5 Entertaining Tips From Drake’s Event Planner Catriona Smart
How do you plan a party for 1,000 guests in less than a week? If you’re Catriona Smart, and the client is Drake, you take a deep breath, make some calls and come up with something never seen before. But, she’s happy to play host at home, too.
In contrast to her large-scale client events, Catriona keeps it simple in her own space. “All you need is a good group of people, great food and drinks, and the right playlist,” she says.
Click through to get inspired to host your own holiday soirée with these helpful entertaining tips.
“I’m a big fan of email invites,” says Catriona. “Paperless Post has tons of great options by designers like Kelly Wearstler and Kate Spade New York.”
Send out a save-the-date email four weeks in advance, then send e-vites two weeks later and a reminder email the day before the party.
“If I’m throwing a house party for 30 to 50 people, I’ll hire a bartender and a server; it takes the pressure off and they help keep the place neat and tidy,” says Catriona.
Batch-mix a signature cocktail ahead of time for easy pouring, then choose one white wine, one red wine and a single beer option, plus vodka, whiskey, rum, tequila, gin and mix. Four or five drinks per guest is my standard, but buy extra because there’s nothing worse than running out.
Get Catriona’s recipe for Mulled Wine Sangria.
“I welcome holiday guests with a passed appetizer and continue serving tasty morsels for a couple of hours,” says Catroina.
Plan for four dishes with one piece per dish per person. Later in the evening, offer up a sweet treat like gingerbread cookies.
Choose a mix of holiday jams — think Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and Boyz II Men’s “Let It Snow” — and feel-good hits. Look to iTunes for danceable, curated ’80s and ’90s playlists.