After the holidays are over, it’s easy to quickly lose your entertaining gusto. Whether you’re burnt out or just can’t think of a good excuse to get everyone together, post-holiday winter entertaining is hard to envision — that is, until we saw this gorgeous winter dinner party.
Everything from the warm, cozy setting to the abundance of winter produce makes this dinner party feel perfectly suited for the season. Who needs an excuse when the party is as fun and gorgeous as this?
Keep reading to take a look at this party from the talented team of Wanderlust Catering, Edyta Szyszlo Photography, Alexandra Phelps Events, Studio Mondine and Cheree Berry Paper — plus their expert tips to throwing a classy dinner party with ease and style.
• Are paper invitations outdated? Hardly! We’ve loved seeing them come back with a force — Cheree Berry’s beautiful invitations are lovely enough for everything from a simple affair to a formal event.
• “An email/phone RSVP works great for a casual affair, such as a backyard BBQ, kid’s birthday, even ancillary wedding events,” says Cheree. “Today, we recommend an email RSVP vs. a phone RSVP as not to interrupt work or family time.”
• “Know your audience too. A more senior crowd may not handle an electronic invite as well as a printed one,” says Cheree.
• “The perfect dinner party should have at least these three things: good food, tasty drinks, and great conversation,” says Simi Hansen of Wanderlust Catering. “There’s nothing worse than a party where guests are too shy to get to know each other.
• “Interesting food and drinks are the easiest way to get the conversation started,” says Simi. “Soft lighting and an appropriate soundtrack can also help set the mood.”
• “So many tasks can be done the day before your party. Food prep, table setting, decorating, choosing music, flowers,” Simi says. “If you can get these things done early, all you’ll need to do day-of is put ice on the bar, open wine, heat and assemble food, and get yourself ready. Doesn’t that sound totally stress-free?”
• “Be creative when choosing your bar location. It can be a buffet, a cart, a table, your countertop. Just be sure to choose a surface that’s large enough to hold beverages, ice, glassware, and any accouterments,” says Simi. “If you serve beer in bottles, you can eliminate pint glasses, which is one less thing to set up and clean up. If you’re serving a signature cocktail, make a pitcher for the bar so guests can help themselves.”
• “Building a solid collection of basic items like runners, vases, napkins and service platters is a smart investment,” says Allie of Alexandra Phelps Studios. “Plus, it’s fun to challenge yourself to find new ways to utilize them again and again.”
• “Just like produce, flowers are seasonal too,” says Amanda of Studio Mondine. “Save money by buying in season. For this table, we mixed the wintry amaryllis with local camellia and some early-blooming quince.”