Emily Hertz, Born on Fifth, @bornonfifth
Scale: intimate or grand? Intimate… but grand. I love spending time with family and friends in smaller groups, but always like to add details that make the events feel elevated.
Venue: at home or away? At home! After living in our house for three years, I’m finally starting to figure out the best party flows and nuances.
Color scheme: yay or nay? Yay! I always like to start events with a mood board. [It] doesn’t have to be anything crazy, but it helps coordinate all of the pieces, starting with the invitation.
Decor: minimalist or maximalist? Somewhere in between. I love mixing pieces from Lucy’s Market and Target with handtouched details, like custom place mats created by Kathryn of Fleur de Letters.
Food: catered or homemade? Catered. It’s OK to know your weaknesses, and cooking is one of mine. I love Lizzie, the chef from Homespun.
Drinks: wine and beer or cocktails? Depends on the guests and the meal. I love red wine, and we always keep a few bottles of Stag’s Leap Hands of Time around.
Music: fresh picks or old favorites? Old favorites. I think I was born in the wrong decade. I love ’60s and ’70s music, so I typically play a mix of those, and, inevitably, people know all the words to every song.
Go-to hostessing tip? Flowers, always flowers! And start with a theme. … It makes life so much easier.
Jessica Camerata, My Style Vita, @mystylevita
Scale: intimate or grand? A holiday party for me is a time to do something grand and get to see all my friends before we go into winter hibernating.
Venue: at home or away? I always love to entertain around the holidays at home. I spend quite a bit of time and energy decorating and making my home feel festive, so it makes hosting at home more exciting.
Color scheme: yay or nay? Picking a color scheme is always a good idea. But don’t stress too much about it. Sticking to metallics is a personal favorite.
Decor: minimalist or maximalist? I’m more of a minimalist and like to keep things simple, but special.
Food: catered or homemade? This solely depends on how insane my schedule is. Personally, homemade is more sentimental… but catering a few basics, or asking friends to bring either an appetizer or dessert, helps to take the load off your to-do list.
Drinks: wine and beer or cocktails? Cocktails for sure! I think it’s great to have a signature cocktail ready to go in a big batch and a few essentials at the bar so guests can whip up their favorites.
Music: fresh picks or old favorites? Old favorites all the way.
Go-to hostessing tip? Make a detailed and organized to-do list with a timeline. My mom is the expert at this and taught me well. … Oh, and kick your shoes off and wear something comfortable—you’ll just have more fun!
Sabrina Nooruddin Molu, Simply Sabrina, @_simplysabrina
Scale: intimate or grand? Intimate, 10 to 15 people
Venue: at home or away? Home, always. There is nothing more special than inviting people into your home.
Color scheme: yay or nay? Yes, [but] I prefer to call it a palette. Keeping things in the same color family helps add a stylistic element to your decor.
Decor: minimalist or maximalist? Minimalistic, but attention to details!
Food: catered or homemade? This one is tough. I prefer to cater and spend time making one really great dish. Whether that’s dessert or the main entree, something should be homemade.
Drinks: wine and beer or cocktails? Custom cocktails and mocktails—not everyone drinks!
Music: fresh picks or old favorites? Old favorites. Our dinner-party mix is full of Justin Timberlake in the 2000s.
Go-to hostessing tip? Just like your makeup, less is more. No one needs turkey hand accordions, but if you take the time to make small handwritten place cards, your guests will notice. I like to go with the general rule of thumb: Give them something to Instagram!