Host How I Host: Sarah Allen Preston
Hosts with imaginations all their own
Founder of Afloat
"What makes a gathering memorable? The feeling & energy. Hands down."
Catch our interview with Sarah Allen Preston on The Partytrick Podcast
What's your process for planning a gathering in your home?
I'm a big theme girl! If I get hit with a fun idea or inspiration, I'll quickly plan a party around it.
What are your go-to party activities or games to break the ice?
Cocktails. Just kidding. I love a game, like having all your guests write down a random fact about themselves, mix them all up, read, and guess who goes with which fact! Basic idea but always fun—and usually hilarious.
"Have your guests write down a random fact about themselves; Mix them all up, read, & guess who wrote which fact."
If you had a limited budget to put together a small dinner party, what would you focus on for the tablescape?
I would focus on the overall experience. I think small florals are better for an intimate table, and then I would mix in some great lighting elements. I will also always splurge on nice glassware. It makes everything feel more elevated and special.
What makes a great gathering memorable?
The feeling and energy in the room. Hands down.
"Put as many pieces in place as you can, and know that everything that's supposed to happen will happen."
If someone is feeling overwhelmed by hosting their friends in their home, what tips would you give them?
Use Partytrick! :) I always tell them if they're stressed, that's the energy they're bringing to the party, so just put as many epieces in place as you can, and know that everything that's supposed to happen will happen.
Favorite recipe or food to serve when hosting?
I love fried pimento cheese balls... and candied bacon.
What is the soundtrack to a dinner party in your home? Have any favorite playlists?
Spotify to the rescue. I'll throw on either hits or some classics at the beginning of the evening. I have a personal EPIC dance party playlist that I'll pull out as the night gets later. A "Guilty Pleasures" playlist is always a hit too.
What is your favorite partytrick?
Doing the worm... my back the next day would disagree!
About our host
Sarah-Allen Preston is the founder and CEO of Afloat, and mother to three rambunctious boys. She graduated from Southern Methodist University with a degree in Art History, and attended Parsons School of Design in Paris. While in college she launched her first business, Preston Paper, a hand-illustrated stationery company. After being featured on the TODAY show, the business grew to a wholesale line that was available in gift stores nationwide. She moved back to Kansas City to start her family, and the stationery line evolved into custom work, which eventually led her to her next career as an event planner. Her weddings have been featured in Martha Stewart Weddings, and BRIDES magazine. In 2020, she founded the Afloat app and platform after a difficult personal experience. Afloat is headquartered in Dallas, and launching new markets across the country, making it easy and enjoyable for people to send local gifts, and celebrate everything with those they love.
Join her party:
Yom Kippur Break Fast
End Yom Kippur by breaking your meaningful fast with friends and family, all-white + understated decorations, and a bountiful menu whether you’re a bagel or dumplings home.
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Holiday Hosting with Heather Taylor Home
Get ready to host a festive holiday party a la Heather Taylor Home. Embrace the cozy charm of the season with some of her favorite hosting products, recipes, tips, and tricks!
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Embrace the vintage feel of a classic football game for the biggest field goal fans. A true touchdown for this midday outdoor gathering.
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Everyone's favorite excuse for two Thanksgiving dinners but it always hits differently with your chosen fam. Serve it up family-style or make it a potluck (or, do both!).
Inspired by the easy comfort of brunch with best friends: full plates, tall drinks, and big laughs. This brunch is perfect for celebrations like birthdays, showers, and, just because.
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Cozy up with brunch, books, and besties for this Book Club Brunch. It’s sure to be a bestseller with your guests.
Get in that spooky season spirit by gathering the crew to carve pumpkins. Sharpen your knives, it's time to carve!
Spooky, sexy, sassy, oh my! The season of costumes is finally here — will you be a trick or a treat? A chilling gathering riddled with ghoulish apps and cauldrons of cocktails.
Embrace the fall season with good ol' fashioned fun: a little country, totally stylish, and tons of sweet treats. Make this a casual picnic or dress things up with dinner.
Diwali Party: Festival of Lights
Bright lights, florals, and connections – everything you need to host a happy, safe, and blessed Diwali celebration.
We did it! We found something your whole family can agree on: this Thanksgiving gathering is fantastic. Let this guide your holiday hosting and make your family proud.
Cozy, delicious, nostalgic — we capture all those fall feels with our harvest party. Bring in the new season with a get-together that relishes drinks and time with friends.
We'll make sure you stock up on way more than marshmallows. Keep this casual as an everyday backyard BBQ or, turn it into cocktail hour.
Miami Bachelorette Party
Pack your bags ladies.... because it’s time to celebrate the future Mrs. in perfect Miami style! The vibes and vices are high, literally, for this Miami Vice-themed affair. This weekend is all about bright colors, good times, and your bridal bffs. Cheers to a weekend you won’t forget!
Famous Couples Soirée
Grab your better half (or your bestie) and pair up as an iconic duo for this chic and moody Halloween party!
Get Ready to Sparkle
Expert tips, exclusive content, and the 411 on the latest parties
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