TNE readers, meet our favorite event planner, Hugh Howser.

When seeking contributors for The Nashville Edit, one of our primary interests was finding talent that could offer expert advice combined with everyday application and a bit of humor tossed in for fun. With Hugh Howser, the whole package came easily, and you’ll be seeing quite a bit of his work in our content going forward, including his first contribution, Traveling For a Destination Wedding.

From the beginning, humor and entertaining came easy to the colorful character known as Swopie Howser, Hugh’s beloved grandmother (and Nashville treasure). As a child, fantastic backyard fetès and glorious dinner parties paved the way for a life of catered bliss.

As founder of H Three Events, Hugh spends most of his days with brides and their mothers in extensive meetings where he works with area vendors to make visions become reality. He is also known for bringing smiles to tense schedules behind-the-scenes of the largest and most popular charity and community events, as well as intimate celebrations for the celebrity set. No matter what the task, his secret is embracing the absolute hilarity that comes with the planning process. He’s coined his mood-lightening approach as a Hughlarious encounter.

Party Etiquette 101

Here are a few of his “Hugh’s and Dont’s” – a collection of tips to help any host glide through the pressures of entertaining:

  • For parties, always keep your home at 68 degrees, no exceptions.
  • Flowers, guest towels and fine soaps in the powder room (reminder, NO baby’s breath!)
  • Use a flash light to spot any unwanted dust or surprise cob webs lurking along hallway corridors or in that room you NEVER enter.
  • Change all lightbulbs to soft white 40 to 60 watts and dim all over-head lighting as low as possible for evening gatherings.
  • Always remember to bring a hostess gift, so you’ll be invited back! It doesn’t have to be over the top. Either stock up on your “signature” host/hostess gifts or find something personal to suit the personality and occasion. Just don’t bring fresh flowers that have to be dealt with or anything they will feel obligated place out every time you ring their doorbell.

Party Etiquette 101


  • Always RSVP promptly, but don’t add guests or assume that a “plus one” is included unless it’s specified.
  • Never take a gift to a wedding – ship it to the bride. She has enough to transport.
  • Don’t call or bother a host on the day of the event. The last thing they need you asking is what to wear, or to hear that your sitter cancelled while they’re running around in hot rollers, Windexing everything in sight. And as tempted as you are to call a friend on the day of the party to see what you can do or bring, Do. Not. Do. It.  She’s busy fielding calls and texts from other well-meaning guests. If she needs you, she will reach out. Or, try a text a day or two before when things are less hectic.
  • Don’t spend money on favors, unless they are of the edible kind. No one needs anything in this tech age, unless it’s a portable charger.
  • In a world of athleisure, guests should leave the leggings at home unless it’s a pajama party. It won’t kill you to throw on a heel, tease that crown, put on some lipstick and a little dry shampoo. The host has gone to great effort, so show appreciation by being photo-ready upon arrival.