Exclusive - Martina McBride: Hosting From the Heart, Part 2
When we recently sat down to talk to superstar Martina McBride about her latest hit Marry Me, we got the inside scoop on another one of her talents - event planning. In the first portion of our three-part exclusive series, Martina shared her thoughts on the single Marry Me, her friendship with duet partner Pat Monahan of Train and reflected on her own wedding.
In our second installment, Martina takes us inside some of her most successful events and shares just where she finds inspiration when it comes to party planning and more.
Is event and party planning something that youve always had an interest in?
Yeah, I remember wanting to cook dinner for my family like for my moms birthday or whatever and of course I was very ambitious [laughs], too ambitious. I would make every recipe I knew, you know? It was like a four course meal or something which was ridiculous at the time.
I have always wanted to take care of people. I think that for me entertaining is a gift. Its like a little thing that you put a lot of heart into and make people feel loved, comfortable and you make a memory together which I think is really amazing that you can do that, so for me thats where I come from, that perspective.
Youre currently on an intimate theater tour. It seems like creating an event and crafting a live show has a lot of similarities.
Well, I think that its really the same thing. When I plan my tour and my show what I want to do is make people feel comfortable and happy, especially with this theater tour Im doing right now. Its really almost like having people in my own home and were just hanging out. You approach a show with that in mind and not from a selfish point of view. Its not about really necessarily all the songs that I want to sing, its about what they want to hear. Its about making them feel comfortable and its a give and take. I think thats the same kind of approach you take with entertaining, its a gift. Its something that you give. You want to give them a great experience and a memory.
Ive noticed that youve gotten into Pinterest which is such a hot thing right now. Do you find that you get a lot of ideas from using that site?
I love the Pinterest page because Im a very visual person, so for me its all about pictures and thats inspiring to me. Its perfect for me because I can go through and find pictures of looks I want to incorporate into my parties or maybe place settings or flowers or whatever. Its been really great to have it all in one place. Its like a virtual bulletin board.
Where else do you find inspiration?
I try to draw inspiration from a lot of different places. A lot of times Ill be inspired by a color scheme. If I see pretty colors together, Ill think Oh, I could recreate that with dishes or napkins or flowers or whatever.
I read a lot about entertaining, all the books, all the magazines and all the websites. I spend a fair amount of time doing what I like to call research which is really just fun, just spending time learning about what other people do. Were all inspired about what we see, what we hear and what we read, so the trick is to take those ideas and make them your own.
Have you hosted an event that is a particular favorite of yours?
I threw this kind of a Mexican themed dinner party once that was really a lot of fun. We had a little band that played for the hour before dinner. We had margaritas and I made all of this great Mexican food. That was really fun because it was different. I dont cook Mexican food a lot. It was just a fun and festive evening.
What about any disasters? Have you had anything gone terribly wrong?
Yeah, I cant remember anything thats really gone wrong. Thats the kind of thing you just really have to go along with like if somebody spills something. I mean, we havent had anything catch on fire or anything yet. [laughs] So, so far, so good.
I think I would get kind of nervous right before hosting an event. Do you ever find yourself freaking out in the hours before? How do you handle that?
Oh, yeah. No matter how much you plan, the time gets away from you. So, usually, I have a couple of people helping me out in the kitchen and running last minute errands for things Ive forgotten. I mean, I make an extensive list, but still inevitably youre going to forget something. My last party was the first party Ive had where Ive been actually ready when people showed up. Usually, Im in the bathroom with curlers in my hair [laughs] and [my husband] Johns lighting candles and hes answering the door
The thing about it is that it is a learning process, you know? Its practice. It takes practice just like anything else. You have to be willing to practice and to take a risk.
I think the thing is that people are so intimidated by entertaining at home that they dont think they could ever do it. Theyre afraid of making a mistake or messing up. Its really just like anything else you do. If you have the desire to do it, you do a little research. With the internet and blogs and all the entertaining advice you can get at your fingertips literally, its just putting in the time to learn about it and then to actually just dive in. Start small and just go from there.
Join us on Monday, May 28th, for the third and final part of our conversation with Martina as she shares some of the keys to being a great host, reveals one of her most popular dishes and more. Check out Part 1 of our series here.
Images: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images and Republic Nashville
Nikita Palmer (@RTNowRadio) for Cumulus Media © 2012