It’s time to start thinking about holiday party planning! The less stressful a party is for you, the hostess, the more fun it will be for both you and your guests! The SummerHouse staff has rounded up some of our best party tips to share with you to hopefully lessen your holiday stress and increase your party-planning fun!
Executive Design Assistant Camille Parker: “I love to throw a quick party, and usually end up with equal parts store bought goodies and home made treats! A great trick is to always put the store bought things in a nice dish or piece of pottery/china, it completely transforms the dish and your guests are none the wiser!”
Interior Designer Elish Moon: “My best party tip is create balance in the budget, preparation, menu, etc.. I have a cake that I make every year specifically for Christmas. It is incredible but extremely time consuming. To make sure I enjoy the party prepping and don’t get overwhelmed, I break making this cake down into manageable stages. I make the layers about two weeks ahead of time and freeze them. Then the day before the party I make the filling and the icing and put the cake together. The day of I’ll garnish. This makes the process less daunting for me! Try applying this method to other areas. To lower the impact of a party to your budget start buying what you can ahead of time. This way everything doesn’t hit all at once. I try to remember- if hosting a holiday gathering gets too stressful because of things within my control, I’m defeating the whole purpose of the party! If buying ready made cookies and icing them yourself or not hand making place cards saves a step and helps you breathe a little easier it’s worth it! Not only for you, but for the people who are there to enjoy your company! Happy Holidays!”
Interior Design Assistant Anabel Webb: “Something that my mother and her friend group has always practiced (since I can remember) for literally EVERY dinner, get together, or party is that they will pull out the serving platters about a day ahead of time and then they’ll label what will go where, like “the McCarty will hold the Sausage Balls” and what not…I’ve started doing it ever since I’ve gotten married and my husband actually thinks it is the most organized, uptight, and brilliant idea he’s ever heard of.”
Interior Designer Katherine Shelton: “I personally do not host many holiday parties. However, I have attended many and know never to show up empty handed. I always bring a nice bottle of wine or a simple dish that everyone is sure to love!”
Interior Designer Lana Pate: “I always serve a signature cocktail but I also include a festive punch for non alcoholic guests and children. One of my favorite holiday cocktails is Milk Punch!”
Receptionist Della Turner: “Make sure you’re well stocked on bathroom must haves!! Have plenty of toilet paper, hand towels, and hand soap. And make sure you have a candle lit, or at least have some air freshener on hand!”
Social Media Director Laurel Donahoo: “I’ve learned over the years that the day of a party is not the time to try a new recipe. If you want to make something you’ve never made before, I recommend doing a practice round a week or so in advance, just so you can work out any kinks and perfect it in time for the party! That way, if it’s a total flop, you have time to figure out what went wrong or just make something completely different!”
Interior Design Assistant Krystle Short: “Be sure to appeal to all of your guests senses! Natural elements like rosemary sprigs and whole cranberries are always beautiful, especially when combined with nostalgic treats like ribbon candies or peppermint sticks! When entertaining, I try to use cohesive scents from candles throughout the home (like this yummy Aerin candle). Keep treats and snacks scattered throughout the space to prevent people from bunching up in just one. When playing holiday tunes, go for artists that are easy on the ears like Nat King Cole or She and Him. Low lighting from lamps and string lights are best as overhead can be too harsh. As far as refreshments go, I highly recommend a big ol batch of Brandy Milk Punch!”
Interior Designer Lindsey Townsend: “It’s always nice to have a holiday candle burning for holiday parties. If you are on a budget, trying using fresh greenery or flowers from your yard or somewhere near by. Christmas tree farms will give away cuttings for free — they are great to use for a large table piece or around your mantel.”
Director of Operations Marty Smith: “Don’t fret over fancy fresh flowers. You have a huge source of fabulousness in your back yard, around your neighborhood or even off the side of the road. Clip from your tress, shrubs, and other plants in your yard. You will be surprised at what an impact a big bunch of magnolia branches in your favorite container will make. You have guestS to tend to and food to make, no need to have flowers being an added stress. Sit back, get a good play list going, grab a cocktail and ENJOY.”
Interior Designer Laurie Conway: “I like to pull out my favorite crystal or silver serving pieces and place a cake or dressing into them, garnishing with rosemary and fruit. My secret is that it was all prepared by Mcdade’s but everyone thinks I prepared it all and will ask for my recipe!”
What are your top holiday party planning tips? We’d love to hear!
As always, thank you for stopping by today! Happy holiday season to you!