Throwing a party calls for a lot of hard work and we want the planning process to be just as enjoyable as the party itself. Deciding on which kind of party you will throw is the first step: Will you do a spa day get-together? Brunch? A hangout-style gathering complete with takeout? (A hint on the latter: It's all about stand-out serving platters.) We asked event planners and foodie experts for tips on how to bring a memorable party to life, the supplies you'll need to pull it off, and the easiest ways to bring it all together. Whichever way you choose to party, use these tips to keep you stress-free and well-prepared—after all, it's your party.
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There’s no shame in dialing up dinner. Serving pizza? Order plain marinara pies and assemble a DIY bar with toppings like whipped ricotta and fresh herbs such as rosemary and oregano. Another trick: “Ask the restaurant to undercook your pie,” advises event planner Lulu Powers. “Then warm it at 400 degrees for 10 minutes before serving.” Italian Collection, Dean amp DeLuca, $60/10 spices; deanddeluca.com.
Treat your besties to an at-home pampering party. You can hire a service (like Beauty on Call in Chicago, Spa-Gos in L.A., or Zeel in New York) that brings manis and mini facials to you at prices comparable to those of an in-spa treatment.
Skip the Sunday morning crowds at your neighborhood eatery and gather the gang at your place. Food52 Web site co-founder Amanda Hesser says, “Study up on baked eggs, which need no advanced prep.” Her recipe: Crack and egg into a ramekin for each guest, add a sliver of butter, a dash of cream, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook the egg mixtures in a 350-degree oven until the whites are set. “You can keep an eye on these while still socializing, as there’s little risk of overcooking them,” says Hesser.
Pour Arrowhead Farms Bellini, Margarita and Southside mixers ($28 each; arrowheadfarms.com) into pitchers so guests can combine them with their liquor of choice. The real cinch? A garnish that’s probably already in your fridge. “Just shave a bit of peel off colorful fruit, like lime or orange,” says event planner Bronson van Wyck.