It’s almost that time of the year again. The season of giving and gathering with loved ones is upon us. Okay, so we technically have to celebrate Halloween AND Thanksgiving first, but with all the hustle and bustle around the holidays, right now is the perfect time to start planning your holiday celebration.
We’re making a list and checking it twice… While a holiday gathering may not require the military precision needed for orchestrating a black-tie gala, a little organization and a few unique ideas can go a long way. To help get this party started, our Sales Directors/Planning Gurus, Heidi Brice and Lauren Balden have shared some insights for hosting a seamless holiday party.
1. Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle. There are so many reasons to begin planning early, especially if you’re in need of a venue for your party. Be sure to secure the date of your event at least three to four months in advance; December is one of the busiest months for venues.
Heidi suggests, “If you find yourself in a bind, consider a Thursday of Friday evening affair; and if it’s a company party you can even plan for a weeknight.” More and more companies are also holding off until January to host their holiday parties. This can be a cost effective alternative that may even work better when considering busy December schedules.
Looking for the perfect venue to host your holiday party? Easily navigate 100s of unique venues from Orlando to Tampa Bay on our Venue Guide.
2. Infuse the party with holiday cheer. Consider a mixture of unique and traditional items, such as our Shrimp Cocktail and Butternut Squash Risotto Cakes, which are currently offered on our 2014 Holiday Catering Menu Collection. A little bit of excitement is always noticed, but keep dietary restrictions in mind by including options for your vegan and gluten-free guests.
Lauren shares, “If you are trying to watch your budget, offer beer, wine, and a specialty cocktail instead of a full bar.” Make spirits bright with our very own Candy Cane Martini that is sure keep partygoers feeling jolly.
Don’t forget the dessert! Our new Financier Collection offers delicious petite pastries that appeal to everyone, from the chocolate lover to the guest who truly appreciates a freshly made, sponge cake. The most difficult task will be picking your favorite pastry from the collection!
3. Dazzle your guests with a flawless presentation. Heidi also encourages holiday party planners to display offerings in a way that adds visual interest. Consider staggering dishes and building in different heights instead of laying all the dishes out flat on the table.
Color is another great way to make your buffet tables interesting. Tempt your guests’ taste buds by coordinating the colors of serving dishes, tablecloths, décor, and the food items themselves. By arranging colorful dishes like our Fresh Green Beans Picada next to an item with a complimentary color, such as our Oriechette Pasta with Prosciutto and Sage, makes for an attention-grabbing presentation.
You can take your presentation a step further by garnishing your platters and buffet tables with enticing ornaments as well as herbs, seasonal fruits, nuts and vegetables.
Bonus Tip: Once you have your holiday party ready, sit back, relax and enjoy that time with coworkers and loved ones. We have a lot to be grateful for and the love we share with our friends and family is at the top of the list.
We hope these tips help, but keep our experienced team of professionals in mind. From menu customization and recommendations to linens and décor, our Special Event Planners can assist with any size holiday gathering. Give us a call today!