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Fete Files: Chic Spring Fling

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Burst onto the scene this spring (and celebrate the return of longer days and warmer weather) by hosting a chic garden party, a stylish Shamrock Soiree, or a hip alfresco brunch. Ditch the heavy winter coats and wool sweaters, throw on a sweet Pucci-inspired ensemble, mix yourself a sparkling cocktail, and read our tips to organizing and hosting a Chic Spring Fling.

The Invite
Forget about heavy, formal invitations and mix things up by choosing stationary that incorporates pastels, bright colors, or pretty prints. If you do decide to go with a more classic invite, there are several ways to soften things up. Choose an outer envelope in a color that pops, such as bright yellow or green. You can also make a statement by lining the inside of your envelope with decorative Japanese papers (think stripes, flower prints, etc). Paper Source makes a great template for envelope lining, or you can simply create your own. For those on a time crunch, Crane & Co makes a great printable invitation called “Spring Garden” that can be used for both formal and informal occasions.

Shamrock Soirée Idea
Create an invite using a mini box of lucky charms, and hand them out at your next gathering. Simply design the invitation on your computer, print onto green paper, and use craft glue to adhere the invitation directly to the box. You can also choose to open each box and nestle the invite inside.

Crane & Co: Invitations, stationary, and etiquette tips.
Paper Source: Handmade papers from around the world.

Fresh, sparkling drinks infused with fruit are the perfect libations for a spring soiree. Simple drinks such as peach and strawberry champagne, pineapple mimosas, or southern-inspired sweet tea served with wedges of fresh lemon will be a huge hit among guests. Put out bowls filled with fruit (lemon, limes, strawberries, raspberries, cherries) so that guests can garnish their own drinks. For those not wanting alcoholic beverages, fill glass pitchers a quarter-of-the-way with fresh herbs and frozen fruit, and top with sparkling water. If you’re in the mood for something a bit more festive, try creating a Cherry

Blossom cocktail
1 1/2-ounce Brandy
1/2-ounce Cherry brandy
1 1/2-teaspoon Triple sec
1 1/2-teaspoon Grenadine
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 cherry

Moisten rim of cocktail glass with cherry brandy and rub rim in powdered sugar. Shake all ingredients (except cherry) with ice and strain into the sugar-rimmed glass. Top with the cherry and serve. Recipe courtesy of

Mocktail Version
Shirley Temples make a great non-alcoholic beverage. Using a highball glass, simply add ginger ale over ice and sprinkle grenadine syrup over it. Garnish with a lemon slice and a cherry.

Shamrock Soirée idea
St Patty’s day calls for green beer and cocktails. Hundreds of recipes can be found online by doing a quick Google search. For those of legal drinking age, skip the green cocktails and host a beer tasting/sampling party. For more information on how to setup your own beer tasting, visit

Resources An online bartender.

Encourage your guests to mingle by setting up beverages, hors d’oeuvres, and dessert tables throughout the room or garden. Stay with the Spring theme by serving light and delicious items loaded with vegetables, fruits, and fresh herbs. Dishes such as gazpacho, ceviche, tea sandwiches, sweet potato salad, tartlets, and mini frittatas are simple to make, and a hit with party-goers. Strawberry shortcake topped with whipped cream, and peach crisp topped with vanilla ice-cream are the perfect desserts for this type of event. If you’re not in the mood for baking, put a twist on dessert by serving miniature fruit smoothies out of shot glasses. Another (easier) option is to set out cookie jars filled with store-bought lemon squares, blondies, and dessert bars.

Shamrock Soirée idea
Green cupcakes or a green-themed candy bar are the simplest ways to create a St. Patty’s day inspired meal. No one wants to be stuck in the kitchen cooking up Corned Beef and Cabbage when there’s a party going on!

Decorating for your Spring Fling can be as simple as choosing a few select items from your garden and closet. Watering cans filled with dais’’s become instant décor, and flower and seed packets can be used as creative placecards in a pinch. When choosing decorations for a Spring event, think about cheery patterns and colors such as mint green, pink, pale yellow, baby blue and lilac. Strategically placed cherry blossom branches and paper flower garland laced around the room complete this simple look.

Shamrock Soirée idea
Decorating for St. Patty’s day is a no-brainer: think green, green, and more green. For a hipper look and feel, do a search on Ebay for vintage St. Patty decorations, postcards, and fabrics.

Resources Garlands of flower lights
Vintage St Patty decorations.

Single blooms tied with ribbon, inexpensive paper parasols, and brightly colored notecards make perfect take-home gifts for a Spring Fling. If you’re looking for a little inspiration, pop into stores such as Target or Walmart for a huge selection of inexpensive and spring-themed items. Put a personal touch on things by packaging up your freshly baked lemon bars and blondies in pink dessert boxes tied with a ribbon. You can also create an earth friendly gift by attaching a notecard containing care instructions to a tulip bulb.

Shamrock Soirée idea
Keep guests happy on St. Patty’s day by filling a green sequined hat (found at most drugstores during the month of March) with small items such as strings of green beads, cheap lottery tickets, and faux shamrock tattoos.

Resources Brightly colored paper parasols.

Dorm Friendly Tips

  • Create an invite in seconds by running pre-bought cards through your printer.
  • Mixing and matching glassware can be a chic and casual way to ensure that no guest is left thirsty.
  • Take the party out of your dorm room by hosting the event off-campus (local coffee shops, restaurants, and bars will often have space to accommodate your guests).


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