Bronson van Wyck, entertaining extraordinaire and the author of Born to Party, Forced to Work, is the life of the party–and for good reason! He’s one of the world’s leading authorities on hospitality and event design, relying on the gracious warmth of his Southern upbringing and his clever wit in everything he does. His clients include Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton, Madonna, Martha Stewart, and many  more. Today—lucky us—he’s sharing his top 5 entertaining tips. For more, pick up a copy of his book here.


When you want to go all in on gracious chic, but don’t want to seem like you’re making an obvious flex:

  • Select a book or gift for each guest based on his or her interests and personality, and use them as your place cards.  Nothing gets the table conversation going more quickly than seeing what the person next to you received.
  • Make the food as much a part of the visual experience as it is of the taste experience.  We recently strung sparkling candies on edible string, and hung them like beaded curtains floating over the hors d’oeuvres stations, adding a third dimension of decoration to an otherwise minimalist room.  At a summer wedding, the vegetables from a deconstructed crudité were arranged like Pomepeiian mosaics on a wax paper-covered tabletop.  Be sure to blanche the veggies before, so they’re tastier and easier to eat!
  • Nothing gets people dancing like disco, and nothing is more disco than glitter, which, fortunately, is not expensive at all.  Which is why we dumped 2,000 lbs. of it onto the dance floor at a wild Sweet 16 party.  As guests danced, clouds of purple sparkles swirled around their feet like low lying psychedelic mist.  Do NOT try this at home though: you’ll be vacuuming it up for years.
  • When all else fails, get a costumed lion on roller skates serve shots to your guests as they arrive (I recently did this at home at a safari-themed engagement party – we couldn’t pour the tequila fast enough!).