Make Your Memorial Day Gathering Memorable With These Entertaining Tips

This week, we were thrilled to host a Facebook chat with Pottery Barn’s entertaining expert, Tony, who provided fans with a wealth of tips for Memorial Day entertaining. Did you miss the chat? No worries, we’ve rounded them up here for blog readers who might not have been able to join the chat. Keep reading for Tony’s top tips!




Easy, low-calorie drink that will look good in a Mason jar? “Try using a citrus vodka with soda water and a splash of cranberry to add a bit of color. You can garnish with mint and blueberries for a patriotic twist. It’s light and refreshing; don’t go too heavy on the booze, unless you want your guests hanging around all night! To cut more calories, you can use diet cranberry juice, too.”

Using an American flag quilt as a tablecloth? “You might not want to risk getting any stains on your quilt, and I think it would look great as a wall hanging or use it as a throw on your outdoor furniture instead. This will lend that patriotic look to your outdoor event.”

Effectively and easily elevating a drink dispenser? “There are several ways. We offer a number of drink dispenser stands online and in stores. Another way, is to elevate a plank of wood with books or found objects like terracotta bricks depending on your decor. This way you can line up several drink dispensers giving a dramatic, colorful display!”

A Memorial Day-appropriate hostess/hospitality gifts? Try filling the Bronson Caddy with your favorite summer brews and then wrap the Gingham Napkins through the handle. This is a great hospitality gift you can enjoy with your hosts!




Must-have for an outdoor dinner party? “My must-have for an outdoor dinner party is candlelight and lanterns. The food will of course be wonderful, but the decor must be stunning. Battery-operated and flameless candlelight won’t be thwarted by evening breezes and won’t interrupt your entertaining. The Bristol lanterns have great coastal charm that really set the mood for outdoor dining.”

Bringing an outdoor event inside but still making it bbq? “If you don’t have access to a grill, there are plenty of southern barbecue joints that will deliver the mains with all of the fabulous sides. Order your food in, take it to the roof and have your guests wear a little seersucker. Tis the season!”

Decorating for an indoor July 4th party without resorting to stars and stripes?There’s two ways to do it. You can update it by just doing red and white or blue and white. If you like our Cambria dinnerware, you can use that to bring in a patriotic feeling. Also, adding some galvanized serving pieces lends an outdoor touch to an indoor party without feeling contrived. If you want to add a little pop of additional color, look at our red outdoor flatware or use strawberries and raspberries to add a pop of color in your food. This way, the only stars at your party will be your guests!”

Politely switching out guests’ contributed bowls or pans if it doesn’t match my theme? If you have great serving pieces that you’d like to show off, I think your guests wouldn’t be offended if you switched out the dish they bring. If you think the guests might be offended, you can always wrap the container in burlap, patriotic ribbon or other fabric that matches your theme. This ensures that you won’t end up with a mismatched buffet.”

Good favors for a kids’ party over Memorial Day weekend?  Try using our melamine Oceana Outdoor Drinkware filled with a refreshing fruit salad. It’s a great snack for kids and adults alike, and the kids’ parents can take the glasses home as a favor.”




Keeping perishable foods safe at an outdoor gathering?  “I suggest putting it in a bowl with ice to keep it fresher throughout the party. If you haven’t already, you might want to consider getting one ofour fabulous umbrellas for our dining table to keep your food further out of the sun.”

On-trend look for the summer (on a budget)?  “The nautical look is really hot this year. An easy way to get this look without spending too much money is to go to the local hardware store and find different thicknesses of rope. Wrap the bases of our bosphorus vases with rope and then pair them with a couple of the Hyannis lanterns to get your party decor in ship shape!”


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