The holidays are here and many of us attend several parties and host friends and family at our own gatherings. In addition to shopping, travel and holiday stress, we can forget we are celebrating. At The Greenporter Hotel we go to great lengths to secure every detail so that we can enjoy our time with guests who are having fun because of good planning. As a host or hostess, you want to cover as many details in advance so that you can appreciate your own party and cherish the holiday season.
Event Planning Tips
Send Invites effortlessly
Send electronic invites and avoid printing invites and labels post office delays. Paperlesspost.com and evite have fun premade designs, and Celebrations.com allows you to upload your own photos or artwork. Both sites track RSVPs and remind guests to respond.
Provide event details to avoid misunderstandings
Make sure your invite has a start and end time. Indicate if it is dinner or hors d’oeuvres. Let people know if it is casual or formal. Throwing a party involves quite a bit of planning and you want to make sure that people know whether or not to expect a meal, and also to make sure the “fashionably late” are not arriving 30 minutes before all the other guests are departing.
Buffet Menu of tried and proven dishes
Keep your menu simple
Do not cook the same day. Serve dishes you can prepare a day or two in advance or order a few staples from a local restaurant like chicken francese from the Italian place and make a few pasta dishes and salad. Serving light fare? Order shrimp cocktail from or sushi from your local fish market and arrange on holiday platters with a seaweed salad, decorative chopsticks and a few bowls of edamame and crudites. For sweets, serve a cake that you just slice and serve along with a selection of chocolates on holiday trays you may have received as gifts.
Write out your menu, including drinks, and write the name of each dish or beverage on a piece of paper and placing it at the exact spot on the table where you want it along with serving utensils to map out your table. This will help you gage if everything fits on your table including plates and glasses as well as your flow plan.
Serve a signature drink in large batches
Make a sangria with sparkling wine like Cava or Prosecco or make a batch of mojitos. Have plenty of flat and sparkling water and ice or hire a bartender to pour wine, beer and a few basic mixed drinks and help you clean up.
Music and party atmosphere
Set the tone with music and decorations
Use Spotify or Pandora to find premade holiday playlist or make your own. Choose a mix of Christmas oldies and festive mixes like French Cafe at a moderate volume. Tree lights, garlands or battery operated candles complete the scene.
Do not clean up until your guests are gone. It is okay for your bartender or helper to pick up glasses and plates around them, but full-on dish cleaning should not happen until everyone has left. My suggestion is to load the dishwasher with plates and take out the garbage. Washing of glasses, mopping and vacuuming can be done the next day. Arrange for a friend or helper to meet you the next afternoon to help you clean up. This way you get to sleep in and relax after your party. Don’t make any other plans for the day unless it is for a massage or a manny-peddy!
For more tips, please visit DAILYCANDY and see their suggestions for small-apartment party planning.
Happy Holidays and happy planning!