By Shirin Yadegar

I love entertaining. It’s what I do best. Inviting friends over for barbeques, cocktails and large family dinners are weekly events at my home. For the first time in several years, I was stumped over a luncheon I hosted for a close friend’s birthday last month.
Forty beautiful, sophisticated women were coming over at noon for lunch. How was I going to knock their socks off, impress the guest of honor and not spend a fortune?

The first thing I did was call my party coordinator. Eddie told me he would take care of the waiters, bartender and all of my rentals. He said to keep everything white and bring in color with the flowers.

So the next thing I did was call Nelson at Floral Rush 323.876.8358. I simply asked him to use fuchsia, green and white and that I needed four centerpieces for large square tables and a piece for the buffet and bar area. He didn’t need any other directions. The ladies jaws dropped at the sight of the flowers on the day of the event.

Now that the setting was incredible, what were 40 women going to do for three hours. If they were taking the afternoon off from work, children and workouts for a friend’s birthday, I had to prepare something special.

Spa Connections 888.660.3636 was the perfect solution. I called Allison, the owner, and she sent over two manicurists and a masseuse for the afternoon. The ladies were stunned when they walked it. Not only were they surrounded by beautiful flowers and fabulous cocktails, but they were also being pampered with manicures and massages.

My last dilemma was the food. Ladies eat light lunches, but it had to be classy and delectable without costing me an exorbitant amount of money.

Whenever I have food trouble I call Cari from Cari In Cari Out 323.468.0032
As always, she came to the rescue with her tuna tar tar and vegetable sushi appetizers that had the crowd coming back for seconds and thirds.
Salmon and grilled vegetable salads were delivered on time from Fresh Corn Grill 310.470.0414.

Just before everyone was leaving, the angel food cake and apple spice cakes from Plumeria Fine Cookies 310.625.1380 made the ladies stop for more than a bite.

The event was a huge success. All of the vendors delivered as expected. No details were left out, thanks to the amazing people I worked with.

Luckily, I had an amazing photographer shoot the day so that it will never be forgotten http://www.laurieroberts.net/kids. It really makes a difference when you have a photographer who captures the day so you don’t have to bother with it yourself and you can actually be in the photos too.

Keep these numbers in your phone and check out the Must Haves this month for more details about party planning.

Shirin Yadegar is the publisher of Los Angeles Mom Magazine.