How to Host a Favorite Things Party April 01, 2016 08:30

Guest Contributor: The Momerie - www.themomerie.com

One of my favorite springtime activities is hosting a Favorite Things party – have you heard of them yet? They are nothing short of fabulous. Basically you hang out with your closest friends, eat lots of yummy food, share and gift a favorite item and leave with the same amount of brand new items gifted to you!!  I told you it was awesome.

Today, I am going to share all my best tips and tricks on how to host a fabulous Favorite Things party – it’s easier than you might think and so much fun, you’ll be making it a yearly event for you and your besties too!! First things first,

 Pick a date and pick a theme:

I prefer my parties on Saturday in the late-morning myself – its perfect because you can have a brunch type menu, which is so versatile and allows for pretty much anything – breakfast, snacks, appetizers, desserts, no food is off limits! It also provides a consistent turnout, probably because it gives guests time to still enjoy the weekend with their families and is usually a day free of obligations. That said, any day and or time will work as long as it is convenient for you and your guests.

With any party I like to pick a theme (blame my college days) and maybe it’s just me, but themes just make get-togethers more fun. So a Favorite Things party is no exception. I have heard of awesome ones focused around the kitchen, or where all items must be beauty related, even holiday inspired themes like “no tricks, just treats” – which was for Halloween and was all about food items! I’m a fan of the basics. A simple “like it, love it, gotta have it” theme is straightforward and easy for everyone to comply with – basically just bring your most liked, can’t live without item.

As far as invitations go, I have found that sending an evite or paperless Post is the easiest and most cost effective. I like to go big, so I shoot for a guest list of about 15-20 people – it’s a manageable number of guests when the weather is good and I can host outside, but you may find that a smaller group of 10-12 is easier to visit etc.

 Set your price range:

I have attended other favorite things parties and each one had a different dollar value and a different number of items to bring – for example, $20 per item for 3 items, or $5 per item for 5 items. I personally like to set the dollar amount at $10 per item for 5 items. The key here is for everyone to spend the same amount and that each guest brings multiples of the same item. I like to ask my guests to bring all items unwrapped, then you can see everything up for grabs on the table (it builds suspense!) However, you can have all the gifts be wrapped up and unseen too, if you choose this method everyone will have multiple presents to unwrap. Both ways are fun, its really just a personal preference of wrapped versus unwrapped.

 Plan the food:

If you are a Hostess with the Mostest and like to do all the menu planning, prepping and cooking yourself – by all means fly solo on this one. However, I prefer to go pot-luck style and ask each guest to bring their “favorite” appetizer or dessert, along with multiple copies of the recipe.

1) This takes the pressure off me to plan food for a large number of guests.

2) Everyone is able to try a variety of new dishes and take home recipes of their favorites.

3) You get to see what everyone’s favorite dish is

I take care of all the beverages – infused water, ice tea, wine and usually some type of fun alcoholic concoction for everyone to enjoy.

From experience I have found it wise to provide take out boxes so my guests can take home extra food as well, that way I’m not left with a ton of left overs that would likely go to waste. This year I was inspired by Pinterest and made glitter rimmed glasses in my guest’s favorite colors as a favor – which were used for the mimosa bar (because who doesn’t love a cocktail that’s acceptable to drink first thing in the morning).

 

 

Making the exchange:

There are so many ways to go about exchanging all the goodies. The method I prefer (which is both easy and straightforward) is to have everyone write their name on a several pieces of paper – if you asked guests to bring 5 items then they will write their name of 5 separate slips of paper. I ask everyone to do this as they arrive – that way it is done and out of the way from the get go. You don’t want to be chasing people down or having any issues once its time for exchanges.

When you are ready to exchange go around and have each guest draw 5 different names out of the bowl (one for each item they brought) – making sure they don’t duplicate names, or take their own.

As the host, I like to start the exchange off by introducing my “favorite thing” and why I think its so fabulous. Then I read off the five names I drew from the bowl – those are the people who get my item. Each guest follows and by the end you should have five different items – all other people’s favorite things. The whole process is really fun. Imagine a scene from one of Oprah’s giveaway shows where everyone is screaming and cheering and totally freaking out – it can get kind of like that…especially over the must-have items!! And every year, without fail, there is always one or two items that everyone wants and people bend over backwards for. Usually at the end of each party a fair amount of trading takes place – a candle for a nail polish, for example. All with those must-have items…  This was my haul after some trading:

Other popular items included:

  • MAC lip gloss set
  • Wrapping paper
  • Bounce dryer bar
  • LUSH Bath Bombs
  • Selfie sticks
  • Cookbooks
  • Makeup brushes
  • Nail polish drying drops

I like to include cute bags with notepads in them, that way if you love a favorite thing and aren’t lucky enough to be drawn for it, you can make sure to go out and get it yourself or use as ideas for future items. I guess a cell phone picture could work just as well, but these are just so cute…

 

That’s pretty much all there is to it! Everyone always has the best time at these parties, and looks forward to coming each year – which is part of the reason my guest list has grown so much, people tell their friends, and they want to be a part of the fun too!

 (Special thanks to The Momerie for sharing her FAV party idea with us! Make sure to visit The Momerie at www.themomerie.comfor more great party ideas, tips & mommyhood tricks).