10 Swoon-Worthy Tips for Springtime Entertaining

Blue skies are ahead, so treat your pals to a hip cocktail party, buffet dinner or barbecue.

Spring is in the air, and we’re all eager to open the windows, spruce up the house and invite our favorite people over for springtime entertaining on your patio or deck.

We asked Jonathan Peters, a partner at David Ellis Events (davidellisevents.com) in Berkeley Heights, to share his best ideas for a warm-weather get-together. Although some of these tips might seem pretty basic, it’s important to cover all the obvious planning elements and avoid the pitfalls (don’t run out of food or drink) before jumping ahead to the fun stuff like decorating your table.

Whether you plan to entertain 20 or 200, Peters recommends putting a checkmark next to each of these action items before you start pouring the bubbly:

1. Nail down your head count early, and have abundant food and drink on hand.

2. Decide on your vision: sips and bites on the patio, full-course candlelit dinner, or something else?

3. Plan an engaging party theme, and play it up with festive flowers and decorations.

4. Every party needs fabulous music. Create a mood-setting playlist or hire entertainment.

5. Design your party space with comfy chairs, cocktail tables and sublime lighting.

6. Give yourself a break. Rent a bar, hire a mixologist, and surprise guests with a custom cocktail.

7. Design a tasty but balanced menu that includes non-allergenic and vegetarian food.

8. Map out the event from start to finish, and plan how to fill the time in between.

9. Wow guests with extra goodies. Send them home with a memento of the event.

10. Relax and enjoy your own party, surrounded by all the fun people you invited.

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