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Recommended reading for stylish entertaining

Selena Dehne is a marketing and public relations manager for JIST Publishing, freelance writer and life-long Hoosier. She covers home, entertaining, and holiday topics for SheKnows.com and FabulousLiving.com. Selena has also published do...

Need ideas for an upcoming celebration or get-together you’re slated to host? Head to your local bookstore, library, or Amazon.com to snag copies of the following fabulous guides. These are some of the best books to find inspiration for planning parties, showers, and dinners. With them, you’ll learn how to transform the task of hosting into a talent others will envy.

"Easy Entertaining for Beginners: You Can Throw a Fabulous Party, from a Holiday Fiesta to a Romantic Evening for Two," by Patricia Mendez

Having little to no experience planning social events doesn't mean you're incapable of being a great host. With some solid advice and a little inspiration, you can create a spectacular get-together that will make your friends and family wonder if you missed your calling as a professional party planner.

You'll find that advice, inspiration and much more in this guide. It features 13 complete menus for gatherings such as a fiesta, romantic evening for two, or a Thanksgiving dinner. You'll also find guidance on how to decorate, drink suggestions, menu shortcuts, and music recommendations.

 

"Budget Celebrations: The Hostess Guide to Year-Round Entertaining on a Dime," by Shelley Wolson

If you want to be a savvy hostess, one of the fundamental guidelines to keep in mind is to "Do a lot while spending little." That means keeping an eye out for great buys, establishing a budget and sticking to it, and finding creative ways to use items you already own or can repurpose inexpensively.

This book is packed with photos, recipes, décor ideas, craft suggestions, and a slew of other tips and tricks to help you coordinate a number of celebrations without spending a fortune. Armed with the ideas in this guide, you'll be able to create the illusion of an expensive soiree, without experiencing a "what was I thinking?" moment as soon as the party ends.

 

"InStyle Parties (The Complete Guide to Easy, Elegant Entertaining)," by the editors of "InStyle" magazine

If hosting classy cocktail parties and swanky soirees is your thing—or you want it to be—look to this book for the inside scoop on how to emulate celebrity style when planning your next event. Through gorgeous photos, this book shows how even casual gatherings such as Super Bowl parties, backyard barbeques, and game night get-togethers can exude glamour and sophistication. The book features tips on how to set a table, crowd-friendly menus, creative cocktails, and more.

 

"Simple Stunning Parties at Home: Recipes, Ideas, and Inspirations for Creative Entertaining," by Karen Bussen

Chic venues and banquet halls aren't the only places to hold a great party. In fact, the majority of your entertaining may be done from the comfort of your own home. Not only are at-home parties budget-friendly, they also give you the freedom to serve what you want, decorate as you please, and establish the ambiance you believe is appropriate.

This book lends a variety of ideas for daytime parties and cocktail parties, as well as casual and formal dinners. In addition to gaining suggestions for food, drinks, décor, music, and table settings you'll better understand how to make guests feel comfortable in your home and implement your own style and flair into the gathering's details to ensure the occasion is one-of-a-kind.

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