Once upon a time, the Dollhouse served as the meeting spot for our Chicago squad. We’d gather guys and Goddesses for theme parties, friendsgiving, pre-concert festivities and more. Hosting parties is one of the Dolls’ favorite past times. What could be better than bringing everyone you love together to celebrate life? BUT… the last thing anyone wants when entertaining is to be stressed. That’s why we’ve compiled our top 5 tips to throw a festive fête that looks like it took months of planning.
The sea of Instagram, Pinterest and blog inspiration can be daunting when deciphering where to start the planning process. Always remember that parties are fun, and the prep should be too.
Party with a Purpose
First thing’s first! Choose your party theme. You may have seen Cait’s trip to the Madonna Inn for her 30th birthday. Since the whole squad couldn’t go, we decided to host a belated bash at home. We set the theme to a mad tea (ahem, champagne) party. Since your unbirthday is celebrated 364 days of the year – it’s everyone’s unbirthday… unless it is your birthday! We layered in details from Cait’s trip – including a bottle of Madonna Inn’s own sparkling wine to start the night, goblets, photos from the trip and tons of pink.
Your best friends are your biggest asset. Two heads are better than one. Three gal pals make party prep a breeze. Bronwyn & Katie (Caitlin’s angels, errr sorority sisters) came down from St. Louis to help C and D pull everything together… which is essential when you have two mimosas at brunch and are checking the weather report for rain. Clean counters (check), clean floors (check – thanks Bobsweep), delicious confections (check – thanks Katie), it takes a squad to make your party dreams come to life.
Seriously, thank you to Bobsweep for maintaing my sanity on a normal day (the pet hair situation in our home is real), but even more so when hosting guests. You can program Bobsweep and the intelligent cleaner that he is, Bob will take care of cleaning by the time you come back from brunch. Attach the mop to its belly and let him take care of mopping too while you party prep.
Seriously, thank you to all best friends everywhere for making the world a better place. Cheers to our soul sisters, our therapists, our workout buddies, our dance fiends and our partners in crime. These are the people who you don’t have to ask for help – they simply show up with a smile on their face. You make the sun shine brighter every day.
Florals for the Fête
Make like Cher and send yourself flowers. Florals set the tone- they brighten up every room and the smell is just delightful. You don’t even need to leave the house to pick up a bouquet. A new online flower service, Bouquet in a Box, sends overnight delivery of fresh, California-grown flowers. These lovely lillies are handpicked to order, arriving at their destination the day after.
Bouquet in a Box flowers are grown, picked and arranged on family farms that have been in operation for four generations. For more information and to order online, visit bouquetinabox.com.
A sparkly drink is essential to a real celebration. One of our favorite party rules is to ask each guest to bring their sparkling personalities and a bottle of sparkle. This keeps the bubbles flowing with each guest. We started the festivities with Freixenet‘s Cava – a sparkling wine made in the méthode champenoise, which is the traditional method used in Champagne. Cava is a Denominación de Origen (DO), meaning that it can only be made in certain regions of Spain, and is primarily produced in the Penedès region in Catalonia.
We recommend having a signature drink available for your guests. Here’s a little recipe from the mad tea party.
- Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut
- Splash of Tito’s Vodka
- Fresh-squeezed Lavender Lemonade
Pizza is the Answer
At the end of the day (and the beginning and the middle), everyone loves pizza! Instead of fretting in the kitchen, cut the stress and order pizza. We ordered a variety of flavors and toppings from Jet’s Pizza, and it was out of this world. Seriously… mini pop tarts and donut trees are darling, but pizza is always the answer.
What are your favorite party hosting tips?