Bud Bar & Beyond: Hosting in a Crunch

I’m often asked how time consuming it is to plan events and host dinner parties and also how to plan for them last minute or when you don’t have the extra time to dedicate. Well, I will be honest, it is quite time consuming but it is also something I enjoy and make time for (obviously).

However, I realize this is not the case for everyone so in today’s post, I wanted to give some tips on pulling together a last minute party at your home and easy DIY ways to pull it off!

This past weekend I hosted a Sweet & Spark trunk party.  It was a lot of fun and everyone went home with some spark, for sure.  However, I had been traveling for most of the week prior and wanted to keep the theme simple with just “sweets” and “sparklings”. (PS- this is also a theme that’s perfect for bridal showers, bachelorette weekends or even, girly birthdays.)

Alas, here are some tips that I used to making this a fun and no-fuss affair!

Tip #1: Try something semi-homemade.

In the words of Sandra Lee, you can truly put this to the test when time is of the essence. I made batches of mini funfetti cupcakes (yes, I used a mix) but I added white frosting, pink sugar crystals from Dean & Deluca and gold baking cups. They were easy to make the day before and frost that morning!

Tip #2:  Pick up fresh florals.

If you follow me on instagram, you already know that I am firm believer in that a home can never be “too full” of fresh blooms. I make it a habit to pick up fresh flowers whenever and wherever I see them (often times, TOO much of a habit, but that’s another story..). An easy way to decorate and brighten up any space is by adding flower arrangements and you certainly don’t always need a florist to do so. Pick up whatever is in season (hello peonies from WholeFoods!), cut and arrange in colorful vases or jars. (Brush up on your design skills here.)

Tip #3: Make a Bud Bar.

Hence, the title of this post! This tip is also floral-related but I felt it needed a bullet point of its own. For those of you that are not floral arrangement savvy – this has quickly become my new obsession that I have dubbed, the “bud bar”. ANYONE can make one. Seriously, you cut the flowers super short, place in a smaller jars, line up and voila! (You could easily do this “on the road” too for parties you might be hosting at a restaurant, hotel or with tabelscapes) This is also a great way to make use of those flowers you accidentally cut too short or that break while in route home. I placed one of these on my fireplace mantel for the party (below the darling Sweet & Spark blogger lookbook). Currently, I have a “leftover” bud bar full of pink peonies in both my bedroom and bathroom.

Tip #4: Purchase bottled “sparklings”.

To take care of the “sparkling” side of this theme – I purchased sparkling bottled waters, prosecco and sparkling pink lemonade. All of these could be bought ahead of time or the day of and kept cool in the fridge (or on ice). No special craft cocktails needed – which also cuts down on time!

Tip #5: Light candles.

Last but certainly not least, another way to decorate and liven up a room is through scented candles. You probably already have a few at home and you can light these before your guests arrive. I would recommenced about 20-30 minutes prior so that the house smells delightful!

 Below are some more photos of the spark from the party!

Happy Hosting!

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