Five party planning tips from former ‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ star, Dina Manzo

Former “housewife” Dina Manzo is now the host of a new series, Dina’s Party on HGTV. Each episode follows her and her creative team as they imagine and deliver the most sensational parties.

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Dina & Clients Dina at work
Dina Manzo
Dina Manzo

Former “housewife” Dina Manzo is now the host of a new series, Dina’s Party on HGTV. Each episode follows her and her creative team as they imagine and deliver the most sensational parties.

I recently spoke to the former reality TV star to get her tips on how to plan an impressive party, while saving money. Dina told me her goal is to get to know her clients and stay true to their individual style; and of course, make sure they have a great time throughout the process and especially at the event.

Also on her list of priorities: cost-cutting and being mindful of our environment. “I’m a recycling freak,” she says. “There’s so much to be created with empty bottles, flea market finds, and ultimately somebody else’s throw-aways.”

Here are Dina’s top five ways to create a positively-impressive and down-right fun party:

1.  Use natural resources. Explore your refrigerator and pantry for organic elements to dress up your tabletops, as well as canisters, tins, and containers. For example, an oversize glass cylinder urn can house apples and gourds in autumn, or seashells and sand in the the summer. By rethinking what you’ve already got you’ll end up saving a lot of money.

2. Source table linens that are on sale or from vintage shops or flea markets. You can cut the cost of your table décor by buying inexpensive table linens, cutting them yourself, and even use hem tape so they can be used on various sized tables time and time again.

3. Make sure you have great food, even if it isn’t yours to claim. Don’t feel guilty at all about delegating dishes to friends or family—it’s lovely to have your guests feel a part of the party, just remember to return the favour to them. If it’s in your budget, hire a caterer. You want people in good spirits, and food has a whole lot to do with that. Also, build levels of interest in how you display your food. Dina’s Party demonstrates crafty ways to do so such as using clean paint cans to build height.

4. Do not run out of food or drinks. It’s so important to have a plentiful stock of refreshments and foods. For anything unopened, think about donating it to a charity or function of your choice. Or simply return them where you can.

5. Pay attention to the flow of the party. When entertaining in your home, especially a large amount of people, consider moving around your furniture so that there is a comfortable, inviting flow for your guests to wonder. Don’t get too hung-up on your daily furniture placement–have fun with it.