Downsize Your Gathering, But Not The Fun

Downsize Your Gathering, But Not The Fun

Chief Party Officer Elizabeth Hall shows us How To...
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Elizabeth proving that White Out is perfect for your table and attire.

Elizabeth Hall, founder of Elizabeth Hall Events, is an expert at entertaining. Her job is to throw amazing parties. Given that many weddings and large gatherings are on the back burner, she’s sharing her insider secrets on how to entertain at home like the pros in the meantime.

1. Don’t save the good stuff. You know you want to, so go ahead—break out the fancy china. Those gold utensils you got for your wedding shouldn’t hide away in a drawer. Bring them out for everything from a picnic dinner to a four-course affair. Whoever said rules were made to be broken knew what they were talking about.

2. It’s all in the details. Even the smallest touches, like how you fold your napkins, set the vibe for your soiree. A simple knotted napkin draped over the plate or a folded square with a rosemary garnish looks super chic and shows that you thought about everything—and we mean everything. The devil’s in the details, after all.

A lesson in details, including beautiful stationary.

3. Don’t skimp on stationary. There is nothing more luxurious than a hand-calligraphed menu at each place setting. If you’re really trying to impress, opt for name cards, too. To forgo paper products and think outside the box, you can use unexpected name tags like fruits, glass, or wood to elevate the entire tablescape. Or if you’re more of a DIY-er, take your chosen blank canvas and write names yourself with a marker. Voila! Name cards.

4. Flowers are your friend. Looking for a quick win-win? Support a small biz and bolster your party decor at the same time by ordering from a local florist for your event. Flowers not in your budget? Not to worry—just pop into your local market and buy some bouquets to do-it-yourself. Stick to a single color palette or all greenery to make it look like you really know what you’re doing.

5. Custom cocktails aren’t just for weddings. Your own custom concoction will be the talk of the party. Choose ingredients that mesh with your overall theme, and mix up something magical. Try adding edible flowers for a professional look and give your libation a memorable name that’s as fun to say as it is to drink.

6. Food doesn’t have to be fancy. People don’t come to parties for the food—they’re there for the company. Try to blend high and low to create a memorable atmosphere that’s not too stuffy. Pair a formal, elevated tablescape with boxes of pizza for an eclectic mix your guests won’t forget.

7. Dessert, dessert, dessert. Your party’s pièce de résistance: a custom dessert table to satisfy even the biggest sweet tooth. Mix and match cake stands and dishes you have on hand, or add height and dimension with more unconventional displays, like stacks of books or decorative boxes. Pile on the sweets and baked goods, and you’re set.

8. Dress to the nines. What’s a party without a little showing off? Those formal dresses are sitting in closets collecting dust, so suggest a cocktail attire dress code. After all, even your evening wear deserves a little night out.

For more wedding and event inspo, check out Elizabeth Hall Events' Instagram @elizabethhallevents.