The Ultimate Party Setup Guide for Any Occasion

Get the 4-1-1 on proper etiquette on setting up for any party, whether it's formal or informal.

Summer is about gathering friends for an outdoor barbecue or garden party. Alongside the main course, serve ombre fruit skewers that match your theme.

Green Ombre Skewers

green apple + honeydew melon + green grape + kiwi

Yellow Ombre Skewers

banana + pineapple + mango + cantaloupe

Blue Ombre Skewers

raspberry + red grape + blueberry

Red Ombre Skewers

watermelon + strawberry + red apple

Wine and cheese pairings are the perfect fare for cocktail parties. Follow our guide to bring out the best flavor profiles.

A mild cheddar won't outshine a vibrant, full-bodied merlot.

Refreshing grassy and tropical flavors of sauvignon blancs provide a delicious counterbalance to goat cheese's rich tangy flavor and smooth consistency.

Spicy zinfandels pair well with tangy, creamy feta.

Sweeter rieslings will cut through gorgonzola's sharpness.

Crisp, effervescent Champagne balances brie's rich, creamy qualities.

Finish off the plater with a variety of combinations pictured here.

A fully-stocked bar cart is a must-have no matter what type of party you're throwing. Start with a blank slate, and follow our guide to make sure guests can drink practically any cocktail they desire.

Specialty tools like these make bartending a breeze.

These are the basics that any cocktail connoisseur should have on hand.

Place citrus fruits in a pretty wooden bowl for aesthetic appeal.

Feel free to swap these out for other mixers that you might use more regularly. For instance, grapefruit juice and elderflower cordial make great additions to tequila and Champagne, respectively.

Finish It Off

Don't forget the most important part: liqours! Keep these essentials stocked.

Keep It Casual

Buffets shouldn't be stuffy or overdesigned. Here, simplicity is best.

Keep buffet lines short with a double-sided buffet table. Set out cutlery at the end of the line, so guests have less items to hold while going through the line.

Set the Scene

For weddings, anniversary celebrations, rehersal dinners and other formal affairs, place settings are very important. Done properly, settings indicate the course and which piece of dinnerware to use.

First Course

Serve salad with bread and butter for the first course, making sure to set out a separate plate for the bread and fork and knife for the salad.

Second Course

Remove the salad plate before the second course, and place a soup bowl on the service plate. After the soup course, replace the bowl with a dinner plate.

Third Course

Remove all tableware except the mug, saucer and dessert fork and spoon. Replace the dinner plate with a smaller dessert plate, and fill the mug with coffee or cappuccino.

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