We know how fun it is to entertain, but also how stressful it can be if we are unprepared for the night. After a lot of practice, we have come up with a few solid check points to help us stay organized and ready-to-go by the time guests are knocking on the door! For each party that we blog about, we will highlight each of these steps and how they helped achieve the final look for our event.
PICK A THEME
Picking a theme for an event helps us to get started with everything from the menu, to decor and tablescape ideas, and even entertainment. We are not suggesting that every party be a Halloween costume party, but having a theme or concept will help you stay on track and have a clean looking event. Some ideas are a wine tasting party, fall foods, winter whites, or “on the grill”.
CHOOSE A MENU
We have a few suggestions about getting the menu started, as this is often one of the more challenging parts of entertaining!
- Choose a variety of dishes that can be kept warm in the oven or served chilled/room temperature, and only one dish that needs to be made at the last second, if any. This helps prevent the kitchen from looking like it is on fire as people are arriving and allows us to enjoy being guests at our own party.
- Have an appetizer that is ready to go before your guests arrive. We love any version of a meat and cheese board. It’s visually enticing and will encourage our guests to drift away from the kitchen if we need a little extra prep time.
- Let your guests help! We hate coming empty handed to someone else’s home, and if a guest offers to help, we let them. Don’t be afraid to tell them the theme of the party or what you had in mind for the menu.
- When in doubt, go back to the theme. If we are struggling to make a menu cohesive, we will go back to the theme and try to start all of our ideas from there.
In our dream world we would have a full set of dishware and tableware for every party we want to plan. In real life, we use these tools to help make our events special without breaking the bank in the process.
- Have one neutral set of dish ware and placemats that can be used in any season or for virtually any type of event. This checks a giant box off our list and allows us to put more time and effort into other areas of decorating.
- Flowers and candles to step up the sophistication. These two things will always help your event look clean and well put together.
- A few unique touches. Go back to your theme and menu to find some creative ways to decorate. Hurricanes filled with lemons and oranges make a great table runner for brunch; a bowl of seasonal vegetables and fruit can be a great centerpiece, and empty wine bottles filled with flowers can line a table for a festive nighttime event.