My Favorite Southern Hosting Tips

Over the past year and a half of living in the South, I’ve learned tons about Southern hospitality and the best hosting tips from books at the library, Southern Living magazines, and YouTube videos. They’ve taught me everything I know, which I now use every time someone visits. I’m excited to pass them on to you; they really do make hosting a stress-free breeze!

woman sitting in corner of kitchen with a smile on her face and a coffee in her hand
Source: Plum Branch Home

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My Favorite Southern Hosting Tips

These tips are tidbits I’ve picked up from articles, videos, and clips over the last few years. You don’t have to live south of the Mason-Dixon line to add a little Southern charm to your hosting style.

Make a Menu

Always make a menu for meals and snacks before your guests arrive. This makes grocery shopping simple, so you don’t forget anything. Be sure to share this with your guests before they arrive to ensure it all sounds good to them. That way, you don’t have to switch things up at the last minute.

It’s always comforting to know what you’ll be eating ahead of time when you’re visiting someone. 

Prep What You Can Ahead of Time

It’s way too common to wait until the very last minute to get things done before guests arrive. This leaves you in a frenzy when they get there, which can sometimes make them feel unwelcome. Plus, who wants to be running around with their hair on fire, almost in tears, when your favorite people are just minutes away? I sure don’t, haha! I learned this one from a Thanksgiving hosting book. 

Always Have Snacks and a Drink Ready

It’s always nice to have snacks and a drink ready, even if it’s just water and cookies. I like to have a sweet and savory snack like chocolate chip scones and cheddar jalapeno scones ready to go. For drinks, I love offering water and sweet tea. 

Always Offer Guests a Snack and Drink When They Arrive

When guests arrive, offer them a snack and a drink. Sometimes a guest can feel a bit awkward or unsure where the food or drinks are, so it’s nice to offer first.

Make Time to Relax Before Guests Arrive

This is one of my favorite hosting tips I’ve learned. Always make time to relax for a little bit before guests arrive. This will help you focus on them rather than feeling exhausted before they even arrive.

Tidy Up To Make Your Home Welcoming

A tidy home always feels welcoming, so take a few minutes to sweep the floor and tidy things up. A little work will go a long way. There’s no need to deep clean and scrub every inch of the house. 

For me, I just like to store things sitting out. Also, we have a large dog, so I like to make sure his hair is swept up and the kitchen counters are clear. Just remember you don’t need a perfect house!

Remember It’s Not the Things You Have But How You Make Guests Feel

I think out of all the hosting tips I’ve learned, this one is the most important. You don’t need extravagant plates, fancy clothes, or the perfect home to host guests. Your guests won’t remember the out-of-place items or the paper plates. But they will remember how welcome they felt in your home. The way you make them feel will go far beyond having everything just so. 

For example, we’re still starting out, so that means small plates with scratches, older mismatched coffee mugs, and making things do. Instead of letting these things bother me, I just remember that if I’m kind and warm, every guest will feel welcome in our home!

Don’t Stress

To finish this list out, let’s talk about staying stress-free. It can be hard to leave the stress behind when you’re preparing for guests. But this leads you to feeling overwhelmed and sometimes sick. No one wants to feel like this when guests pull into the driveway. 

I like to do most of the prepping the night before to stay stress-free. For food, setting up the guest room, and cleaning, you can get them done so you’re not running around last minute. It helps me so much! I also love getting a full 8 hours of sleep the night before and exercising for at least 10 minutes the day they’ll arrive. This all helps eliminate stress so I can enjoy my loved ones!

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  1. Your southern hospitality is so sweet and kind!!
    It’s nice to be offered something to drink and a snack upon arriving from a long drive.
    A glass of your delicious homemade sweet tea (best I found) offered with choices of your sourdough scones was so nice!! Plus a veggie with your homemade ranch dressing (best dressing I’ve ever had).

    Molly & Tyler your great hosts.
    I love visiting, you have a lovely home 🥰

    1. Awww, thank you so much, Mom!! I’m so glad you enjoy the scones, sweet tea, and veggies with ranch as snacks. It’s always so much fun to make our favorite foods to share with you when you come to visit! You’re always welcome here🥰