SPRING ENTERTAINING

by

Brienne Walsh

 

 

When people hire an event planner, it's usually for a large celebration like a wedding. But Eve Singer prefers to plan small gatherings. "I'm very shy and have a lot of social anxiety in crowds," she says. Singer loves being around people, however. "It's an intimate conversation that nourishes and fills me up," she says. When Singer founded BROYT in 2019, she did so to help clients plan the sorts of gatherings that bring her the most joy. The company plans meaningful gatherings and rents out and sells carefully curated vintage and contemporary housewares. "People feel lost when planning a smaller, more intimate gathering," she says. "They feel intimidated because they feel like they should be able to handle it themselves, but there can be just too many details, especially when you're also trying to enjoy your company."  

 

 

Working with an aesthetic that is both raw and polished — and always elegant — Singer embraces the rhythm of the seasons. "In the winter, there's more darkness, more time alone turning inward," she says. "In spring, I shift into a different being." As a result, she has more energy, which is reflected in the tables she sets for clients. "There are lots of blooms, lighter energy, brighter food, and a freshness and newness to the overall aesthetic," she says. 

 

 

Singer especially loves spring because it allows for outdoor entertaining. "To have the atmosphere be airier after being cooped up is nice," she says. Below, Singer shares her foolproof tips for hosting the perfect event in the spring.

  

The Table 

Singer believes that every table should begin with a neutral base — a raw linen tablecloth, for example — that can be built upon with flowers, centerpieces, and food. "In the wintertime, I'll use something heavier like a velvet, and in the spring, I transition to lightweight linens and a neutral base tablecloth in a lighter color," she says. "The lightness mimics what's happening outside."

 

Singer likes offering seasonal variety with linens because they're less cumbersome to rotate out than dishes, for example. "Having linens for different seasons is pretty attainable," she says. 

When she builds on the table, Singer is careful to make sure that no object is taller than the guests seated across from each at the table. Singer isn't necessarily attracted to any specific time period or style when it comes to tableware such as serving vessels, vases, candlesticks, and centerpieces. "I just look at things that jump out at me and say: How can I use this in what I'm doing?" she says. Similarly, when setting your table, use objects that you love. If you'd like to cater your choices specifically to spring, Singer recommends choosing pieces that are lighter and airier.

 

  

The Flowers

Flowers are an essential part of setting the mood at a spring table. Specifically, Singer recommends looking to your immediate surroundings for inspiration. For example, in the Northeast, cherry or pear blossom branches make lovely centerpieces. If you live in the desert in the southwest or even California, cactus blooms, creosote bushes, and ironwood branches can all be considered. Recreate the outside world on your table, she suggests. 

 

When arranging the flowers, consider putting taller, more luscious bouquets on buffets, serving areas, or sideboards, where they won't hinder conversation. "If you want to keep them on the table, but move them as people arrive, I think that can look nice," Singer says. Consider using small bud vases adorned with flowers from the larger arrangements for the table itself.

 

 

The Food

Spring, Singer notes, brings enormous variety in produce, which you should use in the meal you serve. "In the spring, you see that light green in the foliage that's just starting to bloom, and the grass," she says. "And it's also there in asparagus and beans, and other types of produce, all of which your body is craving." It should all tie together in your meal, she notes. Look for fresh produce that hasn't been available all winter. "The lighter fruits and vegetables coming from California, or other states where they grow a lot of produce," she says. There's no shame in serving your food buffet style, especially if you invite families with kids and want them to feel comfortable.

 

The Guests

Singer approaches guest lists like a puzzle. "It's hard to get the right combination of people who will fit together and have enough to talk about," she says. She recommends choosing what type of party you want and then formulating a guest list from there. For example, if you're going to have a group of friends over, make sure that you don't invite someone who doesn't know the group well and won't follow the stories. "If it's a party where you specifically want people to engage with people who they wouldn't necessarily meet otherwise, then you know, put some thought into how you want the conversation to go, and make a guest list from there," Singer recommends. 

 

Singer is generally not a fan of assigned seating during dinner. "Unless the dinner is very formal, have people naturally grouped into places where they would want to sit with people who they would want to talk to," she recommends.

The Host

Not being frazzled as the host is essential to making your guests feel comfortable. "I'm a very, very big believer of doing everything in advance," Singer says. This ritual came from her childhood when the entire meal had to be finished before sundown on Shabbat, after which work is forbidden. "When your guests finally arrive, you have this sigh of relief, and you can just welcome them and sit down," she says. Preparing your table in advance — for example, the night before — allows you to take photographs of your work before the guests arrive. Once the event begins, let the natural rhythm of the social gathering take over the space.

 

  

Photography and Creative Direction by Eve Singer of BROYT

 

SHOP SETTING THE TABLE:

Brushstroke Salad Plate

by Nathalee Paolinelli

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Snapdragon Vase

by Doris Josovitz

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Nairi Dish in Lava

by Kalya O'Donoghue

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Paper Screws Serving Set

by Janie Kruse Garnett

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Wild Tulip Candleholders

by Doris Josovitz

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Chalice

by Han-Chiao

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Paper Fan Napkin Ring Set

by Janie Kruse Garnett

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Ruffle Dinner Plates

by Nathalee Paolinelli 

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