A Ladylike Tea
Hostess Danielle Rollins, author of Soireé: Entertaining with Style celebrates the South in bloom with all shades of pink - from pale to punchy.
"For a tea, everything should be polished, pretty, and super feminine," says Danielle. "It's okay to have things feel slightly old-fashioned, just don't use pieces in the traditional sense." "I save leftover fabric from house projects or buy things from discount fabric stores," Danielle explains. "This party started with a pink floral fabric I loved. I didn't have a lot of it, so I just used it as a topper for the bar."
"People like to feel cozy, so too big of a space isn't good," Danielle says. "It's better to have more people in a smaller space." To keep your guests circulating, set up separate tables for food and drink. "I like to do two food tables: one for tea and sweets and one for savory appetizers. Be sure to set the tone for your party with a beautiful bar. It's like a tour guide with an umbrella—guests always start there."
Don't let arranging flowers intimidate you. Fill a container with florist foam, and then just randomly stick in the stems of flowers. "The key is to use a lot!" she says. "Also, everything on your table doesn't have to match. Parties should feel collected and curated, so simply mix whatever you have."
"Cloth napkins make your party feel a little more spiffy, and you can use them over and over," she says. "Don't forget pretty details such as monograms or embroidery. I also like to make napkins from inexpensive pink gingham fabric and just leave the edges frayed—no need to sew!"
Decadent food. "You can't eat the flowers!" she says, laughing. "But keep it stress free by using store-bought food. Just put your own spin on it, and serve with style. I currently have a huge marshmallow fetish. They're so pretty!"
Take the time to do the extras such as polish silver and crush ice. "A party is a gift of hospitality and friendship, so put your effort into it," Danielle says. Add whimsy to drinks with striped straws and edible rose petals.
Finger foods that can be eaten in one bite are always on the menu. She explains, "It all has to be lipstick friendly!"