Hosting a party/gathering is one of those things that seems like a good idea…until you actually have to do it. Not only does hosting take a lot of effort but a lot of the time it also requires spending a little more dollar than you’d like. Over the festive period my boyfriend and I hosted our first family get-together, which was quite special as it is our first Christmas living together. This blog is basically how it went, my tips and tricks, ways to save money and what I’ll do differently in the future.
The photo above it our buffet table, there is also a separate table in the background with more food on & we also turned the tumble dryer into a makeshift table for the evening also. As you can see this is A LOT of food, considering there were only 7 people eating all of this.
Food preparation is key, plan what food is OK to eat cooler, cook this first and then cling-film it whilst you get the rest of the food ready. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Sam and I had to take Emily for her first set of immunizations the afternoon before the buffet, so I’d cooked the sausage rolls and cheese and onion rolls before we left, given my mum the job of cooking vol-au-vents and mixing up egg mayo, tuna mayo and prawns so this was a few items off the to-do list.
My next tip is layout the table, put the table-cloth on and sort dishes the night before so you have everything handy on the day, rather than pulling everything out of your cupboards.
Luckily for me I had Sam eager to help and I’d already arranged for my Mum to come to my house previous to he other guests so she could also help us out. Now 3 people running around my kitchen like headless chickens is a bitter-sweet issues, it was handy to have a lot of help but I could have also done with an extra few square meters added onto the area of my kitchen.
We currently live in a rented home, the oven in here is quite cheap and lazy, it takes about 20 minutes longer than any recommended cooking time. On the night of the buffet we had 3 different trays of food so it was struggling, therefore so were we. Waiting on spring rolls to crisp and the Quiche to fully warm through was an unnecessary stress.
One tip, that is probably common sense to most people is don’t organise a buffet for the evening of the day your child has their first immunizations, we were VERY lucky. Emily became very unsettled and upset about an hour after all our guests left but it could have quite easily ruined the night leading to disappointment all round and a waste of quite a lot of money.
Money is something Sam moaned a lot about when it came to hosting this buffet. We spent quite a bit but a lot of the money was spent on fizzy cans of pop, wine, beer and juice. The rest went on food, serving platters, etc. However, if I was to host another buffet next year I would buy in fizzy pop, juice and then people would be asked to bring their own drink as the majority was never consumed (handy for next years Christmas presents, haha).
I think if I also ever hosted a buffet I wouldn’t let it cause me so much stress for everything to be perfect, ensure every option was covered, the house was spotless and the food well presented. I would just sit back, allow things out of my control to work out however they did and enjoy myself more.
Hosting with a baby sounds hard but I can ensure you if you invite the grandparents or broody friends and family then you will have no issues, they will be taken off your hands for most of the night. So, if you’re like me and you unofficially assigned your boyfriend to the butler, your child was in the safe hands of Grandparents, you can sit back and drink a Bailey’s or four, haha.
HAVE FUN, DON’T LET THE STRESS CONSUME THE ENJOYMENT – P.S also don’t tell your partner how much you’ve spent on food and drink for the event, reduce the amount significantly