There’s no end to opportunities to party the night away during Newport in the summer. The biggest challenge — keeping up your stamina (sometimes a decision to take a night, or two, off just has to be made).
Having been on both sides of the party game — a chair for a fundraiser one night, a guest at another the next night…and in between planning our own parties, I love admiring and analyzing what makes a good event. After the key “musts” (setting, entertainment, food) the rest is all about the details. And the first and best place to start is with a theme. ENJOY!!
Entertaining Detail #1
Location, location, location — it will always add to a party’s success. Looking over the deep grass terrace of a large private home and up the coastline of Newport is a sure winner.
Entertaining Detail #2
For a mid-century decor note, consider suspended glass ball lights that definitely give a contemporary feel (as do the chairs) at the Redwood Library’s summer fundraiser.
Entertaining Detail #3
Choose a theme that allows guests to “think outside of the box” — such as a cigar box purse, seen here at “Old Havana Nights” for the Aquidneck Land Trust.
Entertaining Detail #4
Include professional dancers who not only entertain, but keep the energy factor up! Other contributions? Giving group lessons as well as coercing attendees onto the dance floor.
Entertaining Detail #5
Light up the night with the theme’s title showcased on the main tent; this detail also provides color on an otherwise plain white tent.
Entertaining Detail #6
When guests dress for the occasion, their accessories enhance the overall decorations.
Entertaining Detail #7
Clever lighting designs are a great way to disguise the vast interior of a large tent; ie. inspired by the centerpiece’s tropical leaves.
Entertaining Detail #8
Dress to the theme — even if it’s a scarf wrapped around the head, Cuban style.
Entertaining Detail #9
For a veranda in Havana…chairs are a big part of the overall look of an event; take advantage of their many styles for reinforcing that theme.
Entertaining Detail #10
When your table is a mix of guests who don’t know each other, be sure to have placecards. I suggest adding their full name, in large type, to the back of each card as a “tickler” for others when they are talking across the table to an unknown someone.
Entertaining Detail #11
The simplest (and least costly) of centerpieces can also be the most effective. Caribbean plant material and tropical fruits say it all about “Old Havana Nights.”
Entertaining Detail #12
When budget permits, individual tents for dinner, dancing and into-the-night-conver sations are a distinct luxury.
Thank you, Francesca Campo, for many of these great styling details.
Featured Image Credit, Nick Mele Photography.