Be Our Guest

To set the scene in style, we turned to expert event planners, and the creative forces behind Making It Matthews, Camilla and Kayla Matthews, who created a rustic-meets-refi ned theme that honors our Southern roots. 

With the holidays just around the corner and the height of the entertaining season upon us, we set our sights on helping you celebrate with harmony and great style.

As we enter our second holiday season during the pandemic, we would feel remiss if we did not take this opportunity to acknowledge the obvious complications surrounding gathering with your loved ones for the holidays.

Big family events are still going to be tricky to pull off, especially if some members of your family are vaccinated and others are not. Hosts will also naturally have concerns about loved ones who may be more at risk given their age or an underlying health condition.

Health experts agree that outdoor gatherings are great considering our generally mild winters offering ample options for dining al fresco, whether it be on your porch or deck or in the backyard. If you do choose to stage your celebrations indoors, get as close to nature as you can and bring the fresh air in. This is the perfect time to stage your screen porch, lanai or Florida room as an improvised dining room. Open as many windows as you can and use a window fan to help circulate fresh air throughout the house.

Minding Your Manners

While some may find the notion of etiquette as a fusty topic, a new form of manners has developed in response to the pandemic. Communication with family members and friends is crucial when planning a gathering, so have conversations ahead of time to understand expectations for celebrating together. Discuss your expectations and what precautions you will be observing early, clearly and non-defensively, so you have everyone’s buy in about vaccinations, masks and hugging. In many cases, the way something is said is often more offensive than the actual request.

In addition to communicating your boundaries, ask your guests what they are most comfortable with. This will demonstrate you want to honor one another’s boundaries and feel more connected, so you can savor your time together.

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