Creating Intentional Gatherings

Intentional events are meaningful events. Showing care for others through the moments you create is something that I believe should be the foundation of every gathering.

3 tips for creating intentional gatherings:

Know your crowd

Wedding? Intimate dinner party for 10? The same rule applies: When your guests feel featured and important, it elevates the whole mood of any gathering.

Some questions I like to ask myself before designing an event might include:

  • What is my goal?
  • Why am I having this event?
  • What do my guests enjoy?
  • What type of atmosphere do I want to create?

These questions help me figure out what my priorities are for the event. Knowing the purpose of your event helps to create an intentional event

If you’re hosting the event, be a host who is present

I’ve been a guest at events where I’ve felt stressed or awkward, or even where I felt like I didn’t belong. Even though stressed and awkward is already part of my daily way of existing, a well-planned event should not be adding to that.

Anyone who knows my mom would understand what being an intentional, present host means. Ever since I was a  little girl, I’ve helped my mom with her events. She always tells me how she uses her guests as her inspiration. The menu, the atmosphere, the music…her guests are always in mind! She also tells me that guests can sense when you’re a stressed or anxious host. Being a host who is present is one who puts their guests at ease-you set the tone for your event. There have been many a time where as a single mother and the host of the party, she’d come running into the house after mowing 2.5 acres of lawn, flick the oven on, throw in her homemade apps, and take a shower, only to emerge 10 minutes later in a beautiful dress with blown-out hair, and greet her guests at the door with her warm smile and a glass of wine in hand, our house smelling like the buttery flaky crispy crust of whatever had just finished baking. No one would have ever known! “It’s showtime!” she’d whisper to me.

Create memories

When you know your crowd, it can be easier to find ways to create memories. A memory could be tangible or just the overall vibe. From unique wedding favors, to fun music that turns into a spontaneous dance party, to simple dinner party conversation, it is always nice to leave your guests with something to remember. Some ways that I make memories include:

  • Creating a fun and unique menu, or introducing new foods/cocktails for my friends to try
  • Sharing a funny story from the work week
  • A great playlist with new music
  • Homemade wedding favors
  • Finding a fun game to play

Dedicated to my beautiful mommy, who always reminds me there’s always a reason to have a party.

Photography: Peyton Steensma Photography