Last week I was privileged to host a gorgeous summer soirée for 8 of my creative friends at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. Built in 1930, the Omni Shoreham is a DC institution that has hosted presidents and celebrities alike (and, incidentally, my grandmother’s high school prom). But their sprawling garden area is one of DC’s best-kept secrets, so I loved having an excuse to show it off with a dinner on the veranda. The wonderful staff at the Omni put on the most instagrammable event, complete with seasonal bites and beverages, pretty pastel flower arrangements, and even custom cookie place cards. I wish I could take credit for all of the planning that went into this, but I cannot. However, I did learn a few tips for hosting an IG-worthy party, whether it be at home or at an event space, so I thought I’d share with you – no flower wall required!
- Serve a signature cocktail. Believe it or not, a signature cocktail can actually make your life a lot easier as a hostess. The signature drink for my event was a Strawberry Sparkling Mojito, which can easily be premixed minus the champagne and garnish until they’re ready to serve. No time for the the extra work? Many cocktails can be premixed and served straight from a pretty dispenser – let the guests serve themselves!
- Cute custom cookies. I’m sure a lot of you have been to weddings where custom cookies are a favor, but they’re an adorable idea for dinner parties, too! Use them in place of place cards if you’ve got the guest list nailed down in advance or pick a cute design to match the theme of the event. These lovely little cookies were made by Sweets by Sara S. You can also check my friend Jessica’s online shop, which ships through the US.
- Make a statement with macrame. I overheard Sean from the Omni saying he found these gorgeous macrame hangers on Amazon and I was surprised they were such a steal! These would look dreamy hanging from trees with votive candles in glass bowls for a garden party (just use LED tealights if you’re worried about starting a fire!) or create a boho chandelier effect by hanging them indoors.
- Break up bouquets into smaller arrangements. The event featured lots of smaller flower arrangements of hydrangeas and roses with bits of greenery placed throughout the veranda. This beautiful effect is easy and economical to recreate using flowers you can find at the grocery store. I love hydrangeas because one bloom can easily fill a short vase, but feel free to mix and match with other flowers. Clip the flowers short so the blooms just clear the edge of the vase. I keep a bunch of inexpensive small vases in various shapes and sizes, but shot glasses also work surprisingly well.
So these are just a few tips, but if you’re looking for a place to host a special event, stay for the weekend, or just a spot to enjoy a drink and a snack and completely forget you’re in the middle of DC, I can’t recommend the Omni Shoreham enough.