This month, Heather rounds up her best party planning ideas.
• Music is key to creating the mood you want and keeping the party going. Take a little time to create a playlist that matches your guests and the party.
• For backyard entertaining, stock a basket or bucket with outside essentials, such as bug spray, sunscreen, and band aids.
• To create simple yet impactful centerpieces, fill a vase or container with a bunch of one type of flower or several types of flowers in one color. Cut stems so the heads are just above the top of the container. Another option is to collect several bud vases, fill them with a single floral stem, and gather on a tray or cake plate.
• When grilling, write the temperatures of meat on popsicle sticks to label steaks or burgers to let guests know which is rare and which is well-done.
• Cut fresh fruit and place in a pitcher of ice cold water. Simple and refreshing!
• Save those corks! Use them to hold place cards or the names of dishes on a buffet.
• Before a birthday party starts, scoop ice cream into muffin pans lined with cupcake holders and place back in freezer. When it’s time to cut the cake, just pull these out and there’s no more waiting or mess.
• Turn off the overhead lights. Candles and table lamps set a relaxed mood.
• A signature drink is always fun. Don’t forget to label ones that contain alcohol if it’s not obvious.
• Trays are handy for entertaining. Use them to corral utensils, napkins, dishes and glasses or for transferring items from the kitchen to table.
• White dishes are versatile and classic. Keep the table simple by using all white or add pops of color and textures by layering with chargers or salad plates.
• Have a clearly marked area for recycling.
• Save the cleaning until guests have gone home.