Congratulations are in order for our editor-at-large Jenna Bush Hager, who announced this morning that she and her husband Henry are expecting their first child!
Turns out she had much to celebrate at her recent birthday party. Here’s a glimpse into her Southern-infused, holiday-themed shindig. (The Texas native just turned 31.) We love Jenna’s tips for a memorable gathering:
Rethink your setting. The dining room? So predictable. She opted for an Airstream trailer to play host to a sit-down dinner with 15 guests, but you can also consider a more doable at-home tailgate with a rented vintage truck.
Keep decorations simple. Jenna used magnolia leaf garland to channel the magic of the South. (To learn how to make your own magnolia wreath, click here.)
Always—always—use place cards. And seat guests strategically. “My Southern mama taught me to never seat spouses or couples directly next to each other so that guests are encouraged to mingle,” Jenna says. (Click here for five rules to setting the perfect Southern table.)
Another break-the-ice idea: Fun props, like masks, will ensure that guests are feline (sorry!) comfortable.
Add your own soundtrack. Music is key! “This year, my husband Henry was the deejay, and the trailer shook with 15 people dancing!”
For more on Jenna’s party, and to see a menu, visit her blog The Novo Project.