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5 Hostess Tips from Dallas Party Planner Emily Clarke

her favorite local vendors for flowers, catering and stationery

For Hosting
“Your guests take cues from you, so if you’re nervous they’re nervous. You want them to be at ease in your home. It can be fun to play with decor. But if you’re still thinking about decor when the party starts, you’ve missed it. Remember, you’re a hostess first.”

“Have someone come who can help take out the trash or refill drinks. It helps keep you present. It’s easy to start taking care of everyone else and miss the moment.”

“Serve food people like to eat. Unless you’re a chef, this isn’t the time to experiment. I’m a big believer in simple food and enough of it.”

“Get clever when decorating on a budget. There are a lot of things you can build out of found objects. Be imaginative and get your kids involved.”

“Imperfection is beautiful. I could order flowers and have them delivered to my house, but it’s more heartfelt if I make it myself.”

For Rentals
Posh Couture Rentals // 101 Cole St., Dallas; 972/818-3200

For Flowers
Bows and Arrows Flowers // 4908 Bryan St., Dallas; 214/828-2697

Todd Events // 1174 Quaker St., Dallas; 214/749-0400

For Catering
Cassandra Fine Catering // 1435 Dragon St., Dallas; 214/613-0131

Proper Catering & Events // 6554 E. Lovers Lane, Dallas; 214/356-7384

For Entertainment
Jordan Kahn Music Company // 844/800-7278

For Stationery & Gifts
Ellis Hill // 5001 W. Lovers Lane, Dallas; 214/520-6108

Images courtesy of John Cain Photography and Heather Hawkins.