Burlap table runners, cupcakes, flowers in mason jars, food trucks—trends in entertaining come and go, just like trends in fashion. We asked some of the best local event planners for the inside scoop on this year’s hottest entertaining trends. Here’s what the in-the-know hostesses will be doing at their parties this season.
Trend #1: Drop-Off Catering
Allyne Agrest, president of Events by Allyne, believes that catering is the way to go. With busy schedules, most hostesses don’t have the time —or the desire—to prepare all of the food.
“If you’re cooking and buying all of the food yourself, the host can’t even sit down and entertain their guests, “Agrest says. “Why have a party if you can’t enjoy your guests?”
Marcy Glink, president of Great Events Inc., says many in-the-know hostesses are taking advantage of drop-off catering, where the food is prepared in advance. She says that in her experience, hosts prefer fewer catering crew members in their homes at the time of the event, and the full-service catering option may be a trend on its way out.
Trend #2: Fun Finger Foods
Design doesn’t come only from the room itself, but also in small additions to the overall theme of the party—whether it is a color scheme or unique dishes. One creative way to showcase food is with playful miniature dishes instead of traditional passed hors d’oeuvres.
“Appetizers are becoming trendy, especially appetizers over big dishes,” Agrest says. “Gazpacho soup with mini grilled cheese, a shot of beer with a mini hamburger on top, just any way to make the food more fun and presentable for people.”
Trend #3: Minimalist Décor
As for the aesthetics of the party, Megan Estrada, wedding and events consultant and owner of North Shore Weddings and Events, says that it is becoming trendy to scale down the décor.
“People are wanting things to be beautifully done, but not over the top,” Estrada says. “It used to be a big trend that more is better, but now it’s more about the experience than the expenditure.”
Trend #4: Live Entertainment
Agrest explains that when you host a party, the main character is your DJ or band. She says musical entertainment can keep a party lively and help avoid those unwanted awkward silences throughout the night.
“If you don’t have entertainment, you won’t get people to stay,” Agrest says.
Both Estrada and Glick agree that the music creates the atmosphere for the party. They say folk music as entertainment is trending. A single vocal performer with a guitar adds a nice background element without being too loud for guests to chat.
Trend #5: Hosting at a Chic Venue
While dinner parties are traditionally held at home, Agrest says the trend of moving parties to venues is becoming more popular.
A lot of restaurants and country clubs have smaller rooms for parties,” Agrest says. “These days, people don’t really want to worry about cleaning the house before and after a party.”
While moving out of the house may be easier for the cleanup, it’s not in the budget for every party. As an alternative, Glink says many people are creating unique entertaining spaces within their own homes by bringing in some rental items (think: elegant chairs and quirky serving platters). She adds that with websites like Etsy becoming increasingly popular, creative hosts can easily get inspired to DIY special touches – maybe themed napkin rings or fun giveaways—that really make a party memorable for guests.
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