It’s that time of year. Chilly nights, cozy vibes, apple cider, pumpkin pie, and turkey with those we love. Who says you can only have Thanksgiving with family?! Three years ago, just a few weeks after our wedding, Ryan and I decided to host our first Friendsgiving to open our new home to our friends and share in some vino, good food + good times. Little did we know it would become a tradition that our friends look forward to every year! We weren’t going to do it again, and then the 2nd year everyone started asking us when it was going to be. We thought okay, maybe we will really stick with this tradition! So last week, we hosted our 3rd annual Friendsgiving, with 14 of us total!
Here are the things you need to make your Friendsgiving a success!
1. Tables/Chairs: We borrowed long pop-up tables with matching benches from my in-laws, which worked perfectly in our living room. If you have a smaller group, you can certainly use your dining room/kitchen table, or put a bunch of mix and match tables and chairs together! What matters is that everyone is together, not that all the chairs match!
2. Table decor/Centerpieces: This is the fun part where you get to be creative!! Last year I did floral bouquets as centerpieces but this year I wanted to go a little bit simpler with the minimalist style that is so on trend right now. I bought 2 white plastic tablecloths from Target, and then made a table runner out of a roll of kraft paper that I already had. You can find it at Michael’s. Then, I bought bunches of greenery from my grocery store for 50 cents a bunch! Such a steal!! I bought 2 lanterns from Target, and then various sized pillar candles and glass jars at the Dollar Store. I laid the greenery around each bunch of candles and inserted some white and green pumpkins and gourds that I had already had since October for fall porch decor. It turned out gorgeous in my opinion! Candles are the best way to set a cozy atmosphere while staying on budget. A special touch that we do as well is hang Christmas string lights across the ceiling. I love the soft magical lighting it provides along with the candles.
3. Plates/Flatware: Because our group is always pretty large, I always use disposable for everything other than wine glasses. I bought cute paper plates, napkins, and silverware form Target. The plates and napkins had cute thankful quotes and the plastic cutlery was a gorgeous rose gold!! They totally looked real. Score!
4. Food: Ok, obvi! Some people prefer to host the entire meal, and if you really enjoy cooking or have a small group, then go for it! For ours, we do a group potluck. As the host, you should always provide the turkey, even if the rest is potluck style. (Rule of thumb when buying a turkey: 1.5 lbs of turkey per guest.) We always provide the turkey and gravy, 1-2 bottles of wine and then I do a festive fall cocktail. This year I did spiked hot mulled cider! Soo yum and cozy on a chilly night. Then we have our friends choose what traditional Thanksgiving side/dessert they’d like to bring plus a bottle of wine or beer to share.
5. Music: We played a Pandora station called “Thanksgiving Day” radio and it was perfect! It was Frank Sinatra/Michael Bublé type of songs and was the perfect background music for our festivities. There are great Spotify playlists as well or you can make your own!
6. Games: Okay, this is totally optional, sometimes it’s better to just sit and chat and have more of a cocktail party vibe. We start out the party by having a little cocktail hour while everyone arrives and catches up. Then we sit down for dinner once all the food is ready to go, and have games afterward, once the wine has been flowing and everyone is happily stuffed. We love to play cards against Humanity, Scattergories, and various “tame” drinking games hehe. It’s always a blast!
7. Photobooth/Photo Op: We have a blank wall just inside our entryway that is the perfect spot to make a photo area. I always make a sign or banner and make sure we get group pictures in front of it each year. (Highly suggest passing around the selfie stick, so fun!) Then each couple usually gets a pic and then all the guys and all the gals. This year we also used our new GoPro to make a fun video which you can see below!
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Our Friendsgiving Video