We all have those spontaneous moments when we just want to do something
and be around people. This, in my case, is how last minute parties come
about. I love entertaining, which occasionally causes me to act before
I think. I get way ahead of myself invite guests before I even have a
plan or a budget. In these instances, I have found that elegant simplicity is key.
Let’s start with decorations:
- If the weather is agreeable, have your party outside. Natural scenery is
always a lovely backdrop…and it’s FREE!
- Use candles on tables and leftover Christmas lights in trees and bushes
to provide a soft glow that will contribute to a relaxed, intimate environment.
- If needed, cover tables with solid-colored, flat bed sheets. Don’t
be afraid to mix and match as long as they are in the same family (pastels)
or coordinate (red, white and blue).
- Pre-set tables with coordinating plates, napkins and cutlery. While paper
and plastic are acceptable, think about going green and using your everyday
dishes. This is a cheaper option for you and can be mixed up with colorful
linen or paper napkins. Setting the table ahead of time will keep the
tables from looking bare and make centerpieces optional.
Tip: Your home can be a treasure chest! The odds and ends you already have
can make the best decorations. Use an old style clock, a wire basket with
fake flowers or random picture frames to decorate seating areas or food
tables. Use a chalkboard to create a simple party sign.
Now we will move on to entertainment:
Not every party has to consist of several planned activities and photo
booths. Don’t be afraid to depend on the much underestimated activity
of conversation. In a world overrun with technology, this is one option
we often overlook. If this isn’t your favorite option, go for the
classics. Hang a white sheet and borrow a projector and show a movie or
set out games like Dominoes, Scrabble, playing cards and Checkers. These
keep the relaxed feel, are fun and are appropriate for a variety of ages.
Next we move to the important thing–what you are going serve: (Once again, keep it simple.)
- Drinks are the easy part. Use pitchers, bowls or larger jars (I prefer
clear), to serve water, tea and lemonade. This may seem too simple, however,
you can jazz them up by adding sliced fruit to all three or ginger ale
to the lemonade to provide a sparkling effect.
- Making your food, instead of buying it can help you cut costs. While the
thought of this may be overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. Fall
back on the classics and wow your guests with the presentation!
- Make a variety of finger sandwiches and add a touch of flair by using cookie
cutters to shape them into circles or other shapes depending on your party’s
theme or purpose.
Create stylish fruit and veggie trays that are easy to put together. (Check
out our recent blog for additional tips:
Last Minute Invite? Easy Dishes Sure to Impress)
- Appeal to your guests’ favorite memories by serving chocolate chip
cookies like grandma used to make or setting up a s’mores station.
The most important part of throwing a last minute party is to have fun!
It’s more about creating memories with your friends and family than
about anything else.