Turkey Day is just around the corner. And no, we’re not talking about Brit + Co resident pup Turkey Temple’s birthday ;) With Halloween just barely behind us, our party-planning sights are now set on all things Thanksgiving, or more specifically: Friendsgiving.
Though we love us a traditional turkey-and-taters situation, it can be tough to pull off a full Thanksgiving dinner in a tiny apartment with an even tinier kitchen. Plus, a dinner party with your favorite friends should feel a little less formal than your typical family feast. Think handheld appetizers, strong cocktails, party-perfect playlist and, naturally, a few late arrivals. (We all have the #latefriend.)
We’ve teamed up with Gather to serve up 12 tips and tricks for hosting your own Friendsgiving dinner party. Before we get to the tips, a little more about Gather! Gather is a millennial-focused platform brought to you by The Clorox Company that serves up unique and trendy “excuses to hang out” that won’t break the bank, but might turn into tonight’s theme or a new tradition.
Now, let’s throw a party.
1. Make a Plan: Sometimes pulling off a perfect party is as simple as starting with a to-do list. First off, choose a color palette and general decor vibe. For the most part, this should be pretty in line with the colors and decor already in your house. Even if you’re not making a ton of decorations, choosing a color palette will help you make decisions faster and will pull the look of the party nicely together. We went super minimal and focused on warm oranges and pinks paired with greenery.
2. Create Cute Place Cards: You want your guests to feel special from the moment they arrive. Create place cards that include a little gift. We teamed up with Burt’s Bees to create these punny and cute place cards that say things like “Bee Thankful” and feature Vanilla Bean, Coconut & Pear, Beeswax and Pomegranate Lip Balm flavors. Yum!
You can download a printable template to create your own place cards right here. Hive five!
3. Turn Mini Pumpkins and Gourds into Vases: Next, we created a drought-friendly centerpiece (#CaliforniaProblems) as an alternative to fresh flowers. We sourced a collection of visually appealing pumpkins at our local grocery store, but you could try a visit to a pumpkin patch as well. Use pumpkin carving tools to scoop out the center of your pumpkins, then place a succulent or air plant right in. We kept a few pumpkins whole as well for variation.
4. Focus on Bite-Size Appetizers and Sides: Forgo the traditional turkey dinner and go for bite-size appetizers and side dishes for your meal. It will make the vibe of your dinner party way more social. Serve cranberry sauce in shot glasses, turkey in kabob form and mini twice-baked potatoes and you’ll still have those Thanksgiving flavors covered.
5. Set Up a Gluten-Free Hors D’oeuvres Zone: Don’t forget about your gluten-free friends! Create a spread that’s totally safe and scrumptious for the folks in your life that can’t eat gluten. Our snack zone is all about things that you can dip like sweet potato fries, fresh red and yellow peppers, broccoli, crispy kale and carrots. Whip up a trio of different dips using Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Dips Mix along with sour cream, Greek yogurt or other mix-ins. These yummy dips come in Original Ranch, Harvest Dill, Fiesta Ranch, Classic Guacamole and Garden Green Onion — there’s definitely a flavor for everyone at your party.
6. Mix Your Own Signature Cocktail: We created sinfully delicious Chai Bourbon Cocktails for this particular shindig. To make your own, combine 2 oz. bourbon, 1 oz. honey syrup, 3 oz. chai, 3 oz. milk (or soy milk) and stir with a cinnamon stick. Thirsty yet?
7. Stay Hydrated: Speaking of quenching your thirst, don’t forget to stay hydrated. We recommend setting up a full hydration station complete with carafes of water, cucumbers, strawberries, raspberries, mint, basil and more. Skip the plastic jugs of water for this and use a Brita® Grand Pitcher to safely filter your own water, filtering out odors and impurities, and leaving more room for the extra flavors you want to add.
We also created the prettiest ice cubes ever. Buy a small packet of edible flowers (available at most gourmet grocery stores), put them in an ice cube tray and then fill with filtered water from your Brita® Grand Pitcher. Freeze, then serve!
8. Keep Plenty of Folding Chairs on Hand: Confession: Once I invited 20 friends over to my house for an impromptu dinner party. Shockingly, they all said YES, even though it was last minute. I ended up going to the grocery store around the corner and had to buy 8 camping chairs just to have enough seating! Don’t make the same mistake as me. Get yourself some wooden folding chairs and make sure they fit in with the decor in your home. We bought a set of folding chairs online and painted them white and orange to match the vibe of our party. Get the full tutorial here.
9. Give Your Guests Succulent Favors: That’s right — more succulents! But these ones are for your guests to take home and maybe even plant! Buy a bunch of succulents at your local gardening store and paint the planters white (or any color you like). Tie a pretty ribbon around them and voila! You’ve got yourself a favor.
10. Pump a Party-Perfect Playlist: Who’s playing DJ at your party? You are, thanks to your stellar planning skills. Use Spotify to make a playlist and invite your friends to add songs that they want to hear. Curate it as you like and make sure you’ve got two more hours of music than you think you need. That way you can skip songs without stressing about the playlist ending.
11. Make Day-After-Thanksgiving Goodie “Bags”: What’s the best part about Thanksgiving? The leftovers, duh. Let your guests assemble their own leftovers goodie bags so they can keep their favorite bites and desserts fresh for the next day. For our leftover station, we decked out Glad Containers with copper tape to give them a little fall flair.
Plus, these genius Glad To Go Lunch Containers have the perfect little cup to hold your cranberry sauce or gravy. The less food you waste, the better!
12. Give Everyone a Job (and a Party Hat to Match): Don’t forget about clean-up. Make the task of setting up and cleaning up more fun by giving everyone a job and a party hat to match. From the DJ to the bartender to clean-up crew, make sure all your jobs are covered.
We partnered with Clorox to arm our hostess (aka… me!) with citrus Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes to clean up any and all surfaces both before and after the party.
And guess what else? We invited some of our favorite bloggers, makers and influencers to share in the Friendsgiving action here at Brit HQ.
Happy Friendsgiving, y’all!
This post is a collaboration with Gather.
DIY Production: Maddie Bachelder
Photography: Chris Andre
Models: Anjelika Temple, Maddie Bachelder, Paige Sager, Ashley Perlman