The key to any good party? Other than the music, the lighting, the flow, and the guests? Well, it’s the food and drinks of course. We are beyond fortunate to work with some of the top chefs and caterers in some of the best locations, so we want to share some of our past favorites. Hopefully, this will inspire your next event, whether it’s a dinner party, a party you are throwing for someone, or even a wedding.
One party favorite from the past that is making a huge resurgence, are displays. Gone are they days of a few sad trays and doilies sparsely set on a dining room table. Different shapes and sizes, heights and widths are all key into an effortless elegant look. Even what it’s displayed on is seeing some creativity. Many rental companies have unique one off pieces that could make an impact on the display on its own.
And, we love finding ways to make the ordinary extraordinary. Fruit displays while they definitely have their place, can often fall flat. But, a signature of a local South Carolina caterer are strawberry trees for their fruit displays. One could say these definitely make a lasting impression! So, finding out what the caterer/chef does best is important.
We also enjoy new twists on old classics. Or, new ways to set them up. Maybe, they are interactive. Or, maybe there is an attendant at a display that is assembling or distributing the food. It’s all about the user experience. So, not only does the food need to taste great, but sometimes how it looks is what people remember.
Being in the South, and all along the East Coast, Seafood is a must at any event. Locally, oysters and shrimp are signature items. But, having to peel shrimp or shuck oysters in formal wear is not ideal. So, pre detaching raw oysters and serving in their shells, or pre peeling shrimp avoid stinky fingers. And, of course, the ice. Some of our favorite and most memorable are freezing live flowers in the ice, or creating space for the ice to also serve as a vase.
Passing items is still a favorite of most party hosts. Using your own personal collection of trays at home is so lovely. Or, renting trays from a local rental company or caterer is something to consider. We like to print “tray liners” with a monogram, or pattern/color scheme featured throughout the party to line the trays before food.
Something to consider, the server’s attire. A solid colored tie matching the party is a simple nod to detail. We like to have bistro aprons made in fabric we are using elsewhere at the event.
A recent fun food moment from a wedding cocktail hour- pairing trays. Burgers and Beer, Tacos and Tequila, and grilled cheese and tomato soup, perfect party pairings.
Another favorite recent specialty food set up, was our coffee shop bar in the dancing tent. Krispy Kreme is a Southern favorite and a great treat along with some coffee to take a break from alcohol. And, the heart shaped donuts, just too perfect.
While we love to design seated dinners, we also like to add a formality to a food station. Instead of printed menus like at the tables, signage of some kind usually tells guests about the offerings.
Also, don’t forget to lean into your food inspiration. Is a locale theme? Based on where the couple grew up, where they live now, or will live… a honeymoon or even a wedding destination? For our Italian rehearsal dinner, how could you not serve all of the wonderful Italian favorites? Shaved prosciuitto from the source- devine?
And, don’t forget about the drinks. Edible flowers add color to champagne, and colored glass is available to jazz up the cocktails.