My Favorite Entertaining Tips
I am always here for the parities and absolutely love hosting get-togethers at our home. I really enjoy having a memorable party on a slim budget and minimal work. You won’t find me washing linens and napkins the morning after! These are my 5 go-to tips for making every party extra fun, and easy.
Flowers, Flowers, and More Flowers
Trader Joe’s is my go-to for great and cheap flowers. A few days before your party head to their flower section and grab a few bouquets that you can arrange around the house. I like to keep simple glass vases like these on hand--they go with any theme and it’s no biggie if they get knocked over. For Graham's first birthday we used Trader Joe's tulips and fresh carrots for a statement centerpiece!
Place a vase of flowers as a centerpiece where your guests will be eating, near the food/drinks, and in the bathroom so everyone will get to enjoy them throughout the night! Don’t stress about extravagant arrangements, simple and small have a big impact too.
Let’s be honest, the appetizers are the best part of any party. I love to choose one “wow” appetizer to have out when guests arrive at our house. You can make or buy this! Some of my favorites are:
- Oversized Cheeseboard: fill up your biggest serving tray or cutting board with cheese, sweets, crackers, pretzels, you name it! My easy trick is to use non-cheese snacks and smaller bowls with items that can get messy to create a full look. The picture above is the huge charcuterie board that I made for the 4th of July!
- Tea Sandwiches: tea sandwiches are just so cute and yummy AND when you toss them onto a tiered platter it looks like you really went above and beyond!
- Bloody Mary Bar: okay, this is a cocktail/app combo (what’s not to love?). Create an over the top Bloody bar to get the party started on the right foot. I’m talking mini grilled cheese, bacon, cheese curds, celery, olives, all. the. things.
- Apps in Cups: mini individual apps are also so fun! Buy cheap plastic party cups and fill them with your favorite apps. Great options are veggie sticks and ranch, tomato soup with mini grilled cheese, 7 layer dip, charcuterie cups.
On Theme Disposable Plates and Cups
No one wants to spend half the party or the next morning doing dishes and lucky for us disposable plates and cups have really gotten fun and pretty!! I’m obsessed with the sets from Sophistiplate. I also love these faux wood plates from Amazon because they go with literally any theme and you’d never guess you can just toss them! Add these hammered silverware pieces to elevate the look.
Personalized Place Cards or Favors
Everyone loves personal touches and it’s so easy! If you’re having a sit down dinner create place settings using this place setting kit. If it’s a mix and mingle party, send a sweet like a cookie or candy home with everyone in a bag labeled with their name. I love these kraft paper tags to keep on hand for favors and wrapping gifts! For last Thanksgiving I used mini pumpkins as place settings, which everyone could take home!
High Impact, Low Cost Decor
I always think you get the most bang for your buck by focusing themed decor in one area, either as a fun centerpiece or a photo wall! Lucky for us Amazon exists and they have super easy DIY kits you can buy for cheap. Just search “[INSERT THEME] decorating kit”. Here’s some of my favorites:
For this holiday brunch I focused all the themed decor on the centerpiece and table settings. I bought fresh greenery and found almost all the decor at the Target dollar spot. For example, the napkins are tied together with gift tags!
Some end of summer party themes I’ve been eying for a small get together are a white party (I’ve always wanted to do this!), seafood boil, and Aloha Summer luau party.