How to Host the Ultimate End-of-Summer Bash

Updated 08/29/17
loveshackfancy dinner party
Kelly Stuart

Yep, it's almost time to swap that glass of rosé for a mug of hot chocolate. We know it's hard to say goodbye to the long sunlit days and warm, balmy evenings of summer, but just think about the cozy nights ahead of us. Instead of lamenting the end of your favorite season, why not throw one last hurrah and celebrate a season to remember? Rebecca Hessel Cohen of LoveShackFancy decided to do just that. Along with Violet Gaynor and Kelly Stuart of The Glow, Anne Keane of Goop, and Nadine Abramcyk of Tenoverten, they invited a who's who of women to join them in their festivities.

So on a beautiful evening in Bridgehampton, New York, they threw a stylish end-of-summer bash in Cohen's new dining shed with 25 inspiring moms—a girls' night in the orchards. "We wanted to create a space where you felt immersed in the beauty of the surroundings," she told MyDomaine. "An intimate space where you gather with wine, food, dresses, and dancing." To do this, they transformed Cohen's old shack into a magical entertaining space. Think fresh, local food, fresh florals, and a fairy-tale setting in the thick of nature.

"We made the evening about the environment and the experience," adds Cohen. "It's was about creating a visual and culinary experience and being immersed in gorgeous surroundings with beautiful food and music." There's only one word to describe that: magical. Ahead, Cohen shares her tips for hosting a stylish dinner party of your own.

plate setting at loveshackfancy dinner party
Carl Timpone/BFA

Cohen was "inspired by the meadow, the apple orchard, and mixed flowers from the garden" for the tablescape theme. She worked closely with Missi Flowers to bring that wild and whimsical sensibility to the table, mixing in her own vintage china, glassware, and dishes collected from various antique shows over the years.

garden party table settings
Carl Timpone/BFA

They used vintage lace from an antique market in the center of the table with a gorgeous garland runner of mixed wildflowers for that fairy-tale vibe.

Astier de Villatte Simple Plates
Astier de Villatte Simple Plates $65
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garden party tablescape
Carl Timpone/BFA

In keeping with the garden theme, Cohen made custom tables from reclaimed vintage white wood she found. "We made three separate tables and combined them to make one long one," she says. "We mixed vintage iron chairs with a distressed wooden bench that is a part of our personal collection."

dinner party salad
Carl Timpone/BFA

For this party, Cohen worked closely with chef Megan Huylo to create a delicious menu with fresh ingredients from her Bhumi Farms. "She gave descriptions of all the plates she created during the dinner, which made it personal and interesting," says Cohen. "The food was impeccable. We ate every last bite. The chef also became a part of the evening, which feels very nice to the guests and the hosts."

Match Pewter Aria Salad Set
Match Pewter Aria Salad Set $230
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dinner party table setting
Kelly Stuart

The tablescapes looked like something out of childhood fairy tale—perfectly imperfect.

dinner party table setting
Carl Timpone/BFA

If you want to make sure your dinner party is an experience that's unique and special, Cohen says you should create a space that feels fresh, new, and personal. We love the use of local wild berries as decoration on the dinner plates.

William Sonoma Encore White Wine Glasses, Set of 4
Williams Sonoma Encore White Wine Glasses, Set of 4 $40
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dinner party food
Kelly Stuart

The dining shed was decorated with vintage furniture and crystal vases brimming with local wildflowers.

flowers at dinner party
Carl Timpone/BFA

Each element of the room was considered yet undone for that homely, familiar feeling.

Waterford Flared Vase
Waterford Flared Vase $225
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women at loveshackfancy party
Carl Timpone/BFA

Cohen wanted to make each guest feel "gorgeous and at home. In this case, we dressed them all in our favorite pieces from the new collection," says Cohen. "And we created a space that was informal but inspiring. I never do anything stuffy or formal, it should always be beautiful but still relaxed."

vintage planters holding flowers at party
Carl Timpone/BFA

The garden was filled with vintage planters spilling with fresh flowers like this cool wheelbarrow.

Target Decorative Metal Wheel Barrow
Target Decorative Metal Wheel Barrow $51
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loveshackfancy shed
Kelly Stuart

Cohen created this dining shed from an old, little shack and transformed it into a magical entertaining space. "It's located right where I was married seven years ago, in between the gardens and the apple orchards," she says.

guests at dinner party
Carl Timpone/BFA

The golden light of the evening added an extra touch of magic and charm to the garden party.

LoveShackFancy Beth Dress
LoveShackFancy Beth Dress $365
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women at summer dinner party
Carl Timpone/BFA

When planning the seating for a dinner party, Cohen prefers to mix in friends who know each other with ones who may inspire them so it diversifies the conversation. "Always walk around the table to make sure your guests are having fun and seem to be enjoying themselves," she advises.

outdoor table at dinner party
Kelly Stuart

Add a string of fairy lights above the dining table to ensure that warm glow stays around long after the sunsets.

Chicago Wire Chair Company Ice Cream Parlor Chairs
Chicago Wire Chair Company Ice Cream Parlor Chairs $450
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athena calderone
Carl Timpone/BFA

We couldn't finish this gorgeous gallery without including Cohen's top five entertaining tips:

1. Never use any rentals. I incorporate all from my home, mostly antique, to make it personal and intimate and an extension of my house and my vision.

2. Invite people you like and admire—an interesting mix of old and new friends who share the same enthusiasm.

3. Have plenty of wine. There is never enough.

4. Lighting is key. The worst thing is to have lights that are too bright, so if anything, the dimmer the better.
5. Always have someone taking photographs for memories from the night.

garden dinner party table
Kelly Stuart

How will you be celebrating the end of summer? Share it with us below.

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