You’re probably already thinking about a planning a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner with your close relatives and depending on your family, you may – or may not – be excited about that! You know what you can be totally excited about in November though? Throwing an Epic Friendsgiving Dinner! That’s right, why not host a more modern and fun Friendsgiving, with the people you love and admire most?! Here are our best tips for making it your new favorite holiday tradition!
When was the last time you stopped to really consider the traditions and habits you’ve built around the holidays? Do they fuel you and fill your heart with joy, or do they feel draining and fill your with dread? It’s okay if your current traditions don’t have you jumping for joy. It just means that it’s time for a change and hosting Friendsgiving this year may just be the perfect solution!
Friendsgiving is all about coming together as a community and collaborating on a wonderful meal and experience. It’s about celebrating the bonds of friendship, bucking tradition and creating something new and meaningful for your inner circle. Here’s everything you need to host the most epic Friendsgiving ever!
Pick a Date & Send Invitations
After Halloween, life just starts speeding up, so don’t put off saving the date with your friends! It’s often a good idea to aim for a weekend earlier in the month (the 2nd or 3rd weekend of November) before people get crazy busy. However, start early and ask around about holiday plans. You may discover that friends who usually go out of town are staying put this year and don’t have plans on Thanksgiving Day. Do a little research and find the date that work the best for the most people and send out an invitation (printed or electronic) to save the date!
Pick a Theme & Plan Dishes
Your event doesn’t have to be a traditional Thanksgiving dinner if that’s not your thing. You could have a Mexican theme, Asian theme, Italian theme… you get the idea. Pick your favorite and go with it – just make sure to include it on the invitation along with any other specific requests or details.
As hostess, I do recommend preparing the main dish yourself (whether a turkey, pot roast, ham, lasagna), as it can be difficult to transport something like that – especially if it needs to cook for some time in the oven. Ask your guests to bring appetizers, sides, desserts or even a vegan or vegetarian main if it’s needed. Feel free to be direct and ask for what you need, but stay flexible and don’t demand. Also, don’t forget to offer options for friends who may not cook. You’ll still need wine, ice, gorgeous flowers for the centerpiece or a special ingredient for a signature cocktail.
Set a Gorgeous Table
This is the perfect opportunity to go all out and set a really gorgeous table. We have some inspiration for simple and elegant Thanksgiving tablescapes as well as more opulent rich jewel toned tablescapes. And if there will be a lot of children at your Friendsgiving Gathering, check out our kid’s table ideas and printables too!
Since Friendsgiving is a potluck, you may want to set up a serving buffet for all the dishes that will be arriving. I like to have this space cleared and set up in advance and I try to add some seasonal decor, flowers and candles throughout the buffet for added ambiance.
This Friendsgiving Wood Sign would look really beautiful on your serving buffet!
Create a Drink Station
You want your Friendsgiving Dinner to be a relaxing event for everyone (including you), so setting up a self-serve drink station is imperative! Set out a giant pitcher of water and iced tea along with bottles of red and white wine. Don’t forget to set out glasses, a bottle opener and ice as well. Guests will be all set to help themselves throughout the dinner.
When It Rains Paper Co. has some really cute Friendsgiving themed napkins, cups and koozies that would be fabulous additions to your party drink station too!
Design a Dessert Bar
Let’s be honest, one of the best parts of a traditional Thanksgiving meal is the dessert and your Friendsgiving will be no different! Create space to set up a special dessert bar where guests can place their desserts when they arrive. Add a coffee pot and/or tea kettle, dessert plates and napkins, cutlery and serving utensils and you’re all set!
And be sure to check out our Spice Cupcakes with Maple Pecan Frosting if you need a dessert idea for Friendsgiving!
The Small Details Matter
It’s always the smallest details that take a gathering from nice to fabulous! Here are a few things you may want to consider adding into your gathering to create a truly memorable experience for your guests…
Music moves people and helps cement memories. While you don’t want your playlist to be distracting, some music in the background really sets the mood for a great time. We have 9 ideas for playlists in this post to take the guess work out of music.
Party favors aren’t a must, but they sure are fun! You can do something like these Friends-themed koozies, a Friendsgiving favor bag filled with cookies, candies or another treat, or fill a mini Friendsgiving box with popcorn or another take-home goodie.
I love setting up fun photo opportunities, so creating a special backdrop and setting out some Friendsgiving photo props could be a really fun way to capture memories of your special event! I love these Friendsgiving balloons and props…
Kick up the fun at your event by placing several of your favorite board games out in the living room for people to grab and play before or after dinner. A mix of adult and kid-friendly games is a great idea and a fun way to entertain guests throughout the day. Need ideas? Our Game Night post has a few!
I love the idea of sharing leftovers with friends! That way, no one is left with a ton of one thing and you can actually enjoy a complete meal the next day. Why not share the love by providing everyone with disposable take home containers? These Thanksgiving themed containers for leftovers are so cute!
I hope you’re as excited as I am about the idea of a special Friendsgiving Gathering this year! Start planning now and enjoy an epic event with those you love the most! Be sure to Pin this post for later holiday planning too!