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5 Tips for Hosting Your Own Friendsgiving Gathering

Thanksgiving with the family is as American as apple pie and ice cream – a true iconic American holiday. But in the 2000’s most of us live miles from our family and have adopted, what I like to call, a chosen family consisting of friends and neighbors – the people we frequently spend the majority of our year with. And what better way than to host a Friendsgiving gathering to celebrate the harvest season with this special group of people.

5 Tips to Host Your Own Friendsgiving Gathering - by @KraylFunch

 { All Photo credits in this post go to the amazing team of Caroline & Evan Photography. }

 I was recently asked to be a part of a collaboration with several bloggers in the Tampa Bay + Orlando area to celebrate and create a styled shoot around the trend of hosting a Friendsgiving dinner, I jumped on the opportunity to share my tips on hosting your own Friendsgiving gathering. So many creative amazing women came together to create a beautiful day – I am honored to be apart of the opportunity {thank you Nicole Crews of Casa de Crews for pulling us all together}.

5 Tips to Host Your Own Friendsgiving Gathering - by @KraylFunch

 A thankful cheeseboard - 5 Tips to Host Your Own Friendsgiving Gathering - by @KraylFunch

 My Top 5 Tips for Planning Your own Friendsgiving Gathering

Tip #1 :: Begin With a Plan for Your Friendsgiving Gathering

I know it seems obvious however, trust me entertaining is a breeze when you have an actual plan in place before the date actually arrives. Grab a cup of coffee or wine, and it down for 30 minutes to plan the guest list, dinner location, beverage selections, menu concept, table and overall decor ideas and even the music play list as soon as the idea hits you. I promise this will make the entire entertaining experience much more enjoyable and less stressful!

Tip #2 :: Include Your Friends in the Friendsgiving Menu Planning

Don’t try to do it all yourself! These are the people you lean on all year-long – don’t let your Friendsgiving dinner be any different. Include guests in the menu selection and ask them to create their favorite dish to bring to the party! Plus this equals less dishes for you to wash 

The complete tablescape - 5 Tips to Host Your Own Friendsgiving Gathering - by @KraylFunch

The tablecape with flowers - 5 Tips to Host Your Own Friendsgiving Gathering - by @KraylFunch 

Tip #3 :: Serve a Signature Drink at Your Friendsgiving Gathering

Having a signature drink makes entertaining 10 times easier trust me! When you have a go to recipe you can simply make a batch ahead of time and when each guest arrives you will be ready to pour a glass rather than having to mix them up as you go. Another plus – when you offer a signature drink along with wine + beer you can skip offering a full bar!

Tip #4 :: An Easy Holiday Cheeseboard is a Must 

Cheeseboards are my go to appetizer. They are always a hit, take very little time to plan and can be made one hour before to ensure you still have time to apply that last-minute coat of mascara. 

Dressing my brussels sprouts salad - 5 Tips to Host Your Own Friendsgiving Gathering - by @KraylFunch

Krayl dressing the brussels sprouts salad - 5 Tips to Host Your Own Friendsgiving Gathering - by @KraylFunch 

Tip #5 :: Set your Friendsgiving Fall Inspired Tablescape the Night Before 

This my rule for almost any gathering I am hosting for several reasons. First, it gives you time to ensure you have all your serving pieces cleaned and ready to go as well as time to run out and pick up anything you are missing. Second, it’s much more fun to set it the night before with a glass of wine and enjoy the process!



First Course:

Cheese Plate with Figs and Honey by Casa de Crews

Cranberry and Goat Cheese Crostini by Casa de Crews

Second Course:

Harvest Kale Salad by Supper for a Steal


Turkey with Dressing by Out of the Weeds

Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta Caesar Salad by An Appealing Plan by Krayl Funch

Spinach Gratin by Casa de Crews


No Bake Pumpkin Pie by Happily Audrey

Bundt Cake with a Cream Cheese Drizzle by Melissa Creates

Pear Sangria by The Flair Exchange


 5 Tips toCheers to all - Host Your Own Friendsgiving Gathering - by @KraylFunch

 5 Tips to Host Your Own Friendsgiving Gathering - by @KraylFunch


A huge thank you to our vendors who helped to make this shoot possible!

Photos by: Caroline & Evan Photography

Farm Table/Driftwood Chargers/Gold Flatware/Salt and Pepper Shakers from Set Event Rentals

Mismatched Wood Chairs from The Reserve Vintage Rentals

Floral from Belle Fleuer Tampa

Invitations and Menu cards from Tiny Prints

Creative Loafing Space, Ybor City, FL

The Tampa Bay and Orlando lifestyle bloggers - 5 Tips to Host Your Own Friendsgiving Gathering - by @KraylFunch

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