Holiday Hosting with Lynn Easton
Welcome to a season of elevated festivities and unparalleled hosting experiences! In the spirit of creating magical moments during the holidays, we’re sharing hosting tips from Lynn Easton, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Easton Porter Group and Founder of Easton Events. With an extraordinary career in orchestrating remarkable gatherings, Lynn has not only carved a niche in the world of hospitality but has set the standard for unforgettable celebrations. With the wisdom garnered from Lynn’s extensive experience, get ready to transform your holiday hosting into an art form, where every detail reflects the hallmark of elegance and sophistication that defines Easton Porter Group. Let the festivities begin!
When hosting for the holidays, how do you recommend preparing for a large number of guests?
Do as much in advance as you can! As the host, you deserve to enjoy your party alongside your guests, and thorough preparation allows you to do just that. Create a comprehensive list of what you intend to serve, then streamline it to keep things simple. Stick to familiar dishes to minimize stress if you’re handling the cooking. Unless you have time to practice, avoid experimenting with new recipes for this event. It might sound counterintuitive, but plan backward, starting when you want dinner to conclude. For example, if you’re hosting a seated dinner and aiming for a 9:00 PM conclusion, guests should be seated by 7:00 PM, meaning cocktail hour can begin at 6:00 PM. And just like that, you’ve sorted a timeline! Now, you can start adding the fun elements, like a theme to keep your decor cohesive, and planning what you will wear!
What are your favorite holiday decor hacks?
Every year, take stock of what you have and try to steer clear of online shopping – where it’s easy to get lost in the endless array of holiday decor – until you’ve envisioned what you’d like to curate. Decorations are akin to treasures; their true value is found in real-life discoveries, the feelings they invoke, and the memories they hold. Whether the blown glass bauble you stumbled upon during a family ski trip or the finger-painted reindeer crafted by your now married-with-children daughter at age five, all of your decorations should be meaningful.
Do you have any tips for preparing food or beverages for a large quantity of people?
Carefully plan your menu and maintain a sense of organization. You’ve got this! Create a list of the dishes you intend to prepare, considering your guests’ preferences, and consider outsourcing aspects you’re comfortable with, especially when dealing with larger quantities. Just because you can make everything from scratch doesn’t mean you have to – remember, you want to enjoy your guests, too! Be smart about time management, dedicate ample time to kitchen preparations leading up to the event, and jot down instructions for the final touches on the day of the party, such as reheating, garnishing, and plating. Keep beverage options straightforward, featuring one unanimously enjoyed cocktail while predominantly serving wine (and having plenty of water!) to simplify your life and expedite drink service for your guests.
How do you keep guests entertained throughout the evening?
Always start with a great playlist or try to incorporate some live musical entertainment. For a seated dinner, consider implementing an unconventional seating arrangement. As the host, you understand your guests best, so organize seating based on that knowledge. For instance, if Mary and Lee are unfamiliar with each other but you know they both share a deep passion for photography, sit them together. Utilize a narrow table to encourage conversation and connections among your guests.
Easton Events Hosting Trends
Décor Trend: CANDLES CANDLES CANDLES
Describe this trend: My favorite candles at the moment are Glassbaby. The votives are hand-blown in San Francisco and come in colors that light up every kind of party. We love adding a personal touch by mixing and matching them.
Why this trend is trending: It’s uncomplicated, and the soft glow of candlelight is soothing and welcoming. Not to mention universally flattering!
Lifestyle Trend: THE MID-WEEK PARTY
Describe this trend: Weekend parties? Never heard of her. We see an increase in celebrations hosted mid-week.
Why this trend is trending: At its most basic level, more people have the ability to “work from wherever” – alleviating the stress of a work commute and allowing for more schedule flexibility.