You’ve moved into your new home — congratulations! You probably want to celebrate with family, friends, and possibly the new neighbors. But with everything else that’s been on your mind, you may not have had time to think about a party. Once you catch your breath, start planning. It’s not too late, even if it’s been several months since you moved in. Here are tips on how to throw a memorable housewarming party.
When to Host Your Housewarming Part
There is no need to hold the party the minute after you move in. People understand that you need time to unpack and decorate. If you are renovating your new home, you may need even more time. You may also need to work around other family celebrations like weddings or graduations. That’s okay! By the same token, if you do hold the party right away, guests will understand if everything doesn’t look perfect.
Choose a day and time when most people are likely available. If you’re new in town, check for any major community events that might draw people away from your own party. Set a start and end time. The website Rent.com recommends setting a three-hour timeframe.
Who to Invite
Meeting new people can feel overwhelming, you may opt simply to invite family and existing friends. Remember, though, that a housewarming party is a great way to meet your neighbors. It can also make them more forgiving if you’re going to have loud music or cars parked all along the street.
To invite neighbors, you can simply ask casually when you see them in their yards or the local park. If you’ve just started a new job you might also include co-workers. Your children may also want to invite new friends from school. This will give you a chance to meet their parents and widen your own social circle.
Be sure to use a guest book in case you need a reminder of new people’s names later.
Giving the Grand Tour
Part of the fun of inviting people to your new home is showing it off. However, this can up the stress of feeling that every part of the house needs to look perfect. Again, remember that other people have experienced moving. They understand if some areas are still works-in-progress.
Better Homes & Gardens suggests giving tours just to two or three people at a time, as they arrive. Better yet, if you fear you’ll be too busy playing host, appoint a close friend or family member as your tour guide.
If some rooms are overly messy or personal, it’s okay to leave them out of the tour. It’s your house, after all. One way to largely keep people out of the house is to host your party outdoors. Just make sure to let people know which bathrooms they can use.
Casual or Formal
Most sources, including The Spruce and Better Homes & Gardens recommend keeping your party simple and casual. However, your party depends on your taste. This is a chance to let people get to know you, so be yourself. If you like to glam it up, go ahead. Just be clear when you invite people so that no one arrives feeling over- or under-dressed. People will tend to expect a daytime party to be more casual than an evening one.
If you choose to keep things casual, serve simple finger foods and a variety of beverages. Match the music to the mood. On the other end of the spectrum, don’t overstress yourself making everything perfect. You may opt to hire a caterer and/or bartender to keep things classy but free yourself to mingle.
Gifts or No Gifts
Many people, especially those closest to you, may eagerly get you a gift. Some new homeowners actually register for gifts. However, it is not considered good etiquette to mention a registry on an invitation, and people may not think to ask as they would for a wedding. Close friends may ask you if there is anything you want and, depending on the nature of the relationship, you may choose to give them a suggestion. Remember that gifts are always voluntary. If you want to avoid any potential awkwardness, you might just put “no gifts, please” on the invitation.
If people do bring gifts to the party set them out of the way and open them later. Then make sure to send thank you notes!