5 Must-Know Tips for Hosting a Stylish Luncheon
When the style world’s top names need help planning a fab event, Power of Privé is at the top of their call list. Helmed by Jane Hanrahan and Vanessa Mulroney, the Toronto-based brand consultancy has hosted memorable parties for Emilia Wickstead, Chopard, David Yurman and more. Most recently, they organized a dreamy poolside luncheon for skincare phenom Dr. Barbara Sturm—and Misette’s Monochrome Collection made the perfect tablescape.
We didn’t miss the chance to tap Jane and Vanessa for all their hosting secrets. Here, their top tips for planning a perfect luncheon.1. Think through the guest list.
The key to a great gathering? “The guest list!” says Jane and Vanessa. “Make sure it’s a fun group and a mixture of interesting people.” For their events, they start by choosing fans of the person or brand, then expand from that core. “We build from there with a mixture of friend groups, new faces and of course, a fabulous co-host.”
You’ll want to give your seating arrangements the same careful consideration: “We definitely put a lot of thought into placement and have a great sense of who can and cannot sit together. We also know where to place the hosts so that every guest at the table feels like they have a great seat.” Hint: Think center of the table rather than the head.
“We don’t love themed events and prefer to concentrate on beautiful tablescapes instead,” says Jane and Vanessa. “For our branded work events, we like to try and keep the creative of the event in line with brand aesthetics.” For your own non-branded events, consider the vibe of the person or occasion you’re celebrating. “The invite, setting and tablescape are the best ways to convey a theme without it becoming overdone.”
3. Do a pre-invite phone call.
“We find now that people prefer to receive the invite digitally and not have the environmental footprint of elaborate and heavy mailed invites,” says Jane and Vanessa. But that doesn’t mean it has to feel impersonal: “We like to contact each guest by phone and then email the invite with all the details.” When you request the RSVP, don’t forget to also get key information that might impact your menu-planning. “Nowadays it’s more important than ever to ask for dietary restrictions!”
Want a photo-worthy table? It’s the little touches that take the décor to the next level. On Jane and Vanessa’s checklist: “If you are using a tablecloth, make sure it falls all the way to the floor; the seats are evenly placed; the table is set with all the plates so that it looks completely dressed; and most importantly, go over the top with candles and flowers.” Little personalizations can go a long way, too. “We also love to embroider the napkins with the initials of the guest as a special touch. And depending on which brand we work with, we can tie in their product to enhance the tablescape.”5. Create moments for mingling.
To help guests connect and feel at ease, set the tone right from the start. “Always have some time for a pre-lunch cocktail where everyone can mingle before sitting down,” says Jane and Vanessa. “It’s a good time to introduce guests who meet for the first time and to also introduce them to the host. After that it’s down to great seat placement!”