How to Plan a Spectacular Holiday Party

 

When planning a holiday party, you not only have to envision the big picture, but all of the little details as well.  Whether it is a work party or one for your family and friends, the considerable amount of planning and preparation can be overwhelming to most people.  

Hiring professionals to manage each part of your holiday event will not only save you time, but also considerable frustration. By bringing in professionals rather than attempting to do it all yourself, you’ll be better equipped to manage the planning process efficiently and be ready to handle any problems that may arise.

The first step in any party plan is to select a theme, which will dictate the style of the party, location, invitations, decorations, menu, entertainment and ways for capturing special moments. You’ll also want to set a budget from the beginning, which will help keep your goals attainable.

A general rule of thumb for large parties is to start planning at least two months in advance to ensure that all aspects are set in place.  For holiday parties, it’s best to set the date for early in December, so your guests are forced to choose between your event and one of the many other parties that take place throughout the holiday season.

Here are some additional tips for creating a successful holiday party that will leave you and your guests talking about it for years to come:

Choose a venue that compliments your theme:

  • The venue is one of the earliest choices you must make.  Outside venues can give themed holiday parties a magic touch and will create special anticipation among guests. 

    ·        Research possible venues and make reservations as early as possible, usually at least two months before the event.  Halls, country clubs, hotels, and special event centers become booked quickly during the holiday season. 

    Send invitations that set the tone:

    • Invitations should create excitement amongst your guests.  They should be aligned with the theme and include date, time and locations details, as well as a map, special requests and a note for the appropriate event attire.  Be sure to include an ending time.
    • The holiday season is a busy time for everyone, so it’s important to send invitations at least three to four weeks before the event.
    • Send invitations on a day that will ensure guests receive it by the weekend. This will give them time to coordinate their social calendar and make any needed special arrangements to attend.
    • The RSVP date should be one week prior to the event.

    Create a festive atmosphere with the flowers:

    • Decorations are important at any event and the right florist will know how to make the most of your event.  Festive arrangements can be used as table centerpieces, entryway decorations and general atmosphere enhancers.
    • Make sure that you interview florists, view pictures of their past work and find out what kind of a selection they have available to you at the time of your event.  

    Select the menu:

    • Consult with various caterers on menu selections that will compliment your theme and availability of other services. 
    • You should decide whether you want a buffet or sit-down meal and whether or not you would like to have a bartender at your event.
    • Obtain references for various caterers and check them according to the quality of food, service, and delivery reliability.

     

    Select the entertainment:

    • Music is one of the most important aspects of a holiday party and is often what creates the “fun-factor” at any event.
    • Decide whether you’d like a DJ or band to provide the music for your party.
    • Determine the DJ’s or band’s role is for your party and evaluate them accordingly.  Since many holiday parties may consist of themed or festive music, games and special announcements and awards, you may want to consider a DJ or band that can also play the role of MC.

     

    Capture the memories:

    • Keep the memories of your party alive for years to come by capturing them on film.
    • Make appointments with several photographers or videographers and review their work to select the one who most closely meets your needs.
    • Be sure that the photographer or videographer you select will spend more time listening to your needs rather than telling you what should be done.

     

    Make sure you choose vendors that will become partners in reaching your visionary and budgetary needs. You want to work with professionals who care as much about your event as you do, so you can relax and enjoy the festivities.

    Remember, a happy host means a successful holiday party!