The Step-to-Step Guide to Planning the Perfect Friendsgiving (+ A FREE Checklist to keep you organized)

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Pictures From: A Beautiful Mess, HomeyOhMy, The TomKat Studio

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about how you are going to celebrate this year (don’t stress out yet, you still have time!).

This is a holiday surrounded around celebrating what you’re thankful for and who’s not thankful for some great friends?! Let’s celebrate them (and show what kickass hosting skills you have) by bringing them all together for none other than….a Friendsgiving!

Friendsgiving makes for the best time and us here at BSL want to make the planning process as easy as possible. We have put together a checklist for you to follow but also will go through every step to make sure you don’t forget anything.

Who exactly are you going to invite this event?

This is the first thing you need to think about. How many people do you want to invite? Make sure you are being reasonable and that your space will fit everyone comfortably. Plus, is your table big enough and do you have enough chairs? For a Friendsgiving, you really need to think about this. Write all these people out in your “Who to Invite” section of the checklist. From my past Friendsgivings, I have found that 10-15 people seems to be the perfect number.

When date do you want this event for?

Think about the best time for you to throw this party. I have found that most people host it the weekend before Thanksgiving to ensure that everyone is really feeling “thanksgivingish” ;). However, if you are hosting this at college make sure to check into when you are having your school break. Since people will be making a dish for this party (we will be getting to this shortly) having it on a Saturday or Sunday (maybe not Sunday depending on how boozy you want your night to get) will be best to allow people ample time to prepare their dish.

Send out the invites!

I love sending invitations and believe its the first glance at how great the party will be. There are so many card options these days both in paper and email form. I truly love a paper invitation and think it shows the work going into this party, but also know that evites are much easier so I will show you options for both.

Minted: If you’re looking for paper cards to send I would look at Minted. I am obsessed with all cards that Minted does and think they all look very professional. My card favorites are this one (I actually used this for my invitation one year), this one, and this one. Lucky for you, they also offer evites for FREE! I used this feature for a party I threw a few weeks ago and thought the card looked great and was super easy to work with but did experience some people not receiving the card to their email box (shoot!), so just beware and keep your eye out! They have a ton of options for this but my two favorite options are this one and this one.

Canva: Canva is a free design software that I highly recommend (I use it for ALL my graphics on my blog) and gives you the option to download the image you design which means you can include it in an email or you could print it out and send in the mail. It is super easy how to learn how to use the website and they have pre-made Friendsgiving cards that you just need to put your information into. The Friendsgiving templates I found are this one, this one, and this one.

What’s the deal with the food?

*Disclaimer: I am just assuming we are talking about Thanksgiving food here so that’s what I am going to focus on. If you want to have a Chinese food themed Friendsgiving go for it!*

I have found the most effective way to make sure you are not stressing AND not spending a fortune on this event is by assigning food to each guest and you (the host) make the turkey (which is why this is prefilled this section in the checklist!). I say you should make the turkey for a few reason. One, because it needs the oven and would be a pain in the booty to take a turkey in the car (I don’t know why but the thought of that is funny to me haha). Two, its the main piece!!

While assigning foods to guest might sound demanding, it really isn’t at all. The side dishes are pretty simple and I’ll give you an idea of what to assign shortly. On the invitation simply write their name and say “Please kindly bring ___________ cooked and ready to serve to this special event!”. People would much rather want this than worry that they are going to bring the same dish as someone else. If someone can’t come to the party you can still easily make that persons assigned dish because you only have the turkey, make sense?

How will you decorate?!

This is my favorite part!! There are so many good ideas out there on how to decorate and I have a post coming out in the next few weeks on a TON of different ideas so make sure you check back for that. However, I definitely recommend thinking ahead on a photo backdrop (emphasis on a banner that says friendsgiving) that people can take pictures in front of and name cards for their spot at the table. Both of these give the event a professional and thought about esthetic that will “wow” your guests. A HUGE thing– make sure you plan where you are going to put all the food!! I always put it on a seperate table and serve buffet style so the table doesn’t get uncomfortably crowded.

Get good vibes with some music your guests will love.

I am a huge fan of Pandora and Spotify but for events have leaned towards Pandora just because I found a station I LOVE! However, I don’t have the unlimited version so the ads can really interrupt things. My absolute all time favorite station on Pandora is “Hipster Cocktail Party” and in my opinion plays the perfect music for a dinner party. On both Pandora and Spotify they have specific stations for Friendsgiving that you can also check out. Make sure you have music going while guests are coming in! It will really begin the event on the right foot.

The finishing touch to your shower is leaving your guests with a favor.

This sounds like it could be really complicated but it’s not at all! Make some caramel apples and wrap them individually in a plastic bag (the ones they sell at Michael’s). Wrap it with a bow and a tag that says “I am so thankful for you!” (you can make these super cute in Canva) and your guest will feel extra special.

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