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Champagne Kisses

How to Host a Sip & See

The “Sip & See” trend is gaining some serious momentum. Typically held 2-6 weeks after the baby arrives (open-house style with a timeframe of 3-4 hours for guests to drop by as they please), the mid-afternoon shindigs are often held in lieu of a baby shower. We love them for their efficiency: invite everyone over all at once to see the baby, so your home doesn’t feel like a revolving door of visitors during those already stressful just-home-from-the-hospital weeks.

We chatted with Jennifer Sbranti, the brilliant blogger behind Hostess with the Mostess, about how to host a Sip & See with lots of style, but little stress. Of course she blew us away with her adorable suggestions. Read on for her entertaining tips and visit Hostessblog.com to see her Sip & See inspiration board.

 “Sip & Sees are often themed as tea parties, but I thought it would be fun to put a little twist on this concept and share some ideas for a “Sparkling Sip & See” featuring Champagne and other bubbly things to sip! Here are a few ideas for this type of theme:

Invitations:
This charming Love Buggy invitation design from tiny prints features a Champagne-yellow hue and is and great for any Sip & See. (Gender-specific Boy and Girl versions are also available.) Avoid invitation designs featuring drawings of pregnant women since baby has already arrived!

What to Sip:
A “Sparkling Drinks & DIY Champagne Bar” is an absolute MUST for this party! Set out a variety of bubbly drinks-from Martinelli’s Cider and Lorina’s Sparkling Lemonade to bottles of sparkling water and Champagne. Offer a few different mixers for the Champagne such as Chambord, O.J., pomegranate juice, and pineapple juice so that guests can stir up their own favorite Champagne-based cocktail.

When it comes to Champagne there’s just something about a cheap plastic cup that detracts from the experience. Whenever possible, serve guests from the real thing. Borrow glass flutes from friends, shop for inexpensive sets at places like Target and IKEA or use wine glasses that you already own instead… they’ll do the trick just fine!

On the Menu:
Time your party in the middle of the afternoon so that you don’t have to worry about serving a full meal. A few simple finger foods like veggie platters and artichoke dip are all that you’ll need (and store-bought versions are fine!).

Instead of serving individual desserts, set up a mini dessert & candy buffet that guests can gravitate towards as they please. Choose a color palette for the buffet that matches your theme. An all yellow and white palette is perfect for a sparkling champagne-themed party!

Set small treats like mini cupcakes and tea cookies on one side of the dessert buffet and jars of pretty candies—such as rock candy sticks, chewy Champagne bubbles, Jordan almonds, and jelly bellies—on the other. Leave a stack of cellophane bags customized with Burst Monogram Personalized Labels near the candy jars so that guests can make their own candy favor bags to take home.

Party Décor:
Keep the decorations stress-free without sacrificing style! Here are a few quick & easy ideas:

•  Paper lanterns are one of the easiest ways to make a big decorative impact with minimal effort! Added bonus - they’re super inexpensive! Lemonade yellow lanterns and white eyelet lanterns from LunaBazaar.com are lovely choices for a Sparkling Sip & See!
•  Create simple floral centerpieces that are both modern and soft. White hydrangea, dahlias, or tight bunches of fluffy carnations are all great choices!
•  Fill glass cylinder vases part way with a “sparkling” filler like diamond drops or acrylic sea glass, then add water & a few simple floral stems. Embellish the vase with a band of satin ribbon, and sprinkle more of your “sparkling vase filler” on tabletops to help play up the theme!
•  Use translucent colored votive holders as bud vases to hold single tulips or button mums.

Other Tips:

•  Set up a hand washing station with anti-bacterial hand soap and plenty of guest towels.
•  Gifts are not required at a Sip & See, but guests will most likely bring them—or feel obligated to bring them—anyways. If mom-to-be has already had a regular baby shower prior to the Sip & See, consider adding something tasteful like “The gift of your presence is all that we ask” to the bottom of the invitation, or having the hostess casually mention it when guests RSVP. 
•  Have a digital camera on hand to take a picture of each guest with the baby, and flat notecards available for them to write a little message to mom. These will come in handy for a scrapbook or memory album later!”

    —See Jennifer Sbranti’s Sip & See Inspiration Board at Hostess with the Mostess blog