Simple Steps to a Memorable Friendsgiving Dinner

Sharing five simple steps for you to use for your own Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving this year to make it feel extra special.

One of my favorite humans, Lea from Creekwood Hill, brought together some of the most design-savvy girls and hosted a magical Friendsgiving dinner. I’m so grateful for this Minneapolis community I get to be a part of and pinched myself even harder after this evening. What was so cool about this Friendsgiving dinner was that Lea truly made it into a collaboration, which made us all feel part of it, which in turn made it into an unforgettable night. 

So if you’re looking to start a Friendsgiving tradition or maybe looking for some fresh and new ideas for the one you already host, I wanted to share some simple steps to make your Friendsgiving a memorable night that no one will ever forget and leave feeling grateful…which is what Thanksgiving is all about after all. 

Bring Good People Together

Think about the last memorable night you had…

Did you feel good when you left?
Re-energized and motivated the next day?

My guess is it was because of the people that you surrounded yourself with that night and the way that they made you feel. 

When thinking about your guest list for your Friendsgiving dinner, think about the group of people that you want to invite. Who cares if they don’t know one another…just simply bring good people together and no matter what the decor is or how the food tastes I promise you, this alone will make for a memorable Friendsgiving night. 

I always strive to be intentional about the different events I put on and the parties I host about whom I’m inviting. I am one that likes to invite them all! But I really loved how intimate Lea wanted this evening, she only had invited eight people. She wanted us all to connect in a world right now where we’re craving real-life connections and truly get to know one another on another level. I didn’t know a couple of girls in the room before this evening, but I know I’m going to be friends with them moving forward. And I’m a firm believer in you never know where a relationship might lead you.

It was a good reminder that it’s sometimes okay to not invite the world to the parties you host. Be intentional about what you want people to get out of the evening and bring those people together. 

Make it a Collaboration

Lea wanted to make this year’s Friendsgiving special, so she included us all in the celebration. 

Asking all to be involved doesn’t only make everyone feel special and a part of the evening but also takes a ton of stress and work off you. So when everyone shows up, you’re all getting ready and preparing, and chatting together with one another….instead of being the only one running around with your head cut off. 

Lea made Harvest Carrot Soup, Jennifer with Sage E Imagery did all the photography, Kelly with Maven created the floral centerpiece, cocktails, and mocktails. Erin with Francois Et Moi made gorgeous, handcrafted beeswax candles and brought a delicious beet salad recipe from Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa).

Erin has the best video, which you can find –> HERE <– walking you through how to make these perfect candles that she makes look so easy! I was so excited to take home a couple. 

Mercedes with Mercury Mosaics created the most stunning planter pots made of tile remnants.

Alyssa with Project Remodel shared with us an elegant cheese board and coasters. I brought all the goodies for whipping up an amazing and beautiful charcuterie board. And finally, the incredible tabletop decor is from Lea’s shop at Creekwoodhill. Let me tell you, her shop makes for some pretty perfect hostess or Christmas gifts.

Have a Good Menu

Sometimes it doesn’t have to be your typical Thanksgiving menu, and it doesn’t have to be so complicated.

As I said above, Erin with Francois Et Moi made a delicious beet salad recipe from Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa), Lea made the delicious Carrot Soup and I brought all the goodies for whipping up an amazing and beautiful charcuterie board. Links to all of the tutorials for you guys down below! 

If you include everyone in the night and ask them to bring something, my guess is they’ll either bring something they love to make or maybe something special from their family tradition. All of these will have a story to tell once you’re sitting around down at the table, asking how, what, or why they made what they did. I’ll be honest, I never thought once in my life I would enjoy Carrot Soup, but since this night I’ve already whipped it up two times. 

 

Create a Festive Cocktail

And of course, every event needs a cocktail or mocktail. And even better yet, if it’s festive! My new friend Kelly from Maven not only created the floral centerpiece but whipped up the cocktails and mocktails. (Not to mention she was 37 weeks pregnant, glowing and giving me some major baby fever!) 

Here are her recipes and I strongly suggest you whipping these up for your Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving this year. 

Spiced Cider Cocktail
3oz Dry Vermouth
2oz Tattersall Gin
1oz Drambuie (or any spiced Liqueur)
1oz Orange Liqueur
1oz Fresh Cider
Add to shaker with ice and serve up
 
Non-Alcoholic cocktail
4oz club soda 
2oz Bittermilk Bitters – Smoked Honey Whiskey Sour
2 oz Fresh Cider
Serve over ice

Document the Night

As I mentioned, Lea was intentional about who she invited to sit down and connect with one another so she had Sage E Imagery capture all the memories that evening, so we could all put our phones away and talk.

In a world where we’re all glued to our phones, in order to make it a memorable night, you’ll want people to remember it. So if you hire a photographer, or dedicate one friend to capture the evening, everyone will be able to be present and reflect later once they get some fun pictures back! 

A couple of weeks later, I’m still on cloud nine feeling re-inspired. A huge thank you to Lea for welcoming us into your home and praying she creates this event again next year and I’m in the invite list. 

Wishing you all an unforgettable Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving this year. I’m feeling extra grateful this year for all of you! 

More links to details about the night:

Read more of the recaps, tutorials, and features from this night that made it an unforgettable night to remember! 

Francois Et Moi | How to Pull off a Magical Friendsgiving
Creekwood Hill | How to Host a Friendsgiving
Featured in MSP Magazine | How to Host the Ultimate Friendsgiving
Lea’s Harvest Carrot Soup Recipe
DIY Charcuterie Board Tutorial