"How She Hosts:" a Q&A series with women who inspire us
Lindsay Sims’ reputation for elegant design, flawless execution, and impeccable service has earned her a place among the top wedding planners in the South, the United States, and the World, as named by Southern Living, Martha Stewart Weddings and VOGUE Magazine, respectively. With over 20 years of experience in Atlanta’s hospitality industry, Lindsay and her full-service design and planning company, TOAST, have become synonymous with elevated southern weddings. This award-winning Toastess with the Mostess specializes in re-imagining Southern traditions into classic, contemporary celebrations, and believes you should have a ball along the way.
She and her husband currently live in a brownstone in downtown Alpharetta, GA and enjoy sipping cocktails on their sky terrace or walking to the many restaurants outside their doorstep.
What are some of the most thoughtful touches you've seen added to wedding that can inspire everyday entertainers?
How do you like to entertain? What is the vibe (where, feeling, how)?
In a dream world I would say I host elaborate dinner parties with thoughtfully designed tables and effortlessly fabulous meals. I strive to keep my home decorated and my table set as though I could throw together a dinner party at any time. Realistically, I am too busy in this season of life to throw parties for anyone except my clients. On the rare occasion that I am able to gather friends and family, it is usually a holiday like Easter or Boxing Day (the day after Christmas). The table is set with my great grandmother's china from England, and cut crystal. The table scape is a collected design that usually features books, taper candles and figurines.
We often host friends and family in a much more casual manner for football games, where we convene on our rooftop deck and my husband Brian prepares something wonderful for the smoker. I keep it super simple here, but I can never bear to toss a bag of Tostitos on the counter so even chips and salsa gets placed in a pretty vessel. I also love to do a huge grazing board using butcher paper on the counter and just going crazy with little bites and noshes.
What are you serving?
My mother taught me well; make a few things homemade, and zhuzh up store bought items for the rest. For Easter, I typically make a ham and deviled eggs and re-home some scalloped potatoes from Costco in a beautiful piece of cookware. I like to prepare a beautiful salad, even if I am the only one who eats it, and I typically try to make the dessert myself. Coconut cake for Easter is a must!
What are you sipping?
I recently bought a bar cart that I stocked (and styled) and we keep it on our elevator (a.k.a.) the “liquor lift”. This way our bar is available on whichever floor we are entertaining. I love a white cosmo or recently I have been making gin martinis using Malfi Gin Rosa. It tastes delicious and is a beautiful shade of pink.
What are you wearing?
I live in brightly colored frocks that are easy and comfortable and always make me feel put together. I love a slide or a sandal, something that is comfortable if I am running between floors or on my feet.
What are you listening to?
I have a curated list on Spotify I call “dinner party music”, with Sam Cooke, the Alabama Shakes and Amy Winehouse, if the party gets raucous then my husband takes over as DJ!
How do you make your guests feel special? How do you make them feel at home?
For overnight guests, I print a photo of us and place it in a frame in the guest room along with a note with the wifi code. I try to stock the room and bathroom with thoughtful items, and fresh flowers.
The Half Past Seven San Miguel Trio is perfect to break up to place a bloom by the bed, one on the dresser, and another in the guest bathroom.
If you are hosting a dinner, what is your go-to centerpiece?
I love a collected look. I am fortunate to be the only granddaughter on both sides and have inherited some beautiful pieces. I have a beautiful silver flower frog I’ll use or mini crystal bud vases with a mix of taper candles.
To instantly achieve Lindsay’s “collected look” on your own table, shop our handmade Pewter Taper Candlesticks with nooks and crannies that make them look like they’ve been passed down for generations.
How do you end a celebration?
My rule for all parties including weddings is to always leave your guests wanting more… so ending the party on a high, versus letting it go on too long is always my choice. This works well as I’m not a night owl either!
What is your favorite Half Past Seven product to entertain with?
All of the glassware is so chic and substantial feeling, it makes even a glass of water feel refined!
Let’s play this or that…
- Charger vs. Placemat: Charger
- Stemmed vs. Stem-less: Stemmed
- Red vs. White: White
- Tablecloth vs. Bare: A runner on my wooden table
- Votives vs. Taper Candle: Taper
- Formal vs. Informal: Formal