Master party planner Colin Cowie has thrown some of the most lavish galas for some of Hollywood's biggest stars—including Gayle's best friend, Oprah! Whether your budget is big or small, Colin says there are a few key ingredients that must go into the mix to make your celebration a success. At the O You! event in Miami, Gayle talks with Colin about how to throw the perfect party:
Appeal to all five senses. Be mindful of what you and your guests will taste, smell, hear, see and touch. Fragrant candles, music, dim light and cocktails are just a few ways to instantly set the mood.
Timing is everything. Keep the party moving with the proper rhythm and pace so that guests are always entertained and never bored. "Before we look at our watch, the next event should take place—and timing does not cost one cent," Colin says.
The host should always be cool, calm and collected. "You want your entertaining to be effortless," Colin says. Build in time to shower, touch up makeup and get dressed so that you look presentable and are ready to greet your guests at the door.
A savvy entertainer is a resourceful entertainer. Colin says no one's handing out gold medals for making everything from scratch. Give yourself a break and incorporate store-bought foods into your party scheme. "The whole idea behind entertaining is that you should be glued to the dining room chair and not chained to the kitchen stove," he says.
Printed from Oprah.com on Thursday, December 5, 2013