16 Lovely Little Hostess Tricks That Will Make Guests Adore You
As any seasoned hostess will tell you, the secret to a standout bash lies not just in the finger food but also in the next-level-lovely details that cover up the chaos. Here, 16 extra-chic party tricks to add to your repertoire immediately.
Send Actual Invitations
Legitimize the party by going a step beyond a group text or Facebook event. (We love John Derian's collaboration with Paperless Post.)
Write Place Cards and Assign Seats
Sitting next to someone unexpected adds an element of intrigue to any gathering. (Psst, you can save yourself the trouble and order professional place cards online.)
Think like a photographer and shuffle furniture around to provide the best possible setting for pictures (the more seats in the picture, the merrier).
Keep Refreshments On Ice
And place your trough or ice bucket somewhere easily accessible—like at the center of the dining room or next to the buffet. (No guest should have to see inside your refrigerator.)
And Add Elevated Ice To the Mix
Fill ice-cube trays (or mini muffin tins) with water—then pop in pretty berries or sprigs of your favorite herb, depending on which cocktails you'll be serving up. Voilà. Major pretty points.
Create A Signature Party Cocktail
Make one delicious, large-batch recipe and give it a fun, personalized name. (Saturday Night Fever, anyone?) This should of course be in addition to a selection of wine, beer, spirits, juice and water—there should be an option for everyone.
…And Don’t Forget To Garnish
A tiny bit of rosemary (or basil, lavender, your call) makes a world of difference when it comes to presentation.
That Goes For Napkins, Too
A tiny bloom placed atop a napkin is the easiest detail. P.S. Make sure your napkins are cloth.
Make Individual Appetizers
Small, self-contained apps not only make for a beautiful presentation, they’re also easy to grab (meaning guests will be less shy about helping themselves).
Label The Cheese Plate
Write variety names on pretty little cheese flags, or in chalk on a slate platter. If a guest tries a new cheese and falls in love, they’ll have you to credit for the discovery.
Print Dinner Menus
Websites like Minted have tons of beautiful, customizable menu card options that you can order just a few weeks in advance of your shindig.
Use A Runner Or Small Centerpieces
As opposed to one focal floral arrangement. Guests should have something pretty in their sightline from every vantage point at the table.
Opt for Long-Stemmed Candles
Votive drama, tenfold. (Just make sure they’re unscented, please.)
Toast The Group
Always take a minute to acknowledge guests collectively, and thank them for coming.
And End the Night With A Final Flourish
Send guests home with a small favor—think miniature flower arrangements (perhaps leftovers from the tablescape), printed photos or an inexpensive gift.