As life goes on during the pandemic, many of us are choosing to set new roots in new places. After months of house-hunting and paperwork, buying a new home or signing the lease on a new apartment is a major milestone that deserves to be majorly celebrated – but what do housewarmings in the time of COVID-19 even look like? How can you commemorate your new chapter responsibly?
Don’t worry, you’ll still hear those “oohs” and “ahhs.” From setting up (virtually or at a distance) to sending gifts, we’ve got helpful tips for both housewarming hosts and guests to break in the new residence while keeping cautious. Keep reading to discover ideas that best fit you and your local county’s COVID-19 restrictions.
Celebrating In-Person: Set Up an Open House Schedule
Much like the open houses you visited while house-hunting, your housewarming party can be set up open house style. Schedule windows for friends and family to drop by, little by little, over the span of several dedicated days or weekends. (Tip: Utilize your Evite invitation’s “What to Bring” tool to organize time slots.)
Try to stagger your party “appointments” so that visiting households or pods do not overlap, and allow yourselves time to sanitize between groups. With smaller gatherings spread across a longer period, you get to prolong the celebrations, enjoy more intimate conversations, and trade the grand buffet for easy, small bites.
Speaking of food and drink, keep it clean and simple. In the name of safety, avoid family-style buffets and instead lay out individually wrapped food items, such as tea sandwiches, or serve food straight from the grill. For a fun and crowd-pleasing splurge, reserve a food truck and cater food (hello, tacos). As for refreshments, stick to single-serving drinks, like an ice cooler of seltzer cans and beer bottles.
Itching for extra time with your guests? After they’ve seen the house, take the party outdoors by taking a leisurely stroll through the neighborhood. This way, you can show off all of the other elements that factored into your moving decision, like the charming park down the street or the community tennis courts.
Celebrating Virtually: Set Up a Video Tour
If you’re more comfortable hosting virtually, say “welcome to my crib” with a classic video tour. The upside of a virtual housewarming is that you can invite as many friends as you’d like from near and far to join you at once. To learn more about setting up a video chat directly in your Evite invitation, visit our help page here.
The entire point of a housewarming is to see the new set-up, so the virtual tour will be the main event. Before the tour, open the blinds to secure the best lighting to debut your new digs, then walk your guests through each room using your best device. (Tip: Attach your device to a selfie stick or tripod to keep the camera steady as you walk through the rooms.) You can also upload photos and recordings to your Evite invitation before or after the event, so guests can take a closer look at their leisure.
After the tour, hang online for toasts, games, and chitchat. Keep to the theme by hosting house-related trivia that anybody can participate in, like matching images of famous houses to television shows.
Looking for other ways to liven up your virtual party? Check out our guide to throwing the best virtual party ever here.
How to Handle Housewarming Registries and Gifts
Housewarmings are a big gifting occasion, so hosts should feel free to make use of the registry feature on your Evite invitation. Including a registry link helps guests figure out exactly what you need for your new headquarters, instead of leaving them to guess. (Unless, of course, you prefer to end up with 8+ new candles.)
Guests should turn to the registry first, but in the absence of a registry, you can’t go wrong bringing something to stock the kitchen or bar, like a bottle of quality olive oil or their favorite alcohol. For a contactless, last-minute gift, guests can also send eGift Cards to help homeowners with whatever additional purchases they’ll need after settling in. After this big deposit, they’ll be grateful for the extra spending money.
What to Write in a Housewarming Card
A new place is a key milestone, so pair your present with a thoughtful card. Not sure what to write? Put a personal spin on one of these sample messages:
- Congratulations, homeowners! Can’t wait to see how you make this beautiful new place uniquely yours. Let us know if you need any help getting settled in!
- Here’s to the beginning of the most exciting chapter yet! Wishing your growing family all the best in this new place you’ll call home.
- Big congrats on your new apartment! I’m so happy for you and can’t wait to see it in all its glory… and for wine nights! Cheers to all of the amazing memories you’ll make within these walls.
What to Write in a Housewarming Thank You Card
And the home stretch for hosts: don’t forget to say thank you. Send free digital thank you notes to your guests for sharing in your milestone after the party is over. If you plan to host a larger, proper gathering in the future, let them know you’re looking forward to it seeing them there!
To put your housewarming festivities on the books, browse housewarming invitations here.