Watching my mother welcome guests in Virginia, where I was raised, taught me that if someone is invited to your home, it is your duty to make them feel welcome and comfortable at all times. Here's how to host weekend guests like a true Southern gal.
1. A proper welcome is essential.
Greet your guests with a warm hello and perhaps a beverage appropriate to the time of day — a coffee in the morning or a cocktail in the late afternoon. Make your guests feel that your house is theirs. Show them the bar and let them know that they should feel free to help themselves whenever they like to anything they find in the bar.
2. Make them feel special.
A beautiful soap left in the guest bathroom, some fresh flowers by the bed, or a small gift of chocolates in their room will make anyone feel welcome. My mother had a beautiful rose garden and would cut roses all summer and place in our house. I know guests felt welcomed by those roses and the fragrant smell that permeated the property. If Mom's peonies were in bloom, she would place a small bouquet in the guest rooms to doubly bless the guests.
3. Give your houseguests a spare key.
This way, they can come and go at will and are not only on your schedule.
4. Let your guests know what you have arranged for them.
Such as dinner parties you or friends have planned for them, the dress of the occasion, a little background on whom they will meet. This helps everyone prepare for the events in store.
5. Be sure to have all the proper accoutrements for your guests to feel comfortable.
Make sure the linens are your best, and always have a lovely blanket on the chaise or the bedroom chair for their comfort.
6. Lay down the rules.
If you have rules the guests need to follow concerning your staff or pets in your house, be sure to kindly let them know so that there will be no misunderstandings.
7. Have a Keurig-style coffeemaker at their disposal.
Offer an array of interesting teas and coffees, creamers, and sugars available either in your kitchen or in their guest rooms. Almost everyone likes to start their day with a little caffeine.
8. Have a large bowl of fruit always full in the kitchen.
In case your guest wants a quick snack!
9. Stock your refrigerator with easy salads for your guests.
Perhaps a potato salad, a pasta salad, and tuna or chicken, and let everyone know they can help themselves as well. If guests are hungry, they do not want to have to disturb you.
10. Make sure your guests feel appreciated and know that you have enjoyed their visit when they leave.
My mother always likes to write a note on beautiful stationery, stick it in their handbag or place it on the suitcase saying something like, "Miss you already" to let each guest know how much she enjoyed having them.