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Regardless of the occasion, having a close-knit group of family and friends gathered in your home is one of the best ways of bonding and creating memories. And as the host you must get to soak it all in and be present with your guests without feeling guilty for being stuck in the kitchen or spending a little extra time with a certain group or person. It also makes for a less intense and more enjoyable celebratory planning experience, as it does not require the same amount of work/stress that inevitably accompanies planning larger gatherings. Here are five tips to keep in mind when planning an intimate gathering whilst still observing all government-mandated COVID-19 protocols.

#1 Food and Drinks

It all starts and ends with food! Oh, and a good glass of wine. The cool thing about intimate gatherings is that you can get creative with your menu and try out new recipes! My recovering perfectionist self would suggest that you try new recipes out on the family first but if you’re a Yolo type of woman then by all means dive right in! Your menu can be themed, casual or as formal as you choose, it’s your show, have fun with it. Just make sure you nail down the menu at least 5 days before your event. That way you’ll have time to chop and change things should you not find crucial ingredients to one of your dishes. 

Your drinks options will be determined by your food menu. Don’t be afraid to get your mixologist on by creating fun cocktails to kick start your night/day.

#2 The Playlist

Some of the most memorable gatherings that I’ve attended all have a great soundtrack to them. People underestimate the value of a well-curated playlist and now with streaming platforms, you can curate your playlists from your phone, in between running errands or meetings. Background music to kickstart the event also helps your guests feel more comfortable and that goes a long way in setting the tone for your gathering. 

#3 Details, Details, Details! 

  • Guest List
  • Good food 
  • Drinks
  • Music

While these are crucial ingredients to creating a memorable intimate event, the devil really is in the details when it comes to giving your event that “IT”  factor.  If you have a theme for the evening/day, find creative ways to incorporate it by appealing to your guests’ sense of smell, (eg; scented candle, essential oil diffuser, or incense?) touch, (eg; table cloth, cutlery, and furniture) and emotions (eg; name tags, an affirmation note, or freshly washed and scented throws/shawls).     

#4 Entertainment

Other than full and slightly inebriated, how else do you want your guest to feel at the end of the gathering? The answer to this question will greatly assist you in being able to curate the rest of the day/night. Will you play board or card games? A movie in your garden or karaoke?  Again, it’s your event, have fun and be creative with it!

#5 It’s Show Time!

When all is said and done, remember the reason you’re hosting the gathering is to provide a space for your friends and family to safely enjoy each other’s company and for you to enjoy the fruits of your labour with the people you created the space for. Make sure you intentionally stay in the moment by focusing on your guests and have a good time!