As soon as the Halloween candy is gone and the pumpkins are shoved off the stoop we at Vanity Affair Events can’t help but get excited for the upcoming holidays. So much so that we’ve created a board on Pinterest centered on the inspiration and planning tips that make the best holiday gatherings. Whether you’re firing up the oven for a turkey roast, stringing lights on a tree, or breaking out the best family recipe for latkes–our inspiration board and quick list of tips will take your parties from traditional to memorable.
Getting creative with food
If you’re hosting a dinner party or even a gingerbread house decorating competition, spicing up the foods and items used can make the experience more memorable. Foam in hot chocolate cups can easily turn into snowman faces with a little bit of dye or some marshmallows. Incorporate unexpected flavors into main dishes that surprise but still are delectable. A smoky blueberry sauce over pork or a coconut maple glaze over carrots adds a bit of tasty variety. Guests often have a lot of fun with building their own plates. Instead of cooking everything, have a sophisticated potluck. Provide a few main dishes and ask guests to get creative, cook family recipes, or try something new. Your table-spread will look incredible for one, and everyone will have the chance to eat a dish they may have never eaten before.
Picking the perfect décor
Mixing DIY and store-bought decorations can cut down on stress and make your party look more put together. Save DIY projects for simple things such as table floral and paper garlands–this way if they turn out a little messy it still adds to the charm of the holidays and looks natural. Stick to purchasing place cards, artwork, and big holiday pieces to save you on time, unless of course this is a hobby or something you do for a living. Switch up the shades or hues for your décor. A mix of soft orange and red pastels are ideal for symbolizing the changing colors of fall time instead of brash primary tones. Instead of candy apple red and green, find a muted cranberry and a soft emerald or a deep maroon and evergreen. Replace ultramarine blue with a more delicate sky blue.
Planning out the night
While it feels easier to just let the night unfold for itself, planning activities, and meal and dessert times will help you stick to a timeline and avoid awkward stretches of nothing to do. Conversation will happen naturally, but having a flow of events in mind keeps the food, people, and activities on schedule. It doesn’t take much, a notebook paper and a few times jotted down will lessen the burden of entertaining. You want to be able to enjoy your event just as much as guests, so the more thinking ahead of time, the less you’ll have to do on the spot. We typically break things down by 15 or 30 minute increments within the hour at Vanity Affair, but for a relaxed function by the hour will do the trick. Setting times will also prevent certain meals or activities from dragging on and leaving you with guests that look like they won’t be leaving until the sun rises.
Go outside the box for activities
Gift exchanges can be enjoyable but tend to be overdone. And everyone most likely has already engaged in a few during the season. Spruce the idea up by pairing up guests as secret Santas, the less they know each other the more fun (social media stalking is their only help). Or ask guests to bring a card written with a charity of their choice and a small memento symbolizing it in a gift bag. Each guest pulls one and donates to that charity–it spreads awareness as well as warm feelings. There are tons of ideas and variations on traditional games or activities for every type of celebration. Guests will undoubtedly enjoy a twist on something they feel like they’ve played 50 times this season already.
Happy Holidays & Warm Wishes,