A Fabulous Spring Affair

Lessons on throwing the ultimate home party from one memorable example

When Sean McClenahan and Michael McGraw decided to throw a party to celebrate their 10th anniversary, they knew they had a lot to live up to. The couple have defined themselves within the community as being on the cutting edge of stylish socializing. McClenahan, an attorney, and McGraw, who is in restaurant management, have long-standing roots in Las Vegas. They are known for being men about town and for hosting extravagant bashes at their posh Scotch 80s home. With the perfect mix of high society, downtown glitterati and local personalities, as well as a few out-of-town guest stars, the party was a memorable entrée to the spring entertaining season.

On the heels of the event, McClenahan sat down with Vegas Seven to talk food, guest list, cocktails and décor.

How often do you have people over and how important to your life is entertaining?

Whether it is an intimate dinner party with a few friends or a large-scale event, we entertain all the time. We love socializing with our friends, and entertaining is a huge part of our relationship. One of the main attractions when buying our house was the ability to use it for entertaining. The original owners had many parties in the house back in the 1960s.

How did you select the invite list?

It was a list of people from every aspect of our relationship—close friends, many of who played important roles in our lives together.

What did you do for the three essential parts of any event—décor, food and cocktails?

For the food, we had Firefly cater. We spent many nights at Firefly on Paradise [Road] during our early years together so it only made sense for John Simmons [Firefly’s owner] to cater our party.

For the cocktails, the bar off our living room is the center point of our house, and we like our bar to be similar to that of a restaurant or lounge. That way any drink a guest wants is available.

For the décor, the general aesthetic of our house dictates that color should come from the art and the furniture and not from paint or heavy adornments. We have very colorful pieces of art from Las Vegas artists ranging from Jerry Misko to Tim Bavington to a photograph of us by celebrity photographer Tony Duran. We use the food and cocktails as part of the décor. We also make sure to sprinkle floral arrangements throughout the house, including the bathrooms, as well as candles.

What is the best party you have ever been to and why?

Our friend Brian’s 40th birthday in Mykonos, Greece. There were no expenses spared and it was first class all the way. There was a great mix of people—many of whom did not know one another but formed lasting friendships. It was a combination of amazing music, food, drink and high energy set in a spectacular backdrop.

What are your five tips for a great party?

Good music, good food, plenty of drinks (adult and otherwise); eclectic mix of people (not everyone should know each other already); and as the host you should relax and have fun.

Were you happy with how it all came together?

It was sheer perfection.