By Anne Vorrasi
Nov 24, 2015 @ 5:00 pm
Judith Rae Photography

For nearly two decades, event planner Sofia Crokos has been designing fanciful affairs—from intimate dinners to blown out weddings—all over the world. And when she’s not busy jet-setting from country to country (most often between her N.Y.C. headquarters and her satellite office in Athens), Crokos can be found at her home in the Hamptons feathering her nest and entertaining friends.

These days, like most of us, Crokos has got Thanksgiving on the brain and was more than willing to let us tap into her creative expertise. Scroll down for 3 entertaining ideas to deploy at your own Turkey-themed event this year.

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Judith Rae Photography

First, let’s talk drinks. The benefit of setting up a bar that’s self-serve is two fold. One, it allows the host to attend to other duties. And two, “allowing guests to make their own drink makes them feel like they’re right at home,” says Crokos. “Position it on the kitchen counter or coffee table—wherever there’s enough room—and stock it with a pre-made cocktail, a bottle of red, a bottle of white, and some bubbly. Complete it with beautiful glassware, small bowls of garnishes and napkins.” Oh, and don’t forget the bottle opener!

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Judith Rae Photography

For place settings, look to nature. Green leaves paired with a vibrant, seasonal fruit like tangerines or crab apples, give a harvest feel. Plus the fruit doubles as an appetizer. As for the leaves, they should be prepped properly. “Start by washing the leaves. Then place them between two pieces of parchment paper and flatten them under a book. Once dry, add a little sheen by brushing them with oil, or mist them with a glitter spray for a little pizzazz,” says Crokos, “and let them dry overnight.”

Judith Rae Photography

When it comes to cutlery, keep it informal. Here Crokos chooses a casual approach over prim 'n’ proper. "Bunch up your forks and knives and tie them up with a textural ribbon or cord," she says. Here she also tucks in a sprig of green privet berry—but any other green, from moss to rosemary springs would work just as beautifully.