Having small gatherings doesn’t mean taking away the fun!

Once upon a time, you were dreaming of a big, sprawling backyard barbecue or a packed house party. Then…well…COVID-19 happened. It’s a bummer having to turn huge soirees into small gatherings, but cutting down the guest list doesn’t make an even boring. You can still have fun while hosting a small get-together – and you don’t have to sacrifice safety or break COVID recommendations to do it.

Currently, gatherings of all sizes are allowed in Florida, but big events are still discouraged and restrictions may vary by community. Many of us miss big, crowded gatherings (and we are on the way to getting there again!), but small gatherings make it easy for everyone to stay six feet apart. It may not be Florida rule that gatherings have to be limited, but public health officials certainly recommend this now. So, be a good party planner and keep your event intimate.

Here are eight tips to ensure that no matter how small your event is, it’ll be a big hit!

1. Un-invite guests without being rude

Here’s the awkward part (but don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be): planning a small gathering means minimizing your guest list. This may seem daunting, but most people are surprisingly cool with being uninvited – or not invited in the first place – during Covid-19.

Decide who absolutely must be there – close family is a good way to go. Create or alter your guest list as early as possible and communicate to your guests so they have time to adjust their plans. You can offer an alternative way to join in on the festivities, like Zoom or FaceTime, for those who aren’t invited. You can also express a desire to meet up at a later date so they get the picture that it’s not them, it’s COVID

2. Communicate with guests beforehand about safety measures at your small gatherings

Set the tone early by communicating safety precautions beforehand to your guests. Reassure them of the safety measures you’ll be following – wearing masks, social distancing, hand washing, etc. – and strongly encourage them to follow the rules. Talking about safety may not feel like it sets a chill party vibe, but it’s a nice way to put your guests’ minds at ease, which will in turn lead to a more comfortable event.

3. Have your small gatherings outside

Outside gatherings are safer, and they also happen to be more fun! Who doesn’t love a night with friends, food, and music on the back porch? We’re lucky to be in Florida too, where the winter weather is just right for outdoor gatherings. Set up string lights, offer sunscreen and/or bug spray, light some candles, crank up the music, and set the tone for a really fun, low-risk event.

4. Offer fun masks

Encourage mask-wearing by offering them as party favors. You can purchase themed masks that fit the tone of your event, decorate some yourself, or even challenges guests to don the coolest masks they have. Masks not only protect you and those around you, but you can make them an entertaining fashion statement.

5. Keep hand sanitizer available

There’s an expectation guests have when attending a party that the host will provide everything they need to have a good time. During COVID-19, that includes hand sanitizer. Offer sanitizer as a party favor along with a stylish mask, or simply set up multiple hand sanitizer stations in the area where your gathering will be. Don’t skimp on the soap – have it available in your bathroom and consider putting up a cheeky sign encouraging hand-washing. 

6. Serve mocktails

Consuming alcohol makes you less likely to follow social distancing guidelines, according to the CDC. We’re not saying you have to skip the cooler of beer, but you may want to offer an alternative to alcoholic beverages to promote social distancing (a great host will do this even during non-pandemic times)! Ditch the soda and mix up some fun mocktails. Mocktails can be just as tasty as cocktails – think fresh fruit, fancy garnishes, Instagram-worthy drinkware – without the booze.

7. Embrace the intimacy of a small gatherings

Some think smaller events just aren’t that fun, but they can honestly be better than large events. Think about the last big event you went to – a wedding (possibly yours!), graduation party, etc. – you probably didn’t have time to chat with everyone. You’ll have time to enjoy a conversation with each guest at a small gathering though. Embrace that by taking the time to talk to everyone, ensuring they feel at home. When the party is over, everyone will remember what a great host you were.

8. Get yummy catering

It might not be the best idea to have a large party right now, but you can make the most of a small gathering. Make sure to stay safe with fun, fitted masks, hand sanitizer, and some extra distance from guests.

You can still have a lot of fun at your mini party with mocktails, delicious appetizers, entrees, and rich desserts! Your menu will be on point if you order from TooJay’s Catering. Not only do we have a selection of entrees, but we offer appetizers like nova latkes, mini quiche, and spinach phyllo puffs. Our dessert platters are sure to please too, with options like fresh baked cookies, mini napoleons, and éclairs.

We take the health and safety of our guests and team members seriously. We offer pickup, curbside, and drop-off catering. Items are individually-wrapped upon request and all of our drivers wear masks. Don’t sweat your small event with TooJay’s on your side!