Dylan Lauren, the Candy Queen, is an entrepreneur nonpareil. The woman who dreamt up Dylan’s Candy Bar, a confectionery emporium, has opened dozens of outposts around the world since 2001. Daughter of legendary fashion icon Ralph Lauren and author Ricky Lauren, she has become a sought-after lifestyle expert—and we’re thrilled to feature her confections. Here are Dylan’s tips on hosting a sweeter celebration at home.
1. Edible Centerpieces
Every gathering you host needs some colorful eye candy! Turn a beautiful centerpiece into a conversation piece by decorating with candies based on the occasion, season or color. Vases filled with layered candy and lollipops, striped candy sticks and rock candy are definitely more original than traditional flowers! Plus, it will give guests something to snack on. Who says you can’t eat dessert first?
I’m a big fan of having some kind of interactive game or icebreaker, especially when you’re hosting a mix of friends. It helps shake things up and gets the party rolling, so everyone can relax and get to know each other. One suggestion is to have your guests write a little trivia about themselves, and have everyone try to figure out whose it is. Or you can blindfold one side of the table and the guest on the opposite side can offer them a bite of a popular candy bar, and have them guess which one it is as a fun taste test!
3. Candy Bar Place Cards
I enjoy treating my guests and surprising them by utilizing candy as favors or place cards. Tie your napkins and silverware in a strip of candy buttons, wrap a chocolate bar with a private note and a bow, or add the perfect-flavored rock candy stick to coffee, tea or cocktails!
4. Make it a Pairing Party
Make it a party to remember with an unexpected tasting or pairing like chocolates and wine or candy and cocktails. I always make sure to have a few different options that’ll please both the adventurous and picky eaters in attendance!