I love prepping for a party and then getting to see how it all come together in the end. Hosting an elegant Valentine's Day Party can be really easy. I'm sharing with you my dinner party must haves.
1. Flowers instantly make a table feel special. Guests will notice this extra effort. They don't have to cost a lot either. I used inexpensive spray roses, that can be purchased at your grocery store or local florist for about $10. Small, low arrangements across the table give you a lot of bang for your buck.
2. Set the table. I tired of buffet lines and piles of paper plates. Let's set the table with real dishes, real cutlery and gasp...... real cloth napkins. As a foundation, I laid a long custom table runner down the center of the table. I made this one-of-a-kind runner at Shutterfly to go with the plates and coasters I made. (If you'd like to make a runner for yourself, you can download my design HERE.)
3. Start with everyone's favorite - bread and butter. When guests can munch on bread, butter and a little cheese, you can feel ok about finishing up the finally touches on the rest of the meal. When folks are eating and drinking, they are usually happy. And don't worry, there's even some good gluten free options out there.
4. Plan a simple homemade menu. Don't over think the meal, just make a few good dishes that everyone will enjoy. A heavy, carb loaded meal, will leave guests feeling weighed down. I'm serving this light menu below that features a pretty salad and grilled salmon. Guests will also appreciate that you cooked them a meal from start to finish.
French Baguette, Butter, and Goat Cheese
5. Have a favor for your guests. You've gone to all this effort to make your guests feel special, give them a little memento to help them remember this event. You could give each guest one of the small flower arrangements from the table or I made little packages of bath salts for everyone to take home.
DIY Rose Petal Lavender Bath Salts
2 cups of Epsom salts
a few drops of lavender oil
1/2 cup of dried rose petals
I took a small bunch of spray roses, and once they had wilted, I pulled off all the petals and allowed them to air dry for a day or two. But, be sure to enjoy the roses for a couple days first.
In a food processor, place the salt, lavender oil and rose petals. Pulse on and off until the petals finely chopped and the oil is incorporated.
Pour 1/2 cup in clear bags and tie with simple twine.
Now you are set to host your on dinner party or luncheon. If you are a host or hostess with the mostest, what are your tips and tricks for throwing a party? I'd love to hear from you.
Be sure to check out Shutterfly's Design Studio for inspiration and lots of great DIYs and downloadables. This coffee table and this living wall are pretty cool.
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