The five weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years always seem to fly by in a blur. With countless activities on the agenda, it makes party planning seem next to impossible. A plan of action will help you tackle your to-do list and sort out your holiday festivities with ease.
Whether you are planning a dinner party for 5 or a festive gathering for 50, ’tis the season for holiday hosting. Not sure where to begin? No need to worry, we’ve created a checklist on our blog that will take you through the important basics to cover.
☐ Party Vibe
The first decision to make when planning a special event is the party vibe. Is there a specific theme you want to convey? Think color scheme, décor, place settings, centerpieces, and music. Make sure whatever theme you choose is suitable for the guests who will be attending the party. It is always best to steer away from controversial subjects and instead choose a theme that fits in naturally with the occasion. If in doubt, trust traditional. Don’t be afraid to fall back on a classic that you’ve done before. Whatever theme you decide, it’s important to remember the main objective of this gathering is to have fun!
Preparing a guest list for a party can be quite overwhelming, with so many factors to consider such as budget, location, and relationships or “plus-ones”. The good news, however, is once you determine who your attendees are, selecting invites should be a piece of cake. You can get as creative as you want by crafting your own, selecting a pre-made template, or even consulting a professional for custom designs.
The most important consideration, however, is timing. Whether you’re making invitations or inviting guests by email, timing is key. Send an invitation too early and it may be misplaced or forgotten; send it too late and the guest may already have another commitment. A good rule of thumb for holiday parties is anywhere from 2 weeks to 1 month in advance. However, it is always best to send further out if your guest list is large or your event is of significant importance.
☐ Food & Beverage
The menu can really make or break an event, so whether you’re serving hors d’Oeuvres or a five course dinner, plan accordingly. Even if the event is for a small group of your friends, it pays to make a plan that you can stick to. When selecting a menu, make sure to consider dietary restrictions, personal preferences, guest count, and time of party. If the event is taking place during dinner, for instance, guests will arrive hungry and expect a hearty spread, especially if alcohol will be served.
Trendy foods are another great way to accompany a themed event, but don’t overlook the appeal of comfort dishes too, as guests will typically gravitate towards something they are familiar with. Finally, consider incorporating different tastes and textures into your menu to add variety and flavor.
From party games and comedians, to dance lessons and live music, there are countless ways to get your guests to mix and mingle all night long. Another easy way to kick start conversations amongst guests can be done by adding an interactive drink station, chef action station, or even a photo booth. No need to stress here, feeding people is the best form of entertainment so as long as there is plenty of food and cocktails flowing, your guests will be happy.
Favors are always optional, however, if you choose to include them, make sure to keep them personal. The point here is to send your guests away with a lasting impression that will be remembered forever.