gourds for some extra color. The beaded glasses brought in a hint of glamour that really elevated the place settings.
Having someone who can help with decor and design will really free up the stress of running around town all week prepping for your event. If you have a friend who has an eye for details, don’t be afraid to ask for their assistance setting up! Or if you have a friend who loves hosting and/or collects serving ware, ask her to co-host and share some of the legwork with you.
Relax Over the Details!
Asking and accepting help instead of taking on all the work myself has been one of my biggest lessons learned this year since having Bennett! At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter how grand your table looks or how carefully curated your menu is. (Let’s be honest, people could have shown up with boxes of chicken nuggets, and I would have gladly eaten them off the fancy plates all the same.) All that matters is that you are surrounded by your favorite people and that you get to take a time out to enjoy their company.
However, I am very THANKFUL that I have creative and skilled friends who were able to step in help plan this year’s Friendsgiving. I would not have gotten to eat delicious homemade desserts if Eric wasn’t such a pro in the baking department. And I honestly would not have been able to put together anything nearly this beautiful without Angela – See more of her event work at Angela Marie Events!
Table and styling Angela Marie Events