Easy Gatherings at Your Home Without the Stress!

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Holidays are a great occasion to unleash your creative side. I love event planning, and decorating-so I was very excited about planning a low-key Easter gathering for our families. This was my first year ever hosting Easter brunch, and our first year hosting Easter as newlyweds!

Aside from my love of event planning, I love being organized. I find order and structure helps me to think clearly and be able to execute a perfect event.

Both our immediate families came over so we only had a total of 9 adults, and 1 toddler. This worked out because we have limited seating (which I have been eyeing dining chairs for a few months now). We used our main dining table, two belly bars, and one small table for my nephew.

I am going to share how to create an incredible event for your friends and/or family for any occasion.

How to Wow Your Guests and Not Get Overwhelmed

Planning An Easter Party

Step 1: Plan Your Menu

Keep your menu simple. Too many options can be burdensome for you to cook, and your guests may not know where to begin. I did some research on Pinterest for easy Easter lunch ideas, and this helped me visualize what I wanted to make.

Start with a protein, then choose a carb, then vegetables, and a dessert (optional). Think of a fine-dining restaurant, for their main course, they are not going to serve two types of meat, a large casserole, rice, bread, vegetables, salad, and so on. Less is more, and if you pick a few things that complement each other, the meal is going to be exceptional.

Step 2: Calculate How Much Food To Make

A good rule of thumb is to make slightly less food than the number of people coming because either some people may not be able to make it, or they may eat less than you anticipate.

I also wanted to make just enough food for everyone without a ton of leftovers. Leftovers are great, however, our refrigerator is a french door version, so the fridge side is not very big. Another trick is to make your gathering potluck style.

We were blessed that our family wanted to bring food, so they all helped with bringing in side dishes. We chose to make stuffed spinach pork loin and grilled veggie kabobs. We had exactly 9 metal skewers for the veggie kabobs, and for the main protein, the butcher confirmed the portion of meat would be enough for 9 people.

Our families brought side dishes of roasted vegetables, salad, and a fruit salad. For drinks, I had a pitcher of water, orange juice, and Martinelli’s. We also served coffee as well (a must!).

Step 3: Plan Your Decor

Easter is a springtime holiday, and I naturally gravitate to bright and vibrant colors. I knew I wanted to incorporate bright colors such as pink, yellow, green, blue, white, and purple.

I chose a theme where the outdoors came inside with fresh flowers, a moss-covered rabbit, speckled eggs, and fresh vegetables. I bought most of my decor from Michael’s, TJ Maxx, and Walmart.

Dollar Tree is also a great place to buy taper candles, glass vases for flowers, and decorative stones. I used real vegetables as decor too from Specialty Produce. Read more about them on my other blog post here. Also, set the table appropriately for the occasion. This was a semi-formal place setting that I chose:

Step 4: Start Setting Up Early

In my Hospitality experience, I have learned you always have less time than you think. I started decorating our main dining table the other tables on Passover, 4 days before Easter. I wanted to get a head start on decorating because I knew that would free up more time for cleaning and preparing the food. Since there are only two of us, we just used our island for meals the days leading up to Easter.

Setting up early is helpful as it can reveal what you may have forgotten to buy-I will try my best not to go shopping on days before a major holiday as there will be long lines. (However, right now all the lines are long because of the restrictions they have put with social gathering).

Now is the time to take inventory of your dishes, glassware, coffee mugs, flatware, and chairs. I have service for 8, so since there were 9 of us, I went out to Walmart and bought two extra forks and knives (for an even 10). My mother-in-law has the same Corelle dishes I do, so I asked to borrow an extra plate. Side note on Corelle: these plates are amazing because they are elegant and are chip resistant.

Step 5: Leave Room For Error

I bought my flowers too far in advance-rookie mistake! They blossomed the next day and not in a pretty way lol. Luckily my greenery and Craspedias are hearty and last way longer.

I have now learned tulips can open FAST so next time I will buy them the day of or the night before an event. I did go back to the grocery store to get two more bunches to spruce up my floral arrangements.

Also, when we made the pork loin, we did not think it would cook so fast-so we ended up with a dryer pork loin, and our families arrived at different times and then we all got to chatting so the pork loin got cold. An easy fix would be to have some marinade on hand or to have Chef Mike (the microwave lol) reheat it. Point is-every event whether big or small has something that could go wrong, just learn not to sweat the small stuff!

Step 6: Pre Event – Clean as you Go, Post Event- Clean Up Immediately

Whether you had a total of 10 guests or 50 guests, there will be lots to clean up. Dishes from prepping, pots and pans, and all the dinnerware used-it can be overwhelming. Once everyone has gone, your energy is usually gone too, and you do not want to tackle cleaning the kitchen.

I watched a red-onion pickling video by Sam the Cooking Guy, and he mentioned: “clean as you go”. This is very important to not letting the dishes pile up, and the counter getting too messy too fast. This is not something I naturally do, so after Sam’s word of advice, I now try to clean as I make messes.

As we were waiting for our families to arrive, we started doing the dishes. My mother-in-law was a saint and started loading the dishwasher and cleaning up the food after our brunch when we all sat down in the living room. After the meal, start collecting the dirty dishes, and often times someone will be willing to offer a hand, or you can always ask for a helping hand in a kind manner.

I definitely recommend stocking up on event supplies that you can reuse at any event. I have a selection of glass vases, fake flowers, candles, tables and tablecloths that I can use any time I want to throw a party.

If you are given to hospitality, or just like good food and spending time with friends, remember, practice makes perfect. The more you open up your home to your neighbors, friends and family, the more you will become a pro! If you enjoyed this blog post, please share on Pinterest! 


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