April Fools’ Day Dinner With a Surprise Guest
I absolutely love April Fools’ Day. It fills me with glee just thinking about the creative pranks you are allowed to get away with when April 1 rolls around.
Last year, And More had the opportunity to plan an April Fools’ Day party, and I really got to let my creative juices flow when it came to thinking of a way to prank a group of 40 people at once.
To set the stage for the surprise, I planned the party to look just like a typical event And More would host. With spring approaching, I decided to go with a lush green theme: tables covered in moss, with boxes of roses and candles in the center. I love the simplicity of the acrylic ghost chairs against the vibrant greenery and flowers.
I think sit-down meals should always be playful, and I had so much fun with this one. The theme was Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, which was written on chalkboard menus in the corners of the room. Each course offered a riff on a specific meal: The “breakfast” portion was crepes filled with goat cheese, spinach, and caramelized shallots; ”lunch” was a Cobb salad; and ”dinner” was lobster with potato gnocchi. The delicious dishes were created by Occasions Caterers, always my go-to for events like this.
As with most of my parties, the evening began with passed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres—but what guests didn’t realize was that one of the waiters was actually an actor I had hired to shake things up. As he roamed the room during cocktail hour he asked one guest which room was the best to sneak off to for a smoke; sat down on the couch next to another guest to chat while asking her husband to hold the tray of food he was supposed to serve; and took a sip of a drink on the tray he was carrying before handing it to a third guest, saying, “Give it a try, I think you’ll really like it.”
This went on for an hour, as the expressions on the guests’ faces changed from surprised to appalled—and I loved every minute! When it was time to sit down to dinner, I waited until the first guest was served, then brought in the “waiter,” who announced, “April Fools!” From the way the room erupted into laughter I’m pretty sure he managed to trick each and every person.
Once the big reveal was over, I implemented another of my favorite party strategies: moving people around the room. This time I hung numbers from each chair, and before dessert guests picked a piece of paper from a bowl that told them which seat to move to.
Dessert consisted of a make-your-own-sundae bar, plus s’mores lollipops, chocolate-covered caramels, and cotton candy. And because it wouldn’t be an And More event without parting gifts, at the end of the night guests could visit a popcorn bar to fill a tin with their choice of a dozen flavors, such as Baconator, banana pudding, red-hot cinnamon, pizza, and white-chocolate pretzel (my favorite), from a company I love called Popcorn Girl Las Vegas.
I achieved my goal of executing an elegant event that also managed to surprise everyone. While the terrible waiter was fake, it made for a truly enjoyable evening.