For party-planning inspiration during the cold winter months, take a few tips from event designer David Tutera (of David Tutera Inc.) as he shares advice for creating elegant ambiance in his new book: A Passion for Parties: Your Guide to Elegant Entertaining (Simon & Schuster). While the book is geared toward personal parties, some of Tutera's topics are relevant to special events, including centerpiece design, mood lighting and selecting a caterer. And the book has lots of full-color photos that show Tutera's work on picnics, dinners and holiday parties.
As Tutera sashays through the steps of selecting venues, invitations, themes, food and entertainment as he would plan a party, he also offers “Tutera tips” and anecdotal sidebars along the way. Among the recommendations:
- “If you are planning a specific themed event, go all the way for complete success. Half a theme is not better than no theme at all. It's an all-or-nothing proposition.”
- “Never take things too seriously. An aura of something unexpected should be incorporated in all parties. It allows guests to wonder about what might be around the corner, creating an anticipation of surprise.”
- “When considering a public venue as a possible location, such as a museum or library, remember that in most cases it is used by the public during specific hours. Make sure you check the access and availability for setting up your affair.”
- “A good bartender will keep mental notes on how much guests have had to drink. Make it a point to ask your bartender to let you know if anyone imbibes too much.”
Ideas from other event industry players, including Alpine Creative Group, Starr Tents and Abigail Kirsch Culinary Productions, round out the book, which retails for $35.
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