Hosting Tips

10 Secrets of Stylish Hosts

By Suruchi Avasthi
Margot Blair puts together beautiful floral arrangements

When our brilliant friends from Margot Blair Floral and Mint & Maple joined forces to host a workshop on the Art of Hosting, we begged them to share their secrets here on the blog, too — these are the pros, y’all. Even the best of us can get stressed at the thought of hosting a dinner party, so any inspiration for making the process easier is always welcome. The workshop included sweet bites and sips, gorgeous blooms, and best of all, the opportunity to learn from the best in the biz. Click through for an inside peek at the event and hear these experts’ party do’s and don’ts.

*photos by Kristin Kilpatrick, flowers by Margot Blair Floral, calligraphy and signage by Mint & Maple, Cocktails by Sourced: Craft Cocktails, Styling by The Society & Co.

1. DO play with various heights.

The best way to get professional looking flowers is to arrange your flowers and greenery at various heights within the vase. Want to bump up the style even more? Make it asymmetrical. — Margot Blair Floral

2. DO keep a tight color palette.

Select your color palette and stick to it. Even if some of the flowers aren’t expensive, they’ll blend seamlessly with a few well-chosen higher-end blooms.

Natalie put together all of the beautiful signs and guides for the workshop guests, with everything from the welcome sign to place cards adding an extra special touch to the evening.

We wouldn’t have minded having one (or two!) of the sweet little treats the girls had out at the workshop!

3. DON’T skimp on name cards.

Who doesn’t love seeing their name written beautifully?! This small detail will add a thoughtful touch to your party. Don’t feel confident in your handwriting? Visit your local paper store and find a specialty paper that matches and use your normal cursive writing on top! –Mint & Maple

Carly gets all the floral arrangements together to set up the workshop space before guests arrive!

4. DON’T be fooled, greenery is your friend.

Even if it’s a few branches out of your yard, adding this element to your arrangements will give them more depth and texture, keeping them from looking flat and one-dimensional.

All of the workshop guests gathered around tables to practice their calligraphy, put together floral arrangements, and hear from the amazing hosts as they shared their tips.

Each and every guest had their own take on their arrangements, and they all came out gorgeous!

It should be obvious why we love Margot Blair’s floral arrangements at this point, and pairing them with the beautiful calligraphy from Natalie made for a beautiful event!

5. DO add signage where you can.

We are a BIG fan of food cards. Especially for our food allergy friends out there, it’s great to label your buffet to know what is dairy and gluten free. Use the same style as your name cards to create a cohesive look.

Natalie shared her calligraphy tips with guests to show them how to recreate these looks at their own parties.

6. DO always have options for those who aren’t drinking.

Always have one bottle of tonic, one bottle of club soda, and a couple extra limes on hand. Make a simple lemonade to mix and you got yourself a mock-tail! Having bottled H20 on hand is never a bad idea. — Sourced Craft Cocktails

7. DON’T give too many options.

Less is more! It’s great to provide guests with two options for cocktails, one mixed vodka cocktail and one stronger whiskey/bourbon cocktail.There are many beautiful spirit options but the vodka is the most popular (and drinkable) choice among females and bourbon is the most popular among men.

8. DO consider the location of the cocktail service carefully.

When guests need a cocktail, use this an an opportunity to get guests to move and mingle. Place the bar opposite from where guests enter the room. Also, make sure there are places for guests to set down their cocktail glasses. Claire Brody Designs

9. DO keep neutral basics on hand.

To get that dreamy table setting, keep a basic set of white or neutral dishes on hand to build upon. This way you can jazz it up with fun napkins, salad plates and florals. Very little of this setup was bought specifically for this event- you’d be surprised what gems you can find at local thrift stores! — The Society & Co.

10. DON’T be afraid to have some fun.

Color is your new best friend. Play around with mixing patterns and bold, bright colors.

Thanks for all the great tips and tricks to throwing a perfect dinner soiree, ladies!