What To Do With Extra Guests

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How to account for uninvited guests

You are cool and oh so collected

The hostess with the mostest… well that is, until you learn that a few “extra friends” are on their way in 10. Inside you freeze—but then you remember that you are ultra ready with extras of everything, you’re welcome. ;) Being prepared is the second best thing a hostess can have, the first being a warm smile… of course. 

Here are a few tips on how to be prepared while also still enjoying the party you planned.

What To Do: 

Brunch or Sit-Down Dinner

what to do with extra guests
  • Have extra place settings, plates, and glassware on hand. Keep these stowed on a counter nearby so you can easily grab them in case they are needed. 
  • Bonus: if no one else comes, you’re prepared if last minute breakage from a rowdy guess occurs. 
  • Keep a bench nearby, against a wall, or in the next room, to add in place of chairs (or in addition to), to provide more seating. 
  • One must always make extra treats (to enjoy for yourself afterward, of course). On the chance that extra guests show up, you are prepared to satisfy their sweet teeth. Bonus, you’ll have less meal prep for the week ahead if you have your “extras” as items that you’ll enjoy and that don’t spoil quickly (ie. have a large crudite platter vs a large platter of deviled eggs). 

Outdoor BBQ Gathering

what do i need to host a bbq
  • Keep extra water bottles and/or sparkling water on hand, ideally. When people are outside, they’re likely to drink more, and it’s nice to be able to reach for something beyond alcohol.
  • Extra disposable plates, flatware, and cups should be handy! 
  • Prepare food that you can enjoy later in the week “in case” those pesky add-ons arrive. If they don’t then you will have less meal prep for the week ahead! Think more cut and washed veggies, apples, and/or items like chicken that you can turn into soups, pot-pies, etc. 
  • Ice: you can’t really have too much. Calculate how much you should have to begin with.
  • Extra bug spray and the like. We’re all about being prepped for hosting outdoors.

Cocktail Party 

extra guests are coming over
  • Most importantly: Have extra glassware on hand. Think of mixing up the style of glass your guests hold, and you don’t need to be concerned with stocking up on extras of a certain set. Stemless. Wide-rimmed. Tumbler. Flute or martini. Deep or shallow. Red or white. Simple or designed. The more varieties you get out there, the more fun the party is, right?
  • Expect each guest to consume two drinks in the first hour, and one for each hour after. Tally up your guest count, and add a few more just in case. Check how to know how much wine to buy…and apply as a guide for cocktails where needed.
  • Juice, liquor, mixers, tonic water, and sparkling water are all beverages to have on hand. Party style we love? Invite everyone to bring their liquor of choice—and you’ll provide the fixings centric to the season at hand. 
  • Extra ice, always.  
  • If serving snacks, desserts, or a fancy charcuterie board, have more ingredients in the fridge to replenish. 

Our Go-To List of Things to Have on Hand at Any Party:

  • Trash bags
  • Napkins
  • Place settings
  • Bench and/or chairs 
  • Extra food and drinks 
  • Hand soap
  • Toilet paper (the poor guest to follow the last roll…you know how it feels)
  • Extra party favors if handing those out 
  • Tablecloths 

Let us make note of this first: When the unexpected neighbor or the despised cousin shows up unannounced, take a deep breath and be kind. (Also, does this happen often in reality?) Easier said than done, but drama is far more exhausting than turning them away. Let them in and continue the gathering. Deal with anything necessary after, once all the invited guests are gone. Ultimately, think ahead and be prepared for a few extra people. But don’t break your back trying to accommodate everyone. 

On another note…

what to do with guests I didn't invite

Imagine if Harry Styles showed up to a Taylor Swift event. We’d definitely let him stay. The amount of songs that would be produced from this unexpected guest are unfathomable. You never know what will happen if you decide to enjoy the guest. Perhaps an uninvited guest or two is far from the end of the world.

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