Party, schmarty. Anybody can throw a party. But is your party the party? Oh, the pressure!
For us, a party is good food, good friends, lots of laughs, and maybe a themed decoration or two. No dress code. No frills. But, if you ever get a hankering for throwing a pro party, then take these tips from expert Jane Birdwell to heart. She has this company called Tablevogue, so she knows how to set a table and stuff. And—she believes anyone can throw a fab party. Take that, social media!
"Sometimes people aren't willing to entertain at home because Pinterest and other social platforms have raised expectations to such a high level," she adds. "I started Tablevogue because I want people to know anyone can pull off a lovely dinner party when they have a few basic foundational pieces and keep things really simple."
Preach it, Jane!
Feel the spirit of what Jane calls the “Dinner Party Revival” with these tips:
A beautiful table (or a few small ones). A beautiful table is not only the social centerpiece of any gathering—our physical cue to eat, drink, and be merry—it's the visual focal point for the room. Get the table right and everything else is easy.
Crack Wise-dom: Do we have to use a tablecloth, or will a bed sheet work? Multi-purpose rules!
It's fine if you don't have a big fancy house or even a dining room. Many people are ditching the formal dining room in favor of, say, a home office—and plenty of others just choose to live in smaller spaces.
Crack Wise-dom: What if we don’t have plates? Hand sandwiches, everyone!
Some yummy food (homemade or store-bought!). You don't need to spend hours preparing a home-cooked meal to have a great party and create a memorable experience for your guests (unless you just want to!). When you have a beautiful table, you can get away with store-bought food.
Crack Wise-dom: It’s a Ramen throwdown, then!
A group of good friends. Don't give in to the pressure to invite everyone you know to your gathering. Invite only the people you truly want to attend (no inviting people out of guilt or obligation). Whether that means you end up with four guests or fourteen, you're guaranteed to have a great time when you can genuinely enjoy all your guests. Finally, don't invite a full group of strangers; make sure at least a few of your guests have met before.
Crack Wise-dom: Only people we know can sit on our toilet seat. Bottom line.
A great playlist. You can create a fun and festive party atmosphere with some great background music. Feature a playlist of varied musical styles, like jazz, rock, reggae, and folk. If the group is roughly the same age, add some "nostalgia" selections.
Crack Wise-dom: No country. No jazz. No folk. Unless you want violence.
A relaxed atmosphere. It's normal for guests to be nervous when they arrive at your house—especially if they're the first on the scene. Set them at ease by giving them a task—maybe ask them to chop up veggies or even run to the store for an extra bag of ice. You might even ask them to help you do a quick clean-up when dinner is over.
Crack Wise-dom: Awesome. We need someone to get these stains out…