Party Time

Event pros on the right way to throw a stress-free summertime soirée

Above: Pink House Productions

Whether your summer plans include a big wedding, anniversary or bar mitzvah, you can make sure it goes smoothly by relying on a professional event planner. You pick the feel, they make the magic happen. Read on for secrets from two top pros in the area.



SETTING THE STAGE: “Weather it is string lights, candles or torches or Chinese lanters, lighting provides ambience and safety. Everybody looks good in candlelight, and every event, from an intimate dinner party to a lavish wedding, needs it. If the day is gloomy, candles add instant pick me up.”

OUTDOOR EVENTS: “Simple is best because your environment is a big part of your decor. Use citronella candles. They’re so pretty now and you won’t even know they are keeping you mosquito-free. Also bug spray can look super cute in a decorative bucket, Also, plan for rain. Tents create a beautiful outdoor space, and consider renting umbrellas and ask the valet to have them on hand for when your guests arrive. Also rent heaters and fans, which can be disguised in a tent or outside on a patio or lawn.”

THE MENU: “Simple and seasonal offerings make guests comfortable, so don’t over complicate the menu, even in a large event. Also, fun cocktails, sodas and spritzers are trendy and look great, but stock all the classics, like a good rosé, too.”

EXTRAS: “Prepare your playlist with a variety of music, and keep it at a low level during dinner so people can talk. At the end of the event, wow your guests with a fun takeaway: popcorn, macaroons, candy, baked goods—personalized or not.”

HAVE FUN: “Hire some help. Don’t get stuck in the kitchen.”

Photograph by Brice Plotkin


PICNIC LUNCH: “Wrap sandwiches in parchment paper that has been printed out and cut to size. Have fun with the fonts or how about an icon of veggies, a cow or a pig?”

GO GLOBAL: “I’m excited global flavors are welcome at our gathering tables. With Lebanese grandparents, the amazingly delicious and fresh flavors of the Mediterranean are the favorites at our house.”

SUMMER SALAD: “Summer is a great time for fresh salads and non-mayonnaise-based salads that travel well and stay crisp. Fatouche is a farmer’s peasant salad, and if you find purslane at the farmer’s market, all the better! Tossed with toasted pita chips and a sumac-olive oil dressing, you will be in salad heaven.”

LEBANESE FLATBREAD: “Cover man’oushe, a pocketless pita, with a light spread of zaahtar, toasted sesame seeds, sumac, olive and canola oils and toast. For added delish, spread with labne, a yogurt spread, and sliced summer tomatoes and fresh mint.”

ICE CREAM SANDWICHES: “Spread slightly melted ice cream in a disposable pan and freeze until firm. Use a cookie cutter to make ice cream layers. Work quickly! Roll in sprinkles or nuts and refreeze wrapped in deli paper. Serve with whipped cream and other fun toppings.”



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