Life & Style

The Top Table

Sisters-in-law Veronica Swanson Beard and Veronica Miele Beard don’t just share a name, they share an effortlessly cool, eponymous womenswear label. Renowned for their contemporary chic, the duo’s stylish vision extends to everything they do, including throwing parties. Here the they share their tips and buys for a breathtaking bash…
Pictured: Veronica Swanson Beard and Veronica Miele Beard
Pictured: Veronica Swanson Beard and Veronica Miele Beard

Chic Celebrations by Veronica Miele Beard

The music makes the event. I always outsource the playlist to my kids – they DJ every party I have. They always mix genres and eras in a way that I would never think to. It keeps the energy up throughout the night!

Use functional table linens. I hate napkins you can't actually use! If they feel precious, guests don’t know what to do with them. (Our Veronica Beard x Juliska napkins are washing-machine-friendly!)

Dress for the occasion. A dinner party outfit is all about a waist-up look. I love wearing jeans and a statement topper, like a sequin jacket, or an incredible blouse. The hair and makeup have to be on point and look good in candlelight.

Speaking of candlelight, lighting is everything. It’s all about ambient low-lighting. Get the lamps out and supplement them with great-smelling candles. I love the ones from NEST.

Make sure you have nice paper napkins replenished in the bathroom and that the good soap is out. Guests appreciate those small details.

Invite people you love. Everything else will fall into place.

Party Perfection by Veronica Swanson Beard

Organise in advance! Have the flowers ready the day before. Pick the wine, have the menu set, and do your seating the night before so you’re ready to go. The one exception? Don’t put out your linens too early or they’ll droop.

Seat your tables. It’s awkward when people don’t know where to sit.

Your china is the main character – the glassware, silverware, linen and flowers play supporting roles. Create your look and layer away. I like to mix patterns and prints.

Flowers should be low enough so you can see and talk over them. I like loose arrangements or groupings of stem vases. Single-variety arrangements in tonal colours are another favourite. I like my flowers to look handpicked not “done”.

You always need lots of candles: hurricanes, tapers, votives—the more the merrier. Everyone looks better in candlelight.

Food should be yummy and easy. I love buffets or family-style dinners. And dessert needs to be naughty!

Make yourself a dressing drink, play your music, get ready and have a fun night!