How to Throw a Stress Free Party

1. Pick A Theme
Think outside of the box.  I'm always trying to come up with new ideas for a party; I like a party where there is an activity.  I don't really enjoy going to someones house, eating, drinking, and talking to a few people.  I want action!  Believe me I've thrown a traditional party in the past but some of my favorites include a holiday Minute to Win It game night and a Casino Night.  This holiday season I knew I wanted to have a party but I didn't quite know what I wanted to do.  Luckily, I was recently introduced to Cuvée Catering and it finally hit me that I needed to contact to Cuvée for my holiday party.  My theme for this party was a Mixology Class for an intimate group of girlfriends.

2. Pick your guest list and send invitations.
Think back to your theme and decide on your guest list.  Not every party includes all of your friends and family.  For example, my Casino Night was geared for friends both male and female.  But it wasn't for some of our family members.  This Mixology Class called for a small group because we would actually be hands on/behind the bar and I wanted to keep it to only girlfriends.
I think invitations set the tone for your party but if you are short on time or want to save money using an Evite is acceptable.  In this case I was very short on time so I had to do an Evite.

3. Plan Food and Drink
You need to determine if you are doing a sit down dinner or if you're doing apps or perhaps it's just desserts and drinks.  Time plays a huge part in picking food.  I've started a party at 7:30 pm so I served desserts and drinks.  However, if you're starting at 6:00 pm you need to serve something substantial enough to count as a meal.  Most parties call for apps, desserts (no there's never a time you don't serve something sweet, lol) and drinks.  I choose food based on seating arrangements.  For example, I knew I was going to have cocktail tables and barstools for this party so I was able to serve a salad along with appetizers.  If guests can not sit down then finger foods are best.  Make sure you think about hot vs. cold food.  I always try to do a combo because if you do all hot food you have to worry about baking everything at once and keeping it all warm.  Hot food is WAY harder to serve at a party than cold food which you can prepare ahead of time.  Don't plan 5 baked items if you only have one oven.  You'll figure out at the last minute that your apps will come out in shifts; I speak from experience:(
Again for drinks you need to think about the guest list.  When we have both males and females I typically make a signature cocktail, beer, and water.  Some parties also include alcohol and mixers for guests to make their own drinks.  I almost never have non-alcoholic options other than water- because who drinks that?!?!  Just kidding... I just think that's one area you can keep it simple.
For this party I got off very easy with alcohol because Cuvée Catering provided all of the drinks.  For food I served a couple of appetizers, a Chinese chicken salad, and a chocolate fondue bar.

4. Plan Decor
I love throwing a party during the holidays because my home is already decorated, but still more is needed.  I've gotten so busy lately that I just don't have the time or energy frankly for some of the work that goes along with decorating and throwing a party.  I eliminated all of the shopping and running around town by ordering all of the items from Expo Party Rentals.  You have the option of visiting their beautiful show room and working with a consultant but if you're like me and always pressed for time you can look online as well.  This is such an amazing option.  Once I picked out what I wanted I was able to work with a friendly and knowledgeable consultant over the phone.  She did all the leg work for me and the process couldn't have been easier.  All the items were delivered to my home and set up for me.  Could throwing a party get any easier?  Actually yes it can...after it was all over I didn't have any cleaning to do.  Expo Party Rentals came back to pick up all the rentals and I didn't have to wash one plate or launder one napkin or tablecloth.  I always dread the end of the party because the clean up is a nightmare.  When you rent all of your items you don't have to dread the end of the night.

5. Eat, Drink and Be Merry
The most important step to throwing a party is participating and enjoying the party.  This is where Cuvée Catering and Expo Party Rentals came in big time.  I've thrown so many parties where I feel like I'm hustling through the whole party.  This was the first time where I was able to sit back, relax and enjoy good company.  I highly recommend contacting Cuvée for your next gathering.  They have so many options and it will give you and your guests something you've never experienced.  They also take all the work off of your hands.  Furthermore, no matter what type of party you decide to throw you must contact Expo Party Rentals to handle all of the glassware, flatware, and linens.  Expo Party Rentals is offering a great deal for all my readers.  Use code Annie15 for 15% off your order.
{See below for all my party details}

I was so IMPRESSED with Cuvée Catering.  They brought in an entire bar and assembled it in my living room.  They brought a staff and all the bar essentials to make the Mixology class utterly perfect.

Expo Party Rentals provided cocktail tables, barstools, table cloths, sequin runners, napkins, plates, forks, and platters.  The quality was excellent; not like some rentals I've had in the past that look worn.  I kept the colors in line with my Christmas decor in my living room.

I was thrilled to see that Expo Party Rentals offered gorgeous pieces.  The flatware had a hammer detail and the plates had a double silver rim.  This details make the items feel like fine china, not rentals.

Some of my beautiful friends up at the bar...

Look at these gorgeous craft cocktails we made...

Sammy the bartender from Cuvée was hilarious, interactive, informative, and engaging.  He was the best teacher and we learned so much about crafting a cocktail and using items you have already in your bar and fridge.

I was lucky to be invited to an exclusive preview night at Expo Party Rentals to tour their showroom and learn about their services.  It was also that night that I was introduced to Cuvée Catering.  I was so excited to be invited because that night led to throwing the perfect holiday party.

The showroom is beautiful and impressive.  One of the most exciting options is "Rent the Setting" where your entire place setting is picked out for you, from table runner to silverware.  You can find all of the rental options on their website HERE.

Expo Party Rentals
Don't forget to use code Annie15 for 15% off your order.

Cuvée Catering

Mandi Stewart's Chloe & Isabel Boutique

This post is sponsored by Cuvée Catering, Expo Party Rentals and Mandi Stewart's Chloe & Isabel Boutique.  All opinions expressed are honest and my own.


  1. Wow, these are fantastic photos. I am so pleased to find this article. Anyway, with my sister I have been making plans for a fun party at domestic venues in NYC. Actually our mom’s birthday is coming and she has never had grand party dedicated to her so we want to make this birthday extremely special for her. Can’t wait for the day now.

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