Easter is here! The flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, and in just a couple of days—you’ll be hosting.
And if it’s your first time—don’t worry! The great thing about entertaining for Easter is that it’s a little bit different for everyone: Some observe it as a religious holiday, while others just love a springtime shindig. You can serve a casual brunch or go all-out with a formal sit-down dinner. It’s about celebrating new beginnings, and when you’re the host, you can make the event completely your own!
But whatever style of event you choose, the key to a well-planned party is appealing to all five of your senses. Read on for your guide to the perfect Easter Sunday.
When you think of what Easter looks like, you usually think pastels. But when you’re entertaining, you want to decorate with something that matches your home. So if light pink and purple don’t exactly fit the bill, choose a simple color scheme like white and bright yellow, or just focus your décor on the dining or buffet table. Choose a light, springy linen, and use white, glass, or pewter serving dishes.
For the centerpiece, pick up fresh flowers from the farmer’s market or something fabulous from a florist—think bright, beautiful springtime colors! Or, for something different, dye eggs in a few different shades and arrange them in a glass bowl. You can also make (or buy) a cake decorated with Easter colors, and set it on a pedestal—it’s your centerpiece and dessert all in one!
Easter celebrations are known for a number of delicious dishes—from fresh seafood to rack of lamb, from pastries to crepes—so choose your own favorites for the menu. If you’re heading to church before brunch, serve something that can sit in the oven or be easily warmed up upon your return, like an egg casserole or Quiche Lorraine. Or, if you have the morning to focus on food, make something special like Eggs Benedict with homemade Hollandaise sauce. You can also skip the cooking altogether and pick up lox and bagels, shrimp cocktail, and fruit with crème fraiche and granola from a speciality store. And don’t forget the mimosas!
If you’re planning on dinner, you can’t go wrong with rack of lamb or a baked ham. If you want to keep it simple but delicious, leave the cooking to the professionals and pick up a HoneyBaked Ham.
The sounds of spring are lively and invigorating, and they can be heard nowhere better than outdoors! If it’s warm enough, dine al fresco and enjoy the sounds of chirping birdies, new green leaves shushing in the breeze, and a wind chime floating through the air. To add to the mood, mix a playlist of easy-going tunes—like Jack Johnson, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Ingrid Michaelson, and The Band Perry. Whatever your taste, you want to pick something that’ll make you and your guests feel good.
The first thing that comes to mind as the scent of Easter is fresh flowers, so why not bring some indoors? In addition to the centerpiece, put small bunches of flowers from the farmer’s market or Trader Joe’s in bud vases throughout the house. You can also open the windows and let the fresh air drift in, burn floral or fruit-scented candles, and let the succulent scents of whatever dishes you’re preparing warm the air.
When it comes to the overall feel of the day, that’s entirely up to you—it’s your traditions, your sense of style, and the activities you plan. For example, for a formal event, make elegant place cards and have everyone don their Sunday best—white linen, wide-brimmed hats, and peep-toes! For a fun, lively get-together, host an adults-only egg hunt: Have each person bring $10, stuff the bills in a plastic egg, and hide it well. Whoever finds it gets an Easter bonus!
Whatever you do, just remember each of your five senses, and you’re sure to have a fun and festive holiday. Now, relax and enjoy—Happy Easter!