Entertaining & Gathering

The Smartest Way to Give Succulents as Party Favors — The Rustic Bridal Shower

The party problem: You're throwing a shower (bridal or baby!) and you want to give out favors, but you're already spending a ton of money on decorations and everything else.

The party trick: Give out favors that can double as decorations!

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We Stocked Our Own Wedding Bar — Here’s What We Learned — Homemade Weddings

When my now-husband and I were planning our wedding, we had two big goals: save as much money as possible, and still throw a kick-ass party that didn't feel cheap or chintzy. (So original, right?) With those things in mind, we decided early on what was worth splurging on (like the food and the reception space) and what wasn't (like paying someone else to stock our bar).

After booking our amazing caterer and our trendy Brooklyn venue, we were given a few different options for providing alcohol to our guests. We could buy a full-service bar package from the venue, pay our caterer to take care of everything, or buy the booze ourselves.

Eager to cut costs anywhere we could — and, if I'm being honest, to micromanage yet another aspect of our special day — we jumped at the chance to stock the bar ourselves. Our caterer would provide bartenders and take care of most of the logistics, but purchasing the drinks was up to us.

It was a great decision — we personalized our drink menu, served everything we wanted (and nothing we didn't), and saved a ton on markup and fees — but it wasn't without challenges.

Here's what we learned along the way, and in hindsight, about DIY-ing our own wedding bar.

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9 Things to Keep in Your Car to Always Be Picnic-Ready — Family Vacation

Picnics and outdoor movies are some of the best parts of summer — and we like to be ready for them at a moment's notice. You can take care of all the food you need with a quick 15-minute trip to the grocery store, but it's best to have a few essentials tucked away in the trunk of your car so you can be ready to head to the park whenever the mood strikes.

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Why the Fire Pit Party Is Even Better than the Crappy Dinner Party — Around the Fire Pit

Last fall, we surprised a lot of you by talking about the Crappy Dinner Party. The idea is that we all need to get back to the roots of entertaining (having people over to catch up — not to impress them with our Insta-worthy house, cooking, or party decor). There is to be no housework, no special grocery shopping, and no real preparation.

Read all about it: 5 Rules for Hosting a Crappy Dinner Party (and Seeing Your Friends More Often)

The Crappy Dinner Party was invented to take the stress out of entertaining and to make sure we actually get together more often. It's great, of course, but there's something even better for this time of year: the Fire Pit Party.

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A Fire Pit Is the One Thing You Should Splurge on This Summer — Around the Fire Pit

If you've been thinking about investing in a fire pit, we say yes. Do it! For a relatively low amount of money, a wood-burning fire pit can — and will! — change the way you summer. (There are gas fire pits on the market, too, but we just prefer the ones that burn with real wood.) It makes summer evenings outside with your plus one extra romantic and, if you're hosting a get-together, you can make s'mores. It's also basically the best excuse to not clean your house (if you're having people over for a night around the fire pit, they'll be around the fire pit — not in your house)!

Even more proof you need a fire pit: Why The Fire Pit Party Is Even Better than the Crappy Dinner Party

Sold? We thought so.

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8 Rules for a Successful Potluck Party — Patio Potluck

Any hostess will tell you that the key to a stress-free party is a potluck menu. However, even the nearly foolproof, guest-driven event can still run into a few snafus if not managed correctly. Follow the advice below if you want to pull off the most organized, most delicious potluck your neighborhood has ever seen.

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