Entertaining Ideas
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House warming open house questions

Since I was little I wanted to be the house that the party happens at, but I have never had my own place before I have either lived with roommates or my parents. My husband and I are moving into our own place in July.  I was wondering if anyone has any advice for a house warming open house.  How much time between the time we move in and the party can I have?  I know I will need some time to set up the house but how long is too long?  Also what is a standard time frame for an open house?  My mother was never an entertainer, so I have no idea what I should do.  Help!

Re: House warming open house questions

  • We were in a similar situation and bought our first house last fall. We hosted a housewarming party in mid-October, which was about two weeks after we'd moved in ... by that point we had living and dining room furniture, we had a few spare chairs on hand, and the kitchen was stocked. I think we gave people about a week, week-and-a-half notice, but everyone that we invited lives local to us.

    I wrote a recap for this board after our party, so hopefully this helps you: http://community.thebump.com/cs/ks/forums/thread/59232977.aspx?MsdVisit=1 

    I don't think there's a set timeframe for a housewarming party, although I admit I'd find it a bit weird if someone threw one after living there for about six months (assuming there wasn't a situation where they just couldn't host people before that time).

    Get in and get settled first. You have time to figure out what you want to do. For what it's worth we also threw a Christmas party that went over very well, partly because I had some spreadsheets and blog entries about our housewarming party to refer back to ... popular appetizers (I knew to triple my batch of pigs in a blanket for Christmas since they went fast at the housewarming), stuff we forgot (a corkscrew), etc.

  • I think we bought our house in April, official move in May...and house warming party July, which has turned into our annual summer party
  • For me, 90 days is about as long as I think you can call it a "housewarming."  After that time, I'd just throw a party.

    I try to throw a party every 4 months or so.  I wasn't great at it in the beginning (very much Monica on Friends ordering people to have fun doing these structured activities, dammit lol), and I am always still working on having everything ready come "showtime," but I've gained a reputation for throwing a great party.  It's a blast!  Welcome, I hope you'll post often.

  • My husband and I moved from our apartment to our first house in the fall of 2009.  I believe we waited a month or so before we hosted an open house.  As we both come from large families, we hosted my family one weekend and then his family the following weekend.  Since it was our first time hosting anything, it was nice breaking it up into two smaller parties - not nearly as over whelming!  Like someone else mentioned, take notes.  You'll probably end up with too much food, and this way you'll have a better idea for the next time you entertain.  We hosted both parties on a Sunday, with a 2pm start time.  We did not specify an end time, but the parties wrapped up on their own no later than 6pm.  That's the nice thing about Sunday parties - most people have work the next day, so no worries about it turning into a late night!


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  • Oh, I didn't see where it was said above, but I third keeping a journal if you're just starting out.  My MIL gave me this book, though I don't use all of its fields as intended.  I take notes that night or the next day to remember what things worked or didn't.  It's a great reference when a few months have passed and you're planning a new party.  It's also helpful if you're likely to invite the same people over and over - you know what you've already served.
  • I think 4-6 weeks would be good.  We are hosting DD's birthday party 3 weeks after move in.  The schedule has been tight trying to get everything ready especially since there have been things that popped up that weren't planned.

     As far as time, it depends on your crowd.  Most people do an open house around 2.  At our first home, we did an open house at 2 for family and a separate barbeque that was adults only for our friends on a different evening.

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  • A good friend of mine held her housewarming/ birthday party 1 year after she bought her house. But she basically tore it down to the studs and completely renovated the house, which was finished about 2 weeks before the party. I think we started at 5ish, and it went until later into the night, because the housewarming people mostly left by 7 or 8, and the rest of us continued the party. I don't think that anyone was turned off by how far after she actually moved it was- we were all super excited to see all of the changes finally come together. This time of day also works with out crowd. 

    Are you planning to do any renos? If so, that might change your timeline. If it is move in ready, I think within a month seems reasonable. Otherwise, it's just a summer party in your new place.

  • We will be doing most of the clean up and repainting before we move in. It looks like a 6 week time line will be the best to give us enough time to get everything out of boxes.  Has anyone done one of these things and can help me with how to plan for food?
  • image Geekywife:
    Has anyone done one of these things and can help me with how to plan for food?

    Sure.  Tell us how many people, what time of day, and what kind of atmosphere you're thinking (kegger or fine china, etc).  You can start a new post if you want so more people may respond.

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