December, 31, 2014

12 Holiday Planning Tips to Make Your Party Sparkle

When you’re planning a holiday party, there’s a lot to consider—how to decorate, what to serve, whether to ask your guests for potluck participation, etc.—and it can seem overwhelming to get everything together. That said, there are some tips that you can check off to make sure everything goes smoothly. Check out our helpful suggestions for how to plan a holiday party that everyone will love.

1. Create your guest list.
Perhaps the most important part of planning your holiday party is to determine your guest list. How many people will be in attendance will determine not only what type of party you’re having (cozy or extravagant) and what you’ll need to have a great party.

2. Determine how much food you’ll need.
I love to use handy charts like this one to help guide me through my holiday planning. Basic rule of thumb: Estimate one and a half servings of both main dishes and side dishes per person; the same rule applies for alcoholic drinks or cupcakes.

3. Go for a nontraditional route and rely on food bars.
These can take the stress off you as a hostess, plus they’re a fun conversation starter for you party! A chili bar is perfect for your main course. For desserts (and drinks), I love the idea of a hot cocoa bar complete with the fixings, including crushed peppermint, chocolate chips and marshmallows.

4. Don’t feel shy about asking guests to bring dishes!
After all, the holidays are about sharing. You could even incorporate this into your theme, like with a cookie swap party, and ask guests to take some food home with them as a thank-you favor.

5. Choose a signature drink to serve for your party.
This way, you can keep the ingredients list to a minimum and even create batch cocktails. Need some ideas? Guests will love honeycrisp apple sangria, cranberry margaritas or Sugar Plum Punch.

6. Use rental table linen to create your tablescape design.
For your tablescape design, create simple centerpieces, and let your rental table linen do most of the work! Try filling a clear jar with cranberries and topping with faux white flowers, and accent with a sparkly gold table cloth.

7. Set up a photo booth!
Create a backdrop by draping a wood board in wrapping paper (or even rental linen!), and let your guests snap away. Take your photo booth to the next level. Simply include some hilarious print-out props.

8. Fill your home with holiday-esque smells.
Simmer delicious combinations of your favorite fruits and spices, like orange and cinnamon or lemon, vanilla and rosemary, on your stove. Your house will be full of these comforting scents all night!

10. If you’re hosting a family-friendly party, don’t forget about the kids! Make sure to have kid-inspired snacks (like this Grinch fruit snack), drinks and games so they can have as much fun as the adults.

11. Create your music playlist.
Set the mood with a playlist of classic holiday songs to keep the energy up all night. You could even ask guests to contribute suggestions prior to the party, too!

12. Take a quick nap before your party, and then relax!
Everyone will have a great time, and you deserve to enjoy all the hard work you put into planning it!

Have any other tips I missed? Head over to BBJ Linen’s Facebook page to let me know!

Photo Credit : Debi Lilly / A Perfect Event / Averyhouse
Products Used: Golden Surprise