How to Plan a Holiday Party

Holiday parties are all about food, fun, and spending time with loved ones. If you are hosting a holiday party this season and need some help, you are in the right place. A lot of work goes into planning a festive holiday party, but if you follow our steps, tips, and tricks, you’ll be ready in no time.

Before you get started, make sure to give yourself plenty of time before the celebration to plan the details. Now, let’s discover how to plan a holiday party and the steps you should follow to create an amazing extravaganza this holiday season. 

Choosing a Theme for Your Party

If you’re planning a holiday party at your home or the office, the first step is always to choose a theme. Choosing a theme will help give you direction during the planning process, and it will give your party a focus. 

The theme should be something happy and whimsical that all of your guests will enjoy. The food, decorations, attire, and venue should relate to the theme, thus creating a harmonious and cohesive event.

Here are some of the most popular holiday party theme ideas:

  • Masquerade Ball
  • Winter Wonderland
  • A Golden Thanksgiving
  • Movie Theme Party
  • White Elephant Christmas Swap
  • Merry Grinch-mas
  • Halloween Murder Mystery Dinner Party
  • A Tropical Christmas

Whichever theme you choose, your guests will fall in love with your decor and have an amazing time at your holiday soiree.

Pick a Venue

For the venue, you’ll want to select a place within your budget. Whether you rent out a grand ballroom or a party room in a restaurant, choosing the venue is a cost you’ll want to account for upfront. 

For holiday parties, venues can be anywhere—your home, a cruise ship, a local community center, a church, a restaurant party room, or a reception hall. If you are throwing an office party, a large conference room or auditorium is also appropriate. 

When considering different venues, keep in mind the price of the venue, what time the venue is available, whether there is a full kitchen available for your use, the venue capacity, parking for your guests, restroom facilities, as well as if security is required.

Make sure your venue has the appropriate number of tables and chairs for your group, with plenty of room for dancing, entertainment, and socializing.

Choosing the venue will also help you decide how many people you can invite to your party and help you finalize the guest list.

Finalize the Guest List

Before you start sending out invitations, double-check your guest list. When planning your guest list, try to keep in mind the venue size, as well as the party budget. 

If you are throwing a small dinner party, see how many seats will fit comfortably around the dining table to determine how many guests you should invite. If you are hosting a cocktail party or a large, open house style party, the sky’s the limit. Just be sure that you have ample seating for your guests and plenty of elbow room.

Send Invitations Early

The fall and winter seasons are filled with joyous holidays and festive holiday parties. Your friends and family’s seasonal calendars will fill up fast, which is why it’s critical to send out invitations early. Inviting your guests early with plenty of advance notice will get them excited for the party and will help to ensure that you’ll have a successful turnout.

For a large, formal party, the rule of thumb for sending out invitations is about three weeks in advance. Saturday evenings are precious during the holiday season, so you’ll want to be sure to give your guests plenty of notice. For a smaller or more casual party, two weeks in advance is what you should aim for.

Invitations can be sent out in multiple ways. We recommend sending formal invitations out by mail, along with a digital invite closer to the party date. Digital invites are a great way to remind your guests about the party, and they are also fast, simple, and easy to create. 

On the invitations, be sure to include all of the key party info, including:

  • The location
  • The date and time
  • The party theme
  • Whether or not kids are invited
  • If the guest needs to bring something (food, potluck, a white elephant gift present, etc.)
  • Appropriate attire
  • A phone number or email for RSVP info

Purchasing Food and Beverages 

After you have chosen the theme of your party and have finalized the guest list, it’s time to start thinking about food and beverages. 

For the party menu, the food you’re going to purchase and prepare depends on the type of party you’re throwing. First, consider whether you want to provide a formal sit-down dinner or casual dining with hors d'oeuvres and snacks. 

For holiday party food, catering is always an excellent option, as this is typically stress-free, and the food should arrive looking elegant and tasting delicious. Another option is a potluck party. Many family gatherings go this route, with guests in charge of bringing different dishes.

If your party is at a restaurant, decide if you want to create a custom menu of entrees for guests to choose from or if you would like them to order off of the regular menu. Many restaurants and facilities also offer a buffet option where staff will serve guests a plethora of delicious food.

For drinks, be creative and serve up unique holiday cocktails along with the standard coffee, water, tea, and soft drinks. Make hot apple cider or hot chocolate to make your party extra festive.

Always overestimate when buying food and beverages. This way, you will have an abundance of food for your guests. Be sure to use matching dishes and glassware to complete your gorgeous spread.

Decorating for the Party

When it comes to decorating for a holiday party, the more, the merrier! Choose decor appropriate to your party’s theme and create the warm and inviting ambiance that you envision. 

Halloween Decor

For a spooktacular Halloween soiree, use pumpkins, festive gourds, and fall foliage to create an autumn spectacle for friends and family to enjoy. 

For a stunning Halloween look, we recommend an arrangement from our Le Clair Collection with orange or silver roses. Have activities like pumpkin carving, bobbing for apples, and spooky games to add excitement to your fall gathering.

Thanksgiving Decor

If you are decorating your home for a Thanksgiving party this year, it’s important to choose fall accent colors and create a sense of cohesion among your decor. Our luxurious Mixed Floral arrangements will be sure to bring out feelings of fall and harvest this Thanksgiving. 

Choose from bold, warm colors, such as orange, yellow, red, or burgundy to highlight the spirit of Thanksgiving this fall. Sprinkle pumpkins, fresh fruits, and fall fragrances around your home to complete the look. 

Christmas Decor

For a festive holiday Christmas party, fill your guests with Christmas spirit and fill your home with peace, joy, and love. Use glittering twinkle lights, an accent wall for photos, and luxurious candles, along with elegant red and green decor to create a magical look fit for a winter wonderland. Have a grand Christmas tree filled with glistening lights and beautiful ornaments to be a focal point at your party. 

Here at Venus ET Fleur®, we can help you add elegance to your favorite holiday! Keep the spirit alive all year long with a red and green arrangement, or find Eternity® Roses that will easily blend in with your autumn and winter decor. These real roses that last a year® are sure to fit the bill. 

Holiday Party Tips

  • Make shopping lists for food, drinks, decorations, and supplies.
  • Keep your guests entertained by having live music, a DJ, or karaoke.
  • Give out mini holiday candles, houseware, lush throw blankets, chocolates, or holiday gift baskets for party favors.
  • Create specialty holiday cookies for your guests.
  • Have activities for children who may be attending, such as holiday crafts, coloring pages, a holiday film, festive games, or traditional children’s toys.
  • If you are a guest at a party, consider bringing a hostess gift to show your appreciation this holiday season.

Final Remarks

If you follow these steps, you’ll be well on your way to planning a stunning holiday party this year. Be sure to remember our decorating tips to create a magical celebration for all of your family and friends to enjoy. Happy planning and happy holidays!

 

Sources:

13 Christmas Party Games for Kids | The Spruce

11 Tips to Throw a Great Office Holiday Party | HR for Health

Our Best Holiday Party Recipes | Food Network