Host a Spring Fling
Say good-bye to winter (and hello to spring) with these fresh, festive, and fun celebration ideas.
It’s a great time of year to celebrate—the weather is getting warmer, the days are getting longer, and trees and flowers are beginning to bloom. Whether you mark a religious holiday with loved ones or gather friends for an intimate get-together, this time of year can be fun and hopeful.
“Spring is a fabulous time to celebrate,” says Seri Kertzner, founder of Little Miss Party event planning in New York City. She and her partner, Michelle Bachman, are firm believers in the adage It’s the little things that count. “The truth is it really doesn’t take much to set a pretty table or add something unexpected to the menu,” Kertzner says. “The little details are what make your event special.”
The only caveat: the ideas must be easy to execute and as enjoyable for the host as they are for the guest. With that in mind, we’ve gathered some no-fail suggestions to get your party started.
Sunday brunch: Every party, big and small, benefits from having a theme, be it a color, holiday, mood (Sunday Surprise, for example), or element. “Themes give your gathering a focal point, make it easier for you to concentrate your efforts, and give your guests a hint of what’s in store,” says Kertzner. At a recent Cherry Blossom brunch, she and Bachman used cherry blossom branches to create a centerpiece, and they accented cupcakes with cherry blossom toppers. They also carried the theme into table settings by using pink cake plates and servers and by wrapping personal-size water bottles with unique labels.
Dessert party: If you are hosting a dessert buffet, it’s best to think small, say the experts. Smaller portions and bite-size options allow guests to indulge their taste buds free of guilt. “Among of my favorite things right now are mini cupcakes with unique and unexpected flavors, like lemonade or a savory spice,” says Kertzner. Bite-size desserts are readily available from most supermarkets and easy to make at home. Simply fill mini-muffin tins or small ramekins with cake batter, add a few drops or a dash of your chosen flavoring, and bake. To round out your buffet assortment, stop off at your local Panera Bread® for a mix of goodies. Our Mini Scones, for example, are perfect for small tastings.
Elegant dinner: Many would-be hosts are intimidated by the thought of entertaining guests over dinner. But keep in mind that an elegant evening doesn’t have to be a formal, sit-down affair. “Soft lighting and a relaxed atmosphere makes for an elegant event,” says Kertzner. Set a subtle décor (including votive candles and low floral arrangements) to keep the table clear for food and drinks. Whether you opt for a served dinner in the dining room or a more casual buffet, concentrate on the finishing touches that will make your night shine. Consider serving a signature punch or making unique labels for a cheese and olive tasting that doubles as your appetizer course. Use small printed menus set in regal type to dress up the buffet table or each place setting. If you have the time, Kertzner also suggests spray painting succulents or fruit in gold or silver to use as centerpieces and accents. (This is one touch you might want to delegate to older kids!) And don’t forget the food: add interest to any table and elevate your dishes—literally—by serving some items on pedestal plates.