Host How I Host: Sarah Allen Preston

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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.

sarah allen preston founder of afloat

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.

afloat founder sarah preston

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.

sarah allen preston afloat founder

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:

  • Instagram: @sarahallenpreston
  • Website:

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