Share this Story

4 Formal dinner party themes

Aly Walansky is a freelance writer and editor based in New York City. She lives with her two Shorkie-Tzus, Scarlette and Max, and a display of pink polka-dot-themed home decor -- not to mention a selection of flavored vodka. Check out he...

Winter party ideas

"Sometimes, less is more both in fashion and entertaining, so I always like to serve simple but refined rustic fare such as cheese, grapes, honey, apples and nuts," says Catherine Malandrino, who hosted her own cocktail party this week in honor of her Limited Edition Cointreau bottle. Formal dinner parties are, indeed, the first occasions on which a lot of us feel like grownups. But elegant isn't the only way to go. We can make them fun or frisky -- or anything our minds can conjure up!

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

When you imagine a winter party, do you picture snow on your windowpane? Go with it. Decorate your house and place settings in as much white as possible -- embrace the white/silver element as much as possible. Think snowflake decorations and backdrops. The white background with formal dinnerware will create elegance, but feel free to fun it up with a white dessert buffet! Use fake snow, snowflakes and strategically placed snowmen.

A Dickens Christmas

Do you have an appreciation for the classics? Create an old English-themed dinner, suggests Phyllis Cambria, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Throwing a Great Party. Consider damask or brocade linens, ornate dishes, chargers, stemware and flatware, and serve a traditional English supper with a beef roast or a goose, Yorkshire pudding, roasted potatoes and fresh green beans served with a mulled wine or grog.

Celebrate the Newness

For a New Year's Eve celebration that embraces the start of new things, create a menu of items with a "new" theme: New England Clam Chowder, New Potatoes, New Orleans-style shrimp and New York cheesecake! This is also super-fun for celebrating a new house, a new baby or a new job.

Celebrate Hollywood-Style

Celebrate the holidays in vintage style with an old-Hollywood themed bash, suggests Colleen Mullaney, author of It's 5 o'clock Somewhere. Start with the invite -- perhaps a black and white photo of Hollywood legends, or a vintage-style photo of a champagne glass. Use a silver metallic marker to send a sparkling message about the soiree. Decor should be easy but stylish: Black and white paper lanterns for dimension, accents of silver and crystal, and festively glowing candlesticks and candlelight. Photocopy vintage photos of stars and place them around the party space for added fun.  Fresh or faux lilies in silver cups give a colorfully fresh retro feel.

Recommended for You
Comments
Hot
New in Food & Recipes
Close

And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .

SheKnows is making some changes!