Every year we host our annual Friendsgiving Dinner – it’s one of my very favorite traditions & I look forward to it each year. We gather our friends and family in our little house for a full Thanksgiving dinner, pie & dancing, always dancing – to follow. November is fast approaching and I wanted to share a how-to on planning and hosting – hopefully inspiring you to do the same. So if your a first timer to Friendsgiving, just needing some fresh ideas for your own annual get together – or even Thanksgiving hosting tips – I’m so happy your here!
Step One: Choose a date. I prefer a weekend day, either Saturday or Sunday when the majority of our friends are off work and don’t need to worry about preparing anything after work. Create a guest list – Once I’ve chosen the day and time, & amount of guests – I order invitations. I’m so not against an easy text message, email or Facebook event – but I LOVE snail mail. Sending & receiving it. This year I chose these invites from Minted.
Step Two: Mail invites (if you choose) or text, email etc – I like to have these out about two – three weeks before the event. That gives everyone plenty of time to make arrangements – remember to include an RSVP date, normally one week prior to your event for table settings & food assignments.
Step Three: Menu planning. I think this is where it can start feeling a little overwhelming – but it totally doesn’t have to. Since we host at our home we always take care of the turkey and assign out other menu items to our friends attending. Once we’ve heard back from them on attending – we’ll usually decide together what they’ll bring. This gets easier each year as our friends are some of the best cooks, ever – & usually stick to bringing the same dish each time. I’m attaching an example menu here.
I’m going to print out the menus and set them with each place setting for a little bit extra prettiness.
A good rule of thumb for your turkey – 1LB of meat per guest to be safe. We usually host about 20 guests and 4 pies seems to be plenty for reference.
Step Four: Table settings – I like to mix and match the dishes I already own, using a small & large plate, water glass (I use blue mason jars) & wine glass for each. Paper or plastic are just fine if you want to keep it simple – I love this option from Amazon. Usually for the center of my table I’ll throw out a few candlesticks – again, mixing and matching with some fresh silver dollar eucalyptus (order before hand from your local florist, it’s about $13 a bundle!) and mini pumpkins and gourds. This comes together so easily – but looks gorgeous! I’ll show you last years table here ..
Step Five: The day of! Remember to give your turkey plenty of time to roast and then rest before carving. I’ll usually throw it in and then set my tables, aside from the fresh greenery that I’ll add about an hour before. About 10 minutes prior to dinner I’ll fill all my glasses with ice and water – our bar is usually self serve. Start some music, I love playing vintage records on my Crosley record player, light the candles & wait for your guests to arrive!
A few of my favorite sources for the table of your dreams: