The expert throws down tips for a fabulous Labor Day party

 

Luxury, fashion and lifestyle expert, Lara Shriftman has given lots and lots of parties. That's her biz!

lara image
Lara Shriftman
 

By Madeleine Marr

Lara Shriftman has given lots and lots of parties. That's her biz.

The luxury, fashion and lifestyle expert,who co-founded PR firm Harrison & Shriftman in 1995, even wrote four books about her favorite topic. We asked the part-time Miami resident her advice on how to throw a fabulous summer send-off:

Location: "A daytime soiree should be at a warm outdoors location -- the pool, garden or beach. Nothing says summertime better than a BBQ in the sun."

Guest list: "It's not surprising to have friends ‘casually stop by' without having RSVP'd. So always accommodate more
than the number you had in mind." That said: "The summertime is a very popular time for families to travel on vacation, so
it's a good idea to over-invite."

Length: "If you want to make it an all-day event, specify just a start time. If you only want it to last for a couple hours,
include an end time in bold letters."

Decor: "Give that kitchen chair or living room couch a makeover by draping it in white sheets or a playful fabric like terry
cloth. Create the ultimate lounge space by bringing out a bed and loading it up with pillows."

Get comfy: "Use patterned rugs or large bath mats to lay out a soft foundation for sitting on the ground. Prop fluffy pillows
throughout the space. Create tight groupings so people can meet."

Music: "Match your playlist with the mood. In a steamy setting, it's important to have upbeat music, but keep the tunes at a
volume that allows the guests to talk without yelling."

Expense: "If you want to save time, and don't mind spending the extra money, hire a caterer. You'll be able to socialize and
enjoy your party without having to attend to the details."

Noshes: "Serve bite-size finger food, so that you guests won't have to fuss with utensils and plates." Ideas -- pigs in a blan-
ket, sliders, paninis, sandwiches cut up into bite size pieces and mini cupcakes.

Drinks: Always provide a signature cocktail. "Make this way ahead of time. My suggestion is a variation on the gimlet [gin
and lime juice]. But always have something for people who don't drink. I love the Beverly Hills Hotel's Classic Arnold Palmer -- half iced tea and half lemonade."

Party favor: "Snap fun Polaroids of your guests as they enter."

Bonus: Don't stress too much on the details. "It's often the simplest parties that are the most memorable."

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