Preston Bailey's Design for Entertaining:

Published By: Bulfinch

Book Category: Non-Fiction, House & Home

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Reviewed by Yuka Mizushima

Subtitled: Inspiration for Creating the Party of Your Dreams

Worried about the upcoming holiday party you have to plan? You (and all your friends) know what Martha would do but it's time to shake things up. The problem is you aren't sure where to start.

Luckily for you, Inspirations by Preston Bailey is available. Preston Bailey is a well-known event planner for Hollywood stars. Recently, he's worked on Oprah's fiftieth birthday celebration and Donald and Melania's wedding celebration.

Ten parties, eight of which are weddings, are photographed and discussed in this book. Locations include Niagra Falls, a Virginia stable that is converted into a wedding chapel and the Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Each chapter celebrates a different theme. Yes, there are eight weddings covered but each wedding has its own theme, color scheme and something unique to offer. The last chapter provides ways to organize and showcase your dining table.

This book dazzles with its full-size color photographs. It celebrates colors, flowers and the unexpected. Reading this book was a great way to spend a rainy afternoon as there are a lot of things to ooh and aah over. Two of my favorite are pineapples made out of sunflowers and a dog made out of dogwood flowers.

Bailey's philosophy is you aren't just throwing a party, you are creating a theatrical event for your guests. It's important to pay attention to the details so your guests will know they are in for a wonderful, magical night. Some examples of small but important details that Bailey uses are: a wedding menu made out of edible chocolate, displaying sculptures that support the party's theme and embellishing cloth napkins with silk roses.

This book is not a "how to" because there aren't any step-by-step instructions. Rather, it's designed to be a "how about this idea" book. It's a peek into Bailey's creative process.

Bailey finds inspiration in nature, artwork and the various cities he has visited. He doesn't want you to simply copy his ideas but he wants you to use this book as a springboard for your imagination and personal style.

Armchair Interview says feeling ambitious and daring? Incorporate Bailey's suggestions into your celebrations.

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