Home Life: Holiday Entertaining Tips

Stop stressing about your holiday party! Just follow these steps by event planning guru Andre Wells and you’ll be festive and fine.

Event planner Andre Wells.

Set the Scene

Atmosphere is arguably one of the most important facets of entertaining, particularly for dinner parties. The lighting, the table, and overall ambiance are the staples of your guests’ experience.

Remember that color is your friend. Be sure to choose a scheme that can be implemented throughout, and reflects the mood.  Choose rich colors for a warm and comforting feel, or brighter colors to bring some extra energy to your gathering.

Set the tone of your dinner party with intentional lighting.  Blend a perfect mix of natural and dim lighting, while highlighting important details, like centerpieces and artwork. Bright lighting over dinner won’t do.

Emphasize decor. Use flowers, natural centerpieces, or votives to bring rooms to life. Squash, branches, and other seasonal favorites will add a traditional touch to your table decor.

Compliment the ambiance with a seasonal or pleasant playlist. Keep it upbeat as your guests mingle; however transition to a smoother selection as you seat your guests to dine.

Think seasonal with your color combinations.

Dine for the Season

Having a holiday party without the customary treats and tastes of the season is a no-n0. When thinking about food and beverages, here are few important rules to live by:

Keep a variety of garnishes on hand: Cranberries, cinnamon sticks, mint, and apples provide wonderful seasonal touches. Display your well-stocked beverage selection with style – line up bottles with corresponding mixers, while keeping ice nearby for the convenience of your arriving guests.

Plan your dinner party menu with care: Tie dishes together with key ingredients and cook with seasonal foods, which are sure to be fresh and mostly local. Splurge on a special dish for your guests; whether it’s the main attraction, like a great cut of steak, or a touch of flavor like truffles or saffron.

Make people feel special with custom name cards.

Keep it Social

Nothing’s more enjoyable than spending time with your friends and family. Be sure to stay in control and never see a dull moment, with a few of these recommendations:

Give your guests a VIP experience: Add attention to detail with name plates, which highlight your guest’s presence and your appreciation from them.

A seating plan can be a good call, particularly when bringing together family or friends from your various circles. Seat them with a familiar as well as a new face to stimulate conversation and bring your guests closer.

Take time to prepare: As the host, proper preparation ensures your gathering is a success and enjoyable.  After all, your efforts should be rewarded with a wonderful experience.

Be Prepared

The Holiday season is that marvelous time of year, which stimulates all the senses with nostalgia, happiness, and indulgence – it’s also one of the busiest social times of the year; be prepared:

Find an off-peak time to gather with friends, such as hosting a breakfast or a late night dinner, as dance cards are packed this time of year.

Some of the best aspects of holiday entertaining are the impromptu parties, guests and visits. Prepare by keeping a stocked bar and pantry during the holiday season, as ‘tis the season of open doors and giving.

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