Toast the Happy Couple with a Classic Keg Party: Hostessing an engagement party in red-letter style!


When the groom-to-be requested a keg for this summer party, it set the tone for the entire evening! How do two traditional-type hostesses honor a Manhattan bride and her fun-loving fiance?

We started with a pony which needed a little fixing up. The Bud Lite was perfectly chilled thanks to our keg king, Chris, who fought the summer heat and iced it for over 6 hours by the time the party started. The keg, however, left much to be desired in the looks department. Our solution? Add a monogram bar towel! As you can see from the before and after photos, the towel was the perfect accent and a useful one too!

With the keg as inspiration, I think I've come up with a great engagement gift idea for this couple....personalized, collegiate Tervis Tumblers...perfect for keeping beer cold in the summer heat. By sharing this with you, I'm blowing the surprise ... L & D, I hope you don't already have these!

The set of 4 Ohio State 16 oz tumblers personalized with the bride & groom's initials or last name can be found here.


For those of you who are wondering where the party went after the monogrammed keg, here are a few highlights....the theme of the evening was 'Toledo meets Manhattan' to include the hometowns of the bride and groom as well as honoring the city where they met. We had sort of fancy hors d'oeuvres, a comfort food Midwestern dinner, and a dessert to cover both...buckeyes and cheesecake. We decorated with Ohio State and I Love NY and used black, white and red to tie it all together. Some of the recipes were requested by the party guests so they are included here as well.

Barefoot Contessa Virginia Ham (We used 2 cloves of garlic instead of 6; after all, this party was celebrating romance!)

Buckeye Candy,197,159178-224192,00.html ( We did not use nuts but we cheated and used the chocolate dipping shell)

A good time was had by all and the party went well into the a.m. Some highlights I will share that made our evening extra special.... an iPod loaded with great tunes brought by a thoughtful groomsman; a volunteer bartender; and a happy couple we all were thrilled to celebrate!

A few suggestions for all those late-night hostesses out there...if someone happens to bring you a bottle of your favorite wine, there is no reason you need to share it -- its perfectly polite to drink it all yourself! For entertainment, make sure you have some fun DVDs or something which appeals to a crowd on your DVR (thankfully I still had the Concert for Diana from Summer 2007 which led to an Elton John sing along at 2:45 a.m.). My usual program line-up of Oprah, General Hospital and the like drew ridicule from my late night cohorts! For your perhaps unexpected but most welcome overnight guests, clean sheets in the guest room, water glasses and a few new toothbrushes.

With several of us sleep deprived on Sunday, we came up with a new motto "We sure aren't as young as we used to be, but we are just as fun!" I think I will order some cocktail napkins printed with that saying for hostess and holiday gifts!

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