Dont Host A Party, Host A Memory! Entertaining tips with Hilary Pereira, author of Mermaids & Martinis
New York party-planner Hilary Pereira has happily played hostess and rolled out the red carpet for celebrities such as Jerry and Jessica Seinfeld, Kanye West, Helen Hunt, Allison Krauss and John Legend, just to name a few. And as much as she loves hosting wonderful parties for celebrities, her favorites are the ones she hosts for family and friends.
Her book, Mermaids & Martinis, shows that you don’t need to hire a personal event planner to host a spectacular and swish soiree–you just need to stay true to Hilary’s motto: “A Mermaid doesn’t just make an event fun, she makes it unforgettable.”
Hilary’s Top Ten “Rules of Fin”:
1.) Create a vision board or pinterest board to inspire ideas for your next event.
2.) A Mermaid’s Treasure Chest. Keep some simple items on hand for impromptu or a party that has been planned for months. Items include everything from tealights to plain paper cocktail napkins and stamps for monogramming or decorating your napkins to fit the theme of your party.
3.) Flowers. You don’t have to spend a fortune on flowers! If you buy your flowers at the deli or grocer, a good trick is to buy lots of greens and branches and then add one or two buds that you want to stand out. The filler will frame the arrangement really make the flowers “Pop”. This is a great way to save some money while still showcasing a rich, lush, beautiful look.
4.) Decor. For outdoor parties, invest in a tent or canopy if you are hosting in your garden/yard or deck. Dress these up with different fabrics and festive decor accents like paper lanterns, metal sky lanterns and LED tealights.
5.) Candles/Lighting: My rule of fin is “One scent per event”. Stick to just one scent during an event because you don’t want competing scents to overwhelm your guests. When hosting a dinner, only use unsscented candles at the dinner table so as not to compete with the aromas of your food. A great trick is to put a little water in the bottom of glass votive holders so the candles cleanly pop out at the end of the night and you don’t have to spend a lot of time scraping excess wax. You can also change the mood of your room in a flash with colored light bulbs!
6.) Invite your neighbors! Always invite your neighbors when hosting a party, this will eliminate any potential grudges and also provide a heads-up about any noise disruptions the evening of the party.
7.) The 80-minute rule! When planning a party, give yourself an hour and ten minutes before the event begins to get ready! The extra ten minutes allows for any last-minute duties you might have forgotten about and still leaves you with time to prop yourself!
8.) Ice with a Twist: I LOVE this! Make sure to give yourself 24 hours to ensure the frozen creations will be thoroughly frozen for the event.
9.) Hire a Private Chef via Local Culinary School. An inexpensive way to dine in at your party is to hire a private chef by calling your local culinary school. Students will usually do so at a discounted rate.
10.) The Bar. On average, people consume two to two and a half glasses of wine at a dinner party so if you’re having ten guests for your party, plan on having at least 5 bottles of wine. ALWAYS serve a signature cocktail and MOCKTAIL! Bring back the mocktail!!
And lastly, bring a hostess gift for the Mermaid!
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