A couple weeks ago, I shared my friend Kristen’s top tips on how to throw the ultimate party, no matter what time of year it is. Due to gearing up for the holidays, I’m a little tardy to the party with sharing part 2, but better late than never, especially as you gear up for your holiday celebrations.
In your opinion, what’s the most important detail to personalizing a dinner party for your guests?
Think about each person individually. Who are they going to have the most giggles with? What part of the party will they like best? What moments can you curate to enhance their experience? For example, with the murder mystery party, I had one friend I knew would get the biggest kick out of the most inappropriate murder weapon, so I made sure she had it. To that end, I also knew how some people would play off each other during certain parts of the game, so I made sure they were paired together. In short, make everything seem casual, unplanned and spontaneous. In reality? Plan every single inch to curate the exact experience you want.
What are key learnings from past dinner parties you’ve thrown?
As much as you might assume couples might want to be attached to each other’s hip at dinner, during a game etc., don’t forget that they like to talk to new people too. In the past, I’ve always had a tendency to pair couples with each other, but forgot that they also spend ALL THEIR TIME together, so it doesn’t always make the most fun for them. Separate, but together is a solid approach.
What are your top entertainment tips for people on a budget?
I’m all about crafting. With some basic supplies you can find creative ways to make just about anything. Thrift stores are fabulous if you need some fun decor items or table settings. I threw an English breakfast bridal shower and sifted through thrift stores for mismatched teacups and saucers. It was super affordable and set the perfect tone for the party. Etsy is another awesome resource for those who are less hands-on. Tons of dealers have really affordable options that feel unique and special. Lastly, don’t discount party rentals, even when you’re on a tight budget. You’d be surprised how much time and money you’ll save renting vs. trying to procure everything yourself.
What’s your favorite part about hosting dinner parties and why?
I love bring people together—absolutely love it! The only thing I love more, is playing decorator,creating the decor, and setting everything into place. What seems like work to some, is my own personal playground. If I could host a party every month I would!
Personal Plug: While I’m an interior Designer by day, I also love to help plan small intimate parties for others. If you’d like more party planning tips or would like to talk interiors check out HayFordDesign and feel free to reach out!