How to Throw a Stylish St. Patrick’s Day Party 2023

TIPS AND TRENDS FROM IRELAND'S LEADING PARTY PLANNER

On the 17th of March, the Irish and their friends honour St. Patrick’s Day and celebrate the Emerald Isle and its global community. A universal day of ‘craic agus ceol’ where the Chicago River runs green and the Parade marches down 5th Avenue. Ireland is the home of parties and festivals, where everyone is welcome and encouraged to be festive. Whether you are Irish in Ireland, Irish abroad, a descendant from one of the great clans of Munster, or simply love Ireland, you can throw one of the best parties of the year, inspired by green and gold. Olivia Buckley International, Ireland’s leading party planner, combines their knowledge of luxury parties and Irish culture to share with you how to throw a stylish St. Patrick’s Day party in 2023.

Olivia Buckley International, Party Planner Ireland, Luxury Parties, Festive Parties, Thanksgiving

BE FASHIONABLY IRISH

It is customary on St. Patrick’s Day to wear anything and everything green. But maybe you could hang up your dedicated St. Patrick’s Day jumper and embrace Ireland’s gift to fashion. Like France has the beret, and the Netherlands have clogs; Ireland has traditional clothing too, and it’s chic. 


Aran Jumpers, also known as the Irish Fisherman Sweater, are a classic Irish jumper that exudes history and every stitch pattern has a traditional interpretation and distinctive story. The beautiful knitwear has been worn by celebrities such as Chris Evans and Taylor Swift. If you are hosting a cosy, casual St. Patrick’s Day celebration, the Aran Jumper is a beautiful option. 


The traditional Irish fabric tweed has emerged as high-fashion in recent years. Tweed has long been interwoven with Irish culture and heritage and now offers great vintage appeal. The fabric often appears on major runways, such as Chanel and Versace, and serves incredible fashion while honouring Ireland’s history. Tweed can be incorporated into any item, allowing your guests the opportunity to be creative. Some examples on how you can wear tweed this St. Patrick’s Day are tweed caps, tweed suits, tweed coats and tweed skirts. 

Like every party, you should communicate whether the dress code is smart casual, formal or black tie.

Olivia Buckley International, Party Planner Ireland, Luxury Parties, Festive Parties, Thanksgiving

Cullen's at the Cottage at Ashford Castle.

Cullen's at the Cottage at Ashford Castle.

DECORATE WITH GREEN AND GOLD

Ireland is the land of fifty shades of green. Lush landscapes and verdant beauty are why Ireland is recognised worldwide as the Emerald Isle. The ethereal wilderness of Ireland can serve as a tasteful, beautiful inspiration for your party decor. Invite moss, fern and laurel into your floral design to create a natural base for your arrangement and emulate Ireland’s famous natural landscape. As part of your table centrepiece, you could include overflowing vases of verdure with vines of blackberries and raspberries to pay homage to the bramble that grows on many country roads. Add sprays of shamrock throughout your floral arrangements to truly encapsulate the day. Embrace elements of gold through accents: cutlery, candelabras, charger plates, napkin rings. The subtle introduction of gold is elegant while still paying homage to your St. Patrick’s Day theme. Traditional Irish fabrics such as tartan, wool and tweed can be beautifully presented as table runners, cushions, napkins, draping, adding a cosy, warm touch to your design.

Olivia Buckley International, Party Planner Ireland, Luxury Parties, Festive Parties, Thanksgiving

Photographed by Jonas Peterson

SERVE AUTHENTIC IRISH FOOD

“Laughter is brightest where food is best,” goes the old Irish proverb. Ireland has become a gastronomy highlight in Europe, with its renowned seafood, grass-fed lamb and beef, warm soda bread and rich cheeses. So, it’s no surprise that on a day where you celebrate all things Irish, you should begin by preparing a festive menu.


St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect opportunity to celebrate your local community. Your local butcher, fish-monger and baker can offer you seasonal, fresh ingredients which always elevate a dining experience. If you have guests who are unfamiliar with Irish gastronomy, allow them to experience the many flavours and textures by hosting a buffet. Here are some menu items for your St. Patrick’s Day party that your guests will adore! 

LUXURY IRISH BUFFET EXPERIENCE

  • Seafood Bar
    Atlantic Lobster, Alaskan King Crab, Dublin Bay Langoustine, Wexford Mussels, Scallop & Shrimp Skewers.

  • Broth & Stew Bar 
    Traditional Irish Stew, Irish Seafood Chowder, Potato & Leek Soup, Carrot & Coriander Soup, Beef & Guinness Stew.


  • Grill Station
    Connemara Irish Lamb Cutlets, Wild Boar Sausages, Pork Ribs, Lamb Skewers Corn-Fed Chicken Burger.

  • Cheese Table
    Cashel Blue Cheese, Cáis na Tíre, Gubbeen, Knockanore Smoked Cheddar, Wicklow Blue, Wicklow Ban Brie, Artisan Crackers, Assortment of Chutney.


  • Meat Station
    Caramelised Pork Belly, Skeaghanore Duck Croquette, Ham Hock and Confit Chicken Terrine.


  • Vegetarian Station
    St Tola Goats Cheese, Beetroot & Asparagus Tartlet, Mushroom & Garden Herb Risotto, Braised Turnip Chestnut Galette.


  • Sides
    Baked Potatoes drizzled in Kerrygold Butter, Cream Mash Potato, Irish Baby Potato Salad with Smoked Bacon, Grilled Bell Peppers, Grilled Tomato with Balsamic & Basil, Field Mushrooms with Garlic Courgette & Aubergines, Sugar Snap Peas and St. Tola Feta.


  • Desserts
    Milk Chocolate Mousse with Baileys Cream Liqueur, Apple Crumble Delice, Chocolate Guinness Cake, Caramelised Lemon Tart.
Olivia Buckley International, Party Planner Ireland, Luxury Parties, Festive Parties, Thanksgiving

Vaughan's Pub photographed by Awake and Dreaming

Cullen's at the Cottage at Ashford Castle.

Cullen's at the Cottage at Ashford Castle.

CREATE AN IRISH PUB EXPERIENCE

The classic Irish pub is known for its welcoming ambiance, witty characters, and extensive selection of beers and spirits. Design an intimate Irish pub experience in your home or venue where guests can feel like they're sitting in an authentic pub. Our inspiration for this year and beyond is the spectacular Cullen's at the Cottage at Ashford Castle. Pour your guests a taste of the warm, hospitable spirit that characterises Irish culture.

 

Guinness

Guinness is Ireland’s most popular drink and is a symbol of Irish pride and culture. Even if you don’t enjoy the glass of the dark, rich beer; it serves as a great photo opportunity to demonstrate your Irish spirit! A Guinness Bar can be seamlessly added into your home or venue where guests can compete to pull the perfect pint of Guinness. 

 

Whiskey

Ireland also produces world-famous whiskeys, so indulging in a whiskey bar or experience may quench the thirst of many of your guests seeking an authentic Irish tipple. Arrange Whiskey Flights, where guests can taste a thimble of each distinguished pour. 

Our Recommendations: 

Redbreast, Midelton, Jameson, Dingle Whiskey, Drumshanbo Whiskey, Yellowspot.

 

Baby Guinness

The Baby Guinness, which incidentally contains no Guinness, is a popular shot that uses coffee liqueur and Baileys to resemble a pint of Ireland’s favourite stout. It’s a fun and delicious digestif that will leave you with a taste for more! 

 

Irish Coffee

The Irish Coffee is a delicious blend of espresso, whiskey and cream which is traditionally served at the end of your meal. It’s the perfect beverage to recharge your guests after a delicious Irish dinner spread. 

 

Non-Alcoholic

We always recommend having non-alcoholic beverages available to your guests. You could offer a variety of Irish cordials such as wild blackberry, garden gooseberry & lemon balm, elderflower & sage. 

Olivia Buckley International, Party Planner Ireland, Luxury Parties, Festive Parties, Thanksgiving

Photographed by Jonas Peterson

LIVEN THE ATMOSPHERE WITH MUSIC AND DANCE

Irish music and dancing are high-energy and a dynamic way of inviting Irish culture into your celebration. The intricate footwork and choreography of Irish dance can be both impressive and entertaining to watch, and guests may even be inspired to join in and try some steps themselves. For elegant parties, the harp is a beautiful instrument that guests can effortlessly mingle over. If you wish to transport guests into an authentic Irish pub experience the bódhran and the fiddle will certainly amplify the tempo of the evening celebrations. Celtic drummers deliver energetic and powerful experiences that would be sure to amaze your guests with a stand-out performance. 


In typical Irish fashion, at the end of the evening, you will find a few lingerers who are eager for a sing-song. Make sure to have a guitar so that guests can lament beautiful Irish songs into the early hours of the morning. 

EMBRACE THE NATIVE LANGUAGE

Ireland is a country with a beautiful celtic language and many funny phrases. Whether you are hosting an elegant soiree or a casual celebration, there are Irish phrases that you can incorporate to make the Irish culture feel more present during your party. You can simply encourage your guests to say the phrases, or transcribe them on stationary such as invitations, napkins or party signage. 


Ireland is known for its friendly welcome, so when you are hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party, you must greet your guests with great enthusiasm and friendliness. ‘Céad Míle Fáilte,’ (kay-d me-lah fall-cha) is Irish for a hundred, thousand welcomes and a beautiful way to welcome guests to an Irish party. 


When your guests compliment you on your spectacular St. Patrick’s Day party, you may wish to thank them. How you say thank you in Irish is “go raibh maith agat.” (go row my ugg-it)


St. Patrick’s Day is all about the ‘craic’. Craic is an Irish word for fun and having a good time. In Ireland, the essence of all our ambitions is to have as much craic or fun as possible. Some ways you can use craic throughout your celebration: 


  • Ask your guests, “what’s the craic?” on arrival. It’s a great conversation starter! 
  • Check in with your guests mid-party to make sure they’re having fun with, “how’s craic?” 
  • Tell a story about your boisterous weekend away by beginning with, “I’ll tell you the craic about last weekend…” 
  • Introduce your hilarious friend by saying, ‘This is Seamus. He’s good craic.”

THE IRISH GOODBYE

Ireland is known as the ‘Land of a Thousand Welcomes,’ so you may be surprised to learn that we approach goodbye quite differently. The typical style of an Irish goodbye is to leave the party without bidding farewell to anyone. While our etiquette has taught us to always thank our guests and our host, on St. Patrick’s Day, an evening of silent departures is acceptable.

Photographed by Petar Jurica

A stylish St. Patrick's Day party is a celebration that all your friends have been waiting for. You can create a memorable event that your guests will love and remember year after year. Remember to focus on the details, from the decorations to the menu, and make sure to incorporate plenty of green and gold accents throughout. Whether you're hosting a small gathering or a large party, with a little bit of planning and creativity, you can create a St. Patrick's Day celebration that your friends and family will always remember.