I love throwing a party and this past Saturday we had the honor of hosting a party along with our Supper Club to celebrate our friends recent marriage. (Click on the link to read about our Supper Club). One of our Supper Club members owns Recipe Express Catering and he catered this lovely event! Since I didn’t have to cook, I was able to leisurely prepare for our celebration and today I am showing you the behind the scenes party prep.
1st Step of Party Prep – Add Floral Arrangements
I always start my party prep with floral arrangements. Fresh flowers and greenery bring life to the room. They don’t have to be complicated arrangements to make a statement. In fact, I love simple arrangements and sometimes bypass flowers and just add greenery to a vase such as this arrangement at our bar.
For my buffet, I needed something tall and settled on some Queen Ann’s Lace.
Sometimes a vase can look lost on a table. To beef up this arrangement on my kitchen table, I placed the vase on a platter and added a few limes to compliment the arrangement.
At our champagne station I had much taller ceilings and an open area so I created a more elaborate floral arrangement which you will see later in the post.
Creating Serving Stations
Our party was going to be cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres so I needed to create a few serving stations. I set up an hors d’oeuvre station in our dining room. I like having different layers to add interest to the buffet. The easiest way to do that is to use different size plastic containers.
I then covered them with several pashmina type scarves. They are ideal for this as they are not too big and are so easy to drape.
I place my serving platters and serving utensils out in advance. I label each platter with a post it note so we know what food goes where.
I also set up a champagne station since we were going to be toasting the bride and groom. Note how I used a variety of champagne glasses. I love the shorter retro ones which were my mom’s glasses.
Years ago we bought inexpensive wine glasses in bulk to use for parties. We store them in their original boxes and pull them out as needed. It’s so much better than using plastic glasses.
We also purchased inexpensive glass dishes in bulk that we use for larger parties.
Charcuterie and Crudité Platters
I was like a kid in a candy store watching the catering company take over from here. It’s rare that I have anything catered as I usually do all the cooking myself. I love learning from the pros so this was a treat for me.
Recipe Express creates beautiful charcuterie and crudité platters. Jonathan brought his oversized wood board which was the perfect base for his artistic creation.
Salami was folded in mini triangles; each piece of prosciutto was artistically placed on the board, creating a ruffled effect.
He created an interesting platter by mixing different shapes, sizes, textures and colors.
I especially loved how he added a whole vegetables such as the artichokes and banana pepper for a garnish.
The rest of the menu included delicious appetizers including tenderloin sliders with caramelized onions, small plates of sea bass, lamb chops (cut from a rack, served individually – we call them lamb chop lollipops), mashed potatoes with a mushroom ragu served in small cups, pigs in a blanket, bacon wrapped shrimp, mini crab cakes and Limoncello Cake from a nearby restaurant. It’s a great reminder that if you are doing the cooking yourself, you can always take a short cut and order dessert from a restaurant or bakery.
The buffet was a great way for guests to graze through the evening. Servers walked around serving some of the small plates (sea bass and mashed potato ragu) as well as a few of the other appetizers. It was a feast for all.
Thanks for stopping by and thank you Jonathan of Recipe Express for such a wonderful affair.