How To Be a Gracious Host: My Date with Nate Berkus
I know what you’re thinking. WOW, you two make one good-looking couple. No, that’s not what you were thinking? Touche. Erm…nonetheless, read on for more from my date with Nate Berkus. Plus, what I wore and how to be a gracious host!
Okay, “date” may have been a little misleading. That is, unless you are a student of The Bachelor, in which case you are used to the concept of one very handsome man having lunch with 20 ladies at the same time constituting a date.
But to clarify further, I was graciously invited by Nate Berkus and Target to an intimate lunch at Ysabel in West Hollywood. It was there, along with a handful of fellow bloggers and editors, we previewed Nate’s newest collection for Target (that’s Tar-jay, with a “j”).
Clearly I accepted the rose.
As someone who first fell in love with Nate’s
charm talent on Oprah, and always admired the brand and life he built, I was very excited to receive that invitation.
Now, truth be told, meeting your idols and those who are in the public eye can be a tricky situation. Sometimes people meet your expectations, sometimes they exceed them, and sometimes you wish you had never met in person because WHOA.
Nate, of course, far exceeded all expectations, and was the most gracious host. A quickly dying art these days, which I think is why it struck me so vividly.
In this crazy blogger world, you often get the privilege of attending a lot of events, and I’m always amazed when someone isn’t a gracious host or an event falls flat. The simplest of things, like the host going around the room to individually greet each guest sets the tone and makes all the difference, don’t you think?
Nate has the kind of intensity and warmth that makes you feel like you’re the only person in the room. He’s a lock-eyes kind of guy and, in LA, that’s NOT the norm. It’s almost ingrained in the culture to constantly be looking around to see who else has just arrived — maybe someone more famous or important. That’s the part of LA I loathe. Otherwise, aside from traffic, it’s great. I mean this was lunch on a random Tuesday. What’s not to love?!
So, since along with nailing the decor, Nate clearly nailed the art of being a gracious host, I thought I’d share a few tips I gleaned from Nate on the fine art of being a gracious host.
How To Be a Gracious Host
Tip 1: Welcome Your Guests — Look your guest in the eyes when you greet them, shake hands or hug, and say I’m so happy you’re here. I don’t know how many events I’ve been to where the host never actually greets you. I don’t know about you, but my first instinct then becomes to leave as quickly as I can because I never feel quite welcome.
Tip 2: Have an Attitude of Gratitude — Even though it always makes me a little uncomfortable at the thought of having to do it myself, it’s always so nice when the host gets up during the event to thank everyone for coming. It’s even better when it’s truly genuine and personalized. For instance, Nate thanked us for taking the time to get blowouts, put on pretty outfits and carve out time in our busy days to be there (he knew his audience, ha!). Of course, it was even cuter when Nate thanked his husband, fellow designer Jeremiah Brent, who I was lucky enough to be seated next to, for two great years of marriage (in addition to celebrating the launch of the new collection for Target, they were also celebrating their two-year wedding anniversary).
Tip 3: Be Kind, Open and Generous — Introduce a guest to another guest, as often people don’t know each other and can get shy. A simple “X, have you met Y? You both love <insert subject here>” will suffice. It makes your guests genuinely feel welcome and at ease. Within minutes of meeting us for the first time, Nate had shared a personal story and offered dating advice. There was no artifice or pretense and I was happily surprised by his refreshingly sardonic sense of humor.
Tip 4: Create a Welcoming Environment — Obviously all of the above would make a person feel welcome, but when it comes to decor that can also enhance guests feeling welcome and at ease, cozy seating, blankets, pillows, and beautiful flowers in even prettier vessels are also key. And a fabulous parting gift, like these seagrass totes from Nate’s newest collection, doesn’t hurt either!
Thank you Nate for a fabulous
Now here is a peek at what I wore + some of my favorite pieces from Nate’s newest collection.
And yes, this straw tote is included!
Bag: Ghurka c/o
Dress: Kate Spade (also worn here) c/o sold out but similar here
Heels: Sam Edelman c/o
Sunglasses: Similar c/o
SHOP THE LOOK
PHOTOS BY TESSA NEAUSTADT
p.s. See more photos from our lunch + get tips on how to decorate for an outdoor party on Rue and Architectural Digest as well.
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