How To: Let's Party!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

With (my) wedding season over and holiday parties season rapidly approaching, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite party tips for any occasion!
Check the calendar.
I know this seems like a no brainer, but it's details like this that make everyone want to come to your get together! Being from the south, the fall is reserved for football season, so if you are inviting a large group of people who are loyal fans, don't plan your party the day of their teams biggest rivalry game. Unless it's a watch party, then game on! Same goes for the World Series, NBA playoffs, etc.

Order Tangible Invitations
Whether it's a cocktail party or bridal shower, order invitations. Not only is it a good reminder for your guests, but everyone loves getting mail that isn't a bill! Companies like Tiny Prints make it so easy to send invites! They have such a large selection of the cutest invitations and are incredibly easy to make your own! Choose something fun and festive to get your guests excited! Plus they will even address and send them for you! They even have an online tracking and RSVP site for free! 

For a happy hour party, I chose these fun Joyful Herringbone geometric invitations! With the fun colors and graphic print, it really allowed me to design the mood of the party!
Tiny Prints also has the best selection of address return labels. This is my least favorite part of sending mail (writing the return address!) so I always order labels! They have rectangular, circular and wrap labels as well as custom stamps and embossers!  Check them out here! I love these circular return address labels I got! They are an ombre green and are really clean and modern!
Keep the Decor Simple
Since Pinterest exploded all over the internet, people are getting really carried away with party decor. Will someone really notice the hand lettered display cards labeling each snack and drink? Yes. But will they notice they are missing? No.
A great way to add an inexpensive little pop of fun into your decor? Personalized napkins! It adds a personal touch without going overboard- they look great on a table and even better in everyone's hands with a drink! Tiny Prints has a great selection of fun colors and designs!

And how cute are these Wit&Delight cocktail napkins from Target? They were perfect for cocktails!
Fresh flowers in clean, modern vases are always a great touch. Keep the flowers seasonal and colorful and fragrant. Stargazer lilies are my fav! A few votive UNSCENTED candles are the perfect finishing touch to setting the mood. (you can use scented candles if you have non-fragrant flowers!) It doesn't take much so make a big statement!
 Have a Signature Drink
Signature drinks are all the rage right now, and I love the idea. We had a signature drink at our wedding and everyone loved it! 

For a fun happy hour party, try individual splits of bubbles for everyone! A metallic sharpie for claiming your split and fun paper straws makes this a fun way to get the party started!
If that's not in your budget, try a mixed drink bar. My new fav? Absolut Texas Vodka. It's a cucumber and Serrano chili infused vodka and it is spicy, cool and delicious. You can mix it with a myriad of things including tonic water, cranberry, pineapple, lime juice or bloody mary mix! My fav? Absolut Texas Vodka with seltzer water and a squeeze of lime on ice!
You can set up a bar with different juices, fruits and veggies (lime, watermelon, jalapeno slices, cilantro, cucumber), and flavored salts and let your guests create their own libation! A bloody Mary bar for brunch, anyone?

A selection of beer and wine work really well too! Just make sure if you have red wine that you hide (or cover!) all your light/white upholstered items and carpet!

Small Bites
Unless you are serving dinner, keep the hor's d'oeuvres (holy hell I just spelled that without spell check! #winning) to bite sized. Nothing dampens the mood like having to saw an app into pieces on a paper/plastic plate with a plastic fork or knife. Guests are more likely to snack on something small but remember bite sized apps go fast though, so make sure  you have enough!

Cheese trays, nuts, fruit and olives with charcuterie (spelled that correct too! woo!) are always a hit. Vegetable crudite are always a staple, and there are tons of fun ways to display and serve veggies so you don't end up with a plate of cut of veggies at the end of the night!

Here is one of my go to one bite appetizer recipes! They always disappear quickly!
Serve Dessert
Any fĂȘte  large or small deserves a sweet ending. Obviously if it's a birthday party, bridal or baby shower there will probably be a cake to cut, but even cocktail parties deserve some sweets! Bite size brownies, cookies, cannolis, pies- the list goes on and on! Recently I went to a party with a build your own brownie sundae bar and it was a hit! So fun too! Warm brownies (or mini store bought ones work great too!) vanilla ice cream and toppings galore!

Enjoy Yourself!
Most hostesses and hosts put a lot of pressure on themselves when entertaining that they don't even enjoy themselves. I know i'm guilty of running around trying to make sure everything is picture perfect. Your guests will feed off your energy, so if you are stressed they won't relax. Have a cocktail, kick back, and have a good time! You'll be glad you did! Besides you've prepared everything ahead of time and set the perfect atmosphere, so it will be great! And if not, no one will know but you! 

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