Ok, so there are two things that you should know about me, I love Thanksgiving and I love planning. So with that being said naturally I've been having so much fun putting together my first Friendsgiving this year!

When planning any type of event my first instinct is to Google and Pinterest every tip and trick available. From timeline to time-saving hacks to dish ideas I want to know it all. I've started planning my little Friendsgiving get together for about two weeks now and I wanted to share some tips I've picked up along the way to help you plan the perfect Friendsgiving this year!

1. Determine how many people can comfortably fit into your space
First things first, be realistic with your space and determine how many people can comfortably fit in it. My boyfriend and I had made the mistake of making a full-on guest list first of all our friends and then, later on, realized that my little apartment couldn't handle 12 people inside it. Thankfully we didn't have to go through the embarrassing process of uninviting or cutting people out due to the lack of space since they had declined our RSVP, but to save yourself the struggle, be sure to determine your seating arrangements FIRST.

2. Make your guest list + Set a date
Now that you've determined how many people can comfortably fit into your space, time to make a guest list! This was a little bit of a struggle for us since this is the first time we're hosting a dinner together and we wanted to invite both of our friend groups, but due to our limited space and seating, we had to go back and forth on who to invite. At the end of it, we decided to host Friendsgiving with primarily his friends and switch it off on our Christmas get together with my friends. It's a good middle-ground for us and we still have a chance to host both of our friend groups for the holidays.

As for a date, I've heard it done in a variety of different ways. For some, it worked best by creating a group chat with everyone and asking which weekend the majority of the group is free but the way we decided to do was to set the date ourselves. Since we were hosting it was important for us to find a date that worked best for us.

3. Figure out your menu / who's bringing what
The fun part about Friendsgiving is that it's just one big potluck with your second family! Typically the host is responsible for Turkey (it's the main dish + who would want to lug an 8+ pound turkey in their car??) and gravy. What I did was created a spreadsheet on the foods that I wanted to make for the dinner and categories of everything else that may be needed.

For example, I knew what we would provide the turkey and I wanted to make baked mac and cheese, a charcuterie board and roasted vegetables as well. From there I filled in categories of food that are missing such as a starchy side, bread, dessert, drinks, etc. After I have the categories filed out I let my guest pick which category they'd like to bring and fill in who's bringing what and the type of dish in my spreadsheet. This way it keeps it all organized and you don't accidentally end up with three people bringing mashed potatoes (which wouldn't generally be a bad thing!!)

4. Set your budget
You can easily get carried away with buying every pumpkin decor you come across or a full-on dinner room spread if you're not careful. I'm first to admit that I love going all out for little occasions like this, but I do like to set a budget to make sure I don't go too overboard. Setting a budget for decorations and food will also help you get creative with DIY crafts and finding ways to make your dollar go far. To help cut some costs I was able to borrow some utensils and seating from my brother/home as well as doing a few DIY crafts for decorations.

5. Make your timeline
Creating a timeline of when to get things done ensures that you're not running around stressed the day of making sure everything is done. With the holidays being here, schedules tend to get pretty hectic and the best way to avoid added stress is to plan ahead. I created a rough timeline of when I wanted to start shopping / making decorations, finding recipes to make, gathering the necessary things for our dinner, grocery shopping, cleaning my apartment, decorating, etc. Breaking things up to have one or two tasks a day makes it seem more doable and less stressful than pushing it till a few days before.

6. Get creative with your seating
Back to the seating point. Sure it'd be nice to have a beautiful matching dining room set to host guests in, but if your budget doesn't allow it, it doesn't mean you can't host a great Friendsgiving. Get creative with seating by pulling together your existing dining room chairs, office chairs, couches, etc. The most important part is the company not what you're sitting on.

7. Break up your shopping lists
Depending on how much food you're planning to make or how many people you're feeding you may need to start to plan out where you're buying what. If you're feeding a larger crowd, it may be more cost-efficient to purchase things in bulk from places such as Sam's Club or Cosco. I've also broken up my shopping trip to two separate trips, one trip to get all the nonperishables about a week before and another trip to get all the perishables a couple days before. I do this so I...
1. don't get super overwhelmed when shopping for what I need
2. to make sure the items I need don't go out of stock
3. have a second trip as a backup juuusst in case I missed anything.

Also, be sure to shop around your local grocery stores and compare prices to ensure you're getting the most out of your money, especially if you're shopping on a budget!

8. Get crafty with your decorations
If you're like me and love to set the mood with decorations but don't want to spend a ton of money, then the DIY route is the best way to go about this. You'd be surprised with what a can of spray paint and some dollar store finds can do. For my decorations, I've mainly been scouting the Target dollar section for pumpkins and scrolling through Pinterest for some festive DIY ideas. Little details such as writing festive sayings on chalkboards that you can get from GoodWill or simple table cloth from the dollar store can go a long way. I've linked a few affordable Friendsgiving decorations I've bought/think would be fun for the occasion!

9. Entertainment
Yes, the main event is eating and catching up with one another, but what are you going to do once your bellies are stuffed and full? Games such as What do You Meme? And Cards Against Humanity are always fun options. My boyfriend is bringing over his Swtich so we can have that set up to play Mario Kart and Mario Party when everyone is done eating!


And there you have it, the guide to host your very first Friendsgiving! I hope you all found some solid tips for hosting your first Friendsgiving. If you are hosting a Friendsgiving this year, please let me know and if you have any tips that I may have left out! Be sure to follow me on Instagram as I'll be sharing some pictures of my own get together next Saturday!

Have a great week!


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