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How to Host a Party the Southern Way

Southern hospitality is well-known, and parties are an integral part of Southern culture. Southern hosts love to entertain their guests with creative and fun activities that make their parties memorable. From barbecues to dinner parties, Southern hosts make sure to go above and beyond to make their guests feel welcome.

Whether you’re throwing a formal dinner party or a backyard barbecue, the following tips will be your biggest turnover in setting up a successful holiday party. Make sure to plan early, create a budget and send out invitations. Also, remember to decorate the tables and outdoor patio with holiday-themed items such as lights and decorations. You don’t have to host your event as intimately as you might think if you plan it with a bit of forethought and preparation. The following five tips will make you the most outstanding host in every social circle.

5 Steps to Throw a Perfect Party the Southern Way

Stress-Free Preparation – Make a List

Be sure to make a list of your priorities before you start. Doing too much can be stressful, so don’t try to do more than you can handle. Decorate the high-traffic areas like the front door, the food and drink station and the guest bathroom if decorating the whole house is too overwhelming.

Try something less stressful and still interactive, like a photo booth, if games or gift exchanges don’t appeal to you. Ask your guests to bring something to add to the party such as their favorite snack or cocktail. Set up a playlist of songs that everyone will enjoy.

Pick a Theme

When you are hosting a holiday party as a Southern tradition, make sure to choose a theme that suits the culture. Southerners love to play murder mystery party games that can bring everyone together in one place while doubling up the excitement.

A simple and catchy theme or just a costume party can add energy and sets the tone. You might think a theme will complicate party planning, but it won’t. If you know the theme, you’ll know what decorations to buy, how to style invitations and what food you’ll be serving.

Watch out for Seating Arrangements

Think outside the box. Before the arrival of your guests, make sure to have enough seating for everyone. Keep an eye on everything like who’s in charge or providing and setting up the food, where and when the dishes should go and what serving supplies you need. Can any food or beverage items be prepared the day before? Don’t let the full to-do list go until the last minute.

However, you can also arrange tables and chairs, decorate and make party favors whenever you have spare time before. It’ll also give you extra time to make a plan B if you’re unsure about how things might turn out. Start early and don’t let rush-induced stress get the best of you.

Serve Food and Drinks in the Most Southern Way

Make sure to indulge in some traditional Southern cuisine such as fried catfish, pimento cheese or just a big barbecue. Enjoy a glass of sweet tea or make a signature cocktail to wash it all down. And don’t forget to end with a slice of Southern pecan pie. Make sure to keep up with the traditional Southern style and offer everything in one go, from appetizers to main course and desserts.

For an easy pecan pie, check out this recipe or take a look at these popular Southern party foods to gain some tasty inspiration.

Enjoy the Party

Once everything has been planned so well, it is time for you to enjoy the party. Focus on cheering on the moment with your friends and family rather than going to the kitchen and cleaning out everything. You should not obsess about cleaning the baseboards or worry about the kids destroying their church clothes while playing.

It is an opportunity for you to relax, take a breath and enjoy the time with family and friends that you care about. Take a moment to enjoy yourself and the spirit of the occasion.

While many people might not totally agree, at the end of the day, you are always welcome to ask for help when you need it. You can even set up your good friend to be in charge of music or tell someone to light the candles. There isn’t anything wrong with asking for help.

It’s OK if someone offers to refill a pitcher or pour water at the table. You don’t need to micromanage these tasks, because guests want to feel helpful. Don’t outsource the main course, though. If you’re hosting, it’s up to you to wow your guests with Southern hospitality.

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