Let’s toast Annemarie, guest poster of the day!
Hello swooners!! We have the lovely Annemarie of the blog I brunch with every morning, Brunch at Saks, hanging out in Studio Swoon today. Annemarie is an absolute sweetheart and we are thrilled to have her! She’s been blogging away since 2008 and I’m always amazed at her ability to provide swoon worthy posts, whether it’s party planning, fashion, or the latest trending topic, Annemarie is on top of what’s hot. Get out your journal and take some notes, because today she is giving away her secrets to planning the most fabulous Spring Soiree.
A Guide to Planning a Spring Soiree
With the warmer weather nearly upon us, now is the perfect time to gather family and friends to kick off the season in style. Whether you have dreams of a low-key backyard gathering under the stars, or envision a bustling, 1950’s-inspired cocktail hour, these 5 steps will help you get your party in full swing and surely make your spring soiree the talk of the town for months to come.
1. The two L’s: List & Location. Guests are the most important aspect of the event (of course!) but keep in mind your event space and location while creating the list. If you’ll be hosting a mellow get-together in your backyard, consider bringing in extra seating such as rented couches or benches to accommodate a few more people. If an indoor cocktail hour is more your style, then feel free to invite 5-10 more guests than your space calls for in anticipation that not everyone will show. If you’re including, say, both friends and family, or friends and coworkers, but your designated area isn’t large enough for all, consider scattering the arrival time on the invitations by about 30 minute intervals.
2. Invites. The first impression your guests will have of your gathering is the invite, so why not take the time to set the mood for your party right off the bat. If your affair will be a bit fancier, a paper or card invite sent via the mail is the way to go, however, something as simple as an evite is perfect for a lighter party (like those consisting of only drinks and hors d’oeuvres).
3. Menu. Speaking of drinks and hors d’oeuvres, it’s easiest to determine the menu based upon the size of your guest list. For parties with 8-10 or fewer, consider a meal that includes a simple appetizer, main course, and dessert. If you will be hosting more than 10 people, consider skipping a full course meal in lieu of cocktails, a stationery appetizer table, and possibly a few passed hors d’oeuvres. When selecting foods, keep in mind things that are easy to assemble and easy for guests to eat while talking.
Suggestions: cocktails – spring blueberry cocktail, la paloma spring cocktail, blackberry julep appetizers – prosciutto basil crostini, honey pepper brie, prosciutto wrapped blue cheese pairs, strawberry kiwi summer rolls
4. Decor. Now that you’ve picked a location, invited your guests, and created a delicious menu, it’s to make this party pretty! If your space speaks for itself and doesn’t need much decor (like a city loft or terrace with views) then maybe try adding just a few extras, like strands of twinkling lights and candles. Indoor parties, or those in a space that has been cleared out to make room for guests, may need considerably more decor, but don’t feel obligated to cover every surface. Candles (unscented) in glass votives, a table runner or two for the food area, fresh cut flowers in vases or jars, and paper lanterns/ pom poms all make for gorgeous decor without breaking the bank.
5. Entertainment. Another aspect of your party that can be as simple or detailed as you like is that of the entertainment. A nice mix of mellow music via an iPod or computer is certainly more than enough to keep a lively mood throughout the entire evening, but if you’re looking for something with a little more pizazz, consider tried and true favorites like a photo booth or games with fun prizes.
Planning a party can often end up being stressful, but try to keep in mind that that guests are going to be more than delighted just to share in an evening of good company, yummy eats, and much needed laughter. While details make a party come to life, it’s the time spent together that makes the memories last a lifetime.