If you are gearing up to host a holiday party, you’re not alone. Thousands and thousands of people (and companies) are hosting parties across the country to celebrate the holiday season. But event planning can quickly go from fun in theory to a lot of stress in reality. I know the chaos all too well since I too will be hosting an intimate holiday brunch this week.
I love entertaining at home! In fact, I am convinced that most interior designers secretly want to be event planners too. We actually have a lot in common with the event planning profession – we both have to pay attention to very minute details, we both handle lots of crises and we both have the ability to plan spaces for maximum functionality. Still, parties can throw you for a loop because there is a lot you cannot plan for. This is why the more you simplify the event, the less anxiety you will feel as the day gets closer.
Less is more.
The more people you invite to your event, the more stressful it will become. Try to keep the number down to your closest friends and family. The amount of food, beverages and activities that need to be planned for will grow exponentially if you go from 20 guests to 40 guests. If you have to invite 40 or more guests, then it’s best to host at a venue other than your home.
Decorate like a designer.
When I am planning my son’s birthday parties, we purchase balloons and paper goods; when I am having an event for adults, I prefer a classy and elegant look to my décor. This means that I am most likely using platters for my menu offerings, real dinnerware, a linen tablecloth and glassware. It looks infinitely better than picking up a tablecloth and matching cups from a party store. And once, you have made the initial investment, you do not have to worry about buying those items in the future.
My dining and breakfast tables are completely set as part of my holiday décor. I must admit that after hosting 16 family members for Thanksgiving, I am inclined to use some disposable green and red plates for this brunch. Still the ones I am thinking of are rather nice and the colors are right in line with my holiday colors. While we are on that topic, make sure to purposely choose some holiday colors and stick with them for a cohesive look. I selected red, green and gold for this year’s colors.
Break the rules!
As part of the menu, we will be serving mimosas and other champagne infused drinks. My first thought was to purchase some champagne flutes (I literally think the only ones I have are from my wedding day.) Then I realized that in general my guests really enjoy using my chalkboard wine glasses, which allows them to write their name on the glass at the beginning of the party. So I am breaking the rules for my brunch. After a few mimosas, my guests won’t even remember that they are drinking out of wine glasses instead of flutes anyway!
Get your supporting cast involved.
When it comes to the menu, my guests and I share the load. Except for special occasions or milestones, most of our parties are potluck style. While my kitchen island probably will not resemble a Pinterest party layout, doing potluck really takes the pressure off of me to come up with menu items or to try new recipes on the spot. Everybody just brings whatever his or her wheelhouse recipe is, which means that the food ends up being even more delicious. This potluck option also allows us to throw many more events throughout the year because the host is not the only one cooking or purchasing the food and beverages.
5. Fill in the gaps.
Good hosts understand that parties require careful coordination. In a previous post about overnight guests (HERE), I mentioned that my specialty is French toast and my husband makes delicious pancakes. So that is what we are making for the brunch. However, even with our potluck strategy, some items will still be missing. Making sure that you fill in the gaps by purchasing items that will round out the meal and buying extra of something in case people do not show up or come late ensures that your event goes off without a hitch.
I hope these tips help you throw an amazing party! Happy Hosting!
Written by: Karina Jones
– Superior Interiors by Karina Jones