How great an idea is Friendsgiving Dinner – a meal where friends gather to celebrate Thanksgiving together.
The term “Friendsgiving” is older than you might think, first appearing in the Urban dictionary in 2009. Grabbing one of the cleaner quotes from the Urban Dictionary, Friendsgiving can be described as “Celebrating Thanksgiving with the people we wish were our real family!”
This gathering of friends can be formal or casual, potluck or buffet, but the best part about Friendsgiving is that you get to invite whomever you want! All your besties in one place for a Thanksgiving meal together is EPIC!
Some very good friends of ours hosted a Friendsgiving Dinner this past weekend for 30 guests. We all had such an amazing time, I have to share the details with you and maybe you will want to host a Friendsgiving Dinner of your own.
If you follow me on Instagram HERE, you have heard me talk about our fabulous community of friends and our amazing neighborhood. We are so blessed to share our lives and our homes with each other and enjoy seeing our children grow up together. We have a very social network of friends so having a Friendsgiving Dinner together was an affair not to be missed.
Our generous friends, who came up with the Friendsgiving idea and who hosted the event made it an evening to remember with a delicious potluck buffet, followed by games that had us laughing so hard, my stomach is still hurting.
Hosting a dinner party for 30 people can be a daunting task, but with the proper planning, it is an event that will be thoroughly enjoyed and talked about for years to come. Let me show you a few cost effective tips for hosting an elegant and fun dinner party.
My girlfriend hosting the party, called me this past week wanting to pick my brain about the table set up for dinner. She had put a great amount of thought already into the configuration and came up with several different seating options.
Providing seating for 30 people to enjoy a meal together obviously has constraints, space being the biggest one. Do we set up several different tables and spread them out, or do we have the space for one big table? Another consideration, do all the guest know each other or will you have several different groups of friends? If all the guests know each other, one large table is optimal. If there are different groups of friends, maybe 3 or 4 tables would be better. I typically like to avoid having one big table and one small table, often guests at the smaller table feel like they are eating at the children’s table.
For our Friendsgiving dinner, we all know each other well and would enjoy sitting together if possible. My girlfriend and I put our heads together and came up with an optimal scenario for the dinner party.
Space limitations, of course, will dictate certain room configurations – but we have an advantage of having access to a large space that will accommodate a table for 30. My girlfriend has this amazing room in her home that is sitting vacant at the moment – and it is the perfect size for our large gathering!
Building out a table for 30 was actually pretty easy with a little help from Home Depot. After coming up with the dimensions and figuring out the proper diameter needed for 30 chairs, and taking into account that each chair is 2 ft wide, my friend came up with a C shaped seating configuration for the room.
We gathered our folding tables HERE together and set them up in the room. We all have several of these tables on hand and use them often for different events. The ones that fold are the easiest to set up, carry, and store.
The tables can be spaced apart and don’t need to butt up against each other.
We went to Home Depot and purchased 5 boards of plywood for $10 a piece. The boards are 4 ft by 8 ft and the lumber department will cut the boards to your specifications free of charge.
To ensure that the boards won’t move, slide around, or tip over, we purchased tape HERE to secure the boards in place on top of the folding tables.
Using 3 rolls, we wrapped the tape around the table and plywood boards.
Using white paper or plastic tablecloths HERE over the boards and under the fabric tablecloths will give a whiter appearance to the table and cover the wood grain which would show thru the fabric tablecloth.
We used banquet sized white tablecloths HERE to cover the plastic ones. These polyester tablecloths are great for weddings and large banquets. They are washable and so affordable!
For the corners, we folded the edges under the tablecloth and created a seam on the table.
In keeping with a champagne colored theme for the Thanksgiving Dinner, we used square placemats and varied them on the table.
The table is looking amazing!
A piece of garland was used in the center of the middle table. We added pinecones, votive candles, paper pumpkins, and gold candles to the garland.
How cute are these napkins? Instead of purchasing napkin rings, my girlfriend used ribbon to tie around the cloth napkins.
Utilizing a variety of chairs, my friend came up with a perfect symmetrical arrangement for the room, even adding in folding chairs with slipcovers HERE.
We lined votive candles HERE every couple feet along the length of each table.
Flower arrangements consisting of white hydrangeas and white roses are placed on the mantle and both corners of the tables.
The Friendsgiving Dinner was potluck, with the food being set up in an adjacent room. Along with a variety of appetizers, the main course consisted of prime rib, filet mingnon with portobello mushrooms, roasted chicken with lemon butter sauce, baked ham, scalloped potatoes, french beans, stuffing, baked ziti, roasted brussel sprouts with bacon and salad.
To top our delicious meal off, the host was sprinkling pepper on our plates with his 3 foot pepper mill – one of the funniest sights we have ever seen!
The dessert selection was impressive as well, a double thick chocolate cake, fruit tarts, banana pudding, key lime pie, and cheesecake. Unfortunately I didn’t take pictures of the food, I wish I had, it was all so amazing.
The bar was set up in the foyer of the home, so guests can enjoy a drink as they enter and begin to mingle with friends.
After dinner and dessert at the table, we went into the living room to play “Pictionary”.
OMG! What a wild time that was, guys against gals!
Some how, not sure how – the guys reigned champions in Pictionary! Still don’t understand it, their drawings were pathetic, but somehow the guys were able to figure out the drawings of other guys a bit quicker than our pieces of art…but we laughed until we dropped and are all probably still hoarse from yelling so loud. It was EPIC fun and we are so grateful to our hosts for organizing such a fun Friendsgiving Dinner.
I hope I was able to inspire you to host a Friendsgiving Dinner with a few money saving tips. Happy Friendsgiving to all of you and my followers! I appreciate each and everyone of you and wish you all a fabulous Thanksgiving.
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