Photography by Lawrence Te
// Shop this Post at the end!
After New York's "polar vortex" plagued winter, the changing of the seasons has made me want to dance around with wild abandon. The shedding of cumbersome winter clothes alone makes me giddy with glee. It's above 50 you say? Why I think I shall skip instead of walk, because I can do that now, now that my feet are not anchored down by 50lb duck boots and I do not have 4 foot wide, 1 foot deep puddles that I must basically hurdle over while simply walking down the city sidewalks.
Feeling quite jubilant on a breezy 70 degree day, and most importantly jacket free, I decided that this much anticipated shift in weather merits a proper welcome. So last weekend, I threw a colorful little, last minute dinner party for my Momma Te, my brother Lawrence who y'all may know as the Society Social photographer by now, and my SIL. I rolled the bar cart
right out to the attention starved porch, we sipped on effervescent (to match our moods) wine spritzers, and toasted to the changing of the seasons!
Here are a few of my easy entertaining tips that will have you hosting in effortless style even if you're short on time and/or have taken the party al fresco!
1.Don't be afraid to take indoor furniture out for the night! Because you've already invested in multi-functional furniture, like one of my bar carts (duh), load that mobile beauty up with all your table setting essentials then stock it up with priorities, in my case booze, and simply roll it to the scene of the social, set the table, then style the cart. You won't have to keep going back and forth and guests are encouraged to gather round and mingle while partaking in your party offerings. **Of course I love my bar carts the best, but if you're going to stray, make sure to find a sturdy cart on wheels with super functional upgrades to get the most bang for your dollar. I didn't use them below, but had I hosted a larger party the wine and glassware racks would've prevented frolic-interrupting trips to the kitchen. And don't forget to bring her back in! She's not meant to hang out for more than a few hours!
I stored and chilled the replenishments in this monogrammed ice bucket (Etsy!) on the bottom shelf of the bar cart while the smaller Palm Beach ice bucket (Society Social!) held the ready to pour supplies. This also made room for other essentials on the top, like food!!
2. As a big city, small space dweller this one is always at the top of my list. When maximizing limited counter and table space, choose vertically oriented serveware and individually plate some or all of the main dishes. We had several "mains" so this was necessary to fit all the food on the table!
How cute is Momma Te in her tassels?
Along with this tip, most people think of sweet treats when it comes to vertically oriented serveware and towers, try something different like a fruit and cheese "plate" for a memorable, not to mention healthier, presentation. I love this acrylic 4 tier "wedding cupcake stand." It comes in 5, 6, and 7 tiers, too.
3. Always use name place cards, even for more casual parties. They may seem like a formal or old fashioned touch, but doesn't it always feel special to see your name spelled out? Like the host planned the party especially with you in mind? A good hostess has this effect on their guests and a simple name place card is an easy way to achieve that.
4. Reusable (and usable aka edible!) tabletop decor can be easy on the eyes and the budget.
A bright tablecloth and pretty placemats that can be used from party to party (ahem, these here
!) are a quick way to add color without splurging on an elaborate tablescape. Also, try something other than flowers, for your centerpiece. 2 bags of lemons set me back a couple of dollars and we ended up using them right away at the table then later for lemonade and cocktails!
5. Drape Turkish towels or throws over chairs for chilly nights.
Spring weather can be fickle so when hosting an al fresco affair provide each guest with a turkish towel. They can wrap up in it when the festivities inevitably stretch into the evening (they did
!) and they'll be warm from the towel as well as the thoughtful touch! These towels are actually quite handy to have around as they also make the perfect beach or picnic blanket, bath sheet, sarong, tablecloth, and scarf.
6. Just because you throw a last minute party-- sometimes the best parties are the less orchestrated ones-- doesn't mean you have to trade the invite for an email or text. Order digital invites online that you can quickly print at home.
This Etsy shop
customized their "ombre watercolor bachelorette invite" to my spring social and they also sent my printable proof in less than 24 hours.
We had such a lovely evening, all of us! I hope you're inspired to host a changing of the seasons social of your own because after all, spring is here! Cin cin y'all!