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Party Planning Made Easy

These local party gurus will lend your event all the trimmings.


by Amy Jones

When I host a dinner party, I pore over recipes, painstakingly plan a menu, and slave for hours in the kitchen. When all the prep is done, and I turn to set the table, well, let’s just say that counting out the right number of forks is a test. And if my table has flowers, be impressed. Very, very, impressed.

Cue Effortless Hostess to the rescue. Launched in March by Orinda’s Kristina Barnes and Tiburon’s Allison Mast, Effortless Hostess is your very own personal event planner. Class up your soiree by renting the look—from linens to all the dishes, glasses, and flatware you’ll need—at a fraction of the retail price.

by Allison Mast

“We started Effortless Hostess to take the hassle out of planning,” says Barnes. “We share a passion for entertaining, and we believe in celebrating the small moments as well as the big ones.”

Visit the website, and select your occasion, from cocktails and brunch, to dinner and kids’ parties. Then, add in party size and delivery date. Choose from available themes, including Rustic Birch, Seashell White, or Modern Fiesta—or create your own. A party trunk with everything you need will arrive on the day of your choosing. After your party, repack the trunk, and leave it on your doorstep for a painless pickup four days after its delivery.

Caribbean cocktails, anyone?

Pricing runs $10–$25 per person, effortlesshostess.com.

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