Ricky Eisen's Entertaining Tips for Memorial Day

Kick off the official start of summer with these tips from event planner Ricky Eisen

Ricky Eisen, the celebrated Manhattan event planner and founder of Events and Celebrations by Between the Bread, has hosted many events in her 30-plus years in the business. 

Summertime is a huge entertaining season and it officially begins with Memorial Day! Here, Eisen doles out her dos and don’ts for hosting the perfect red, white, and blue bash. Host a beachside barbecue or a pool party, but keep in mind unique décor and seasonal ingredients — it will make all the difference.

Here are Eisen's tips for Memorial Day:

• Remember that there are three parts to serving at a party: appetizers, the main course, and dessert. Never leave guests waiting for food, so be prepared with appetizers as they arrive.

• Always have citronella candles or lanterns available to protect against bugs and also to provide light for outdoor parties that go into the night.

• An outdoor party can take place anywhere this is grass or sand — Eisen likes a backyard, poolside BBQ, or a beach cookout.

• Every party should have a signature cocktail, and an outdoor party should have one that is refreshing, preferably lemonade- or juice-based.

• We have all been to parties where you have a delicious burger straight off the grill, but then are left waiting for vegetables or side dishes to finish cooking. Eisen suggests making whatever food that you can indoors, so as to only use the grill to cook protein items, and therefore making the entire process more time-efficient.

• Eisen has several suggestions in terms of décor — use brightly colored umbrellas for decoration and shade, string paper lanterns or lights, and frame the picnic area with candles to help designate the party area and create ambiance.

• A nice touch would be to provide a basket of flip flops at the door to make guests more comfortable.