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Cheap Week: Reining In Event Spending

In the spirit of WWD’s Cheap Week, we asked event experts for tips on reining in spending, from a casual dinner to a fancy gala, without sacrificing elegance.

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ANTONY TODD, ANTONY TODD INC.
An Impromptu Garden Party


I just threw a last-minute dinner in Istanbul in the garden of a friend’s home.

• Over her large wooden table I ran a piece of “ready-to-go” painter’s canvas or cotton duck, and the salvage on both sides has a cool undone, natural look to it.

• There were a bunch of cool, tall bud vases in the house, and I placed seven of those along the table and cut light branches and placed them in, creating a light green canopy above the eye line. Twenty small votives at the base lit the water.

• I made pitchers of sangria (à la Capri) with inexpensive local dry white table wine. In the morning, I put cherries in the wine and cooled it in the fridge, and before guests arrived, cut white peaches and sprigs of mint.

• I bought some roasted chickens and placed them in a large tureen with pieces of pineapple, tangerine, shallots and celery, then made a sauce of sour cream, honey, garlic and lemon, with toasted almonds thrown on top.

• I served a salad alongside local cheeses and pots of spicy jam, and for dessert, vanilla ice cream and local wild berries.

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