Holiday Party Ideas and How to Plan

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

Maybe the most important part of holiday party planning is to give yourself plenty of time to plan the details before the celebration. It’s the details and little creative ideas that help make a perfect holiday party, from customized décor to knowing what type of food and drink to get your guests. At Venus et Fleur, we always look at the details, so we know it’s key to delivering what the people want, and not only when you’re talking about flower arrangements. Now, let’s discover all the details on how to plan a holiday party. 

Choosing a Holiday Party Theme

If you’re planning a holiday party at your home or the office, the first step is always to choose your theme. Choosing a theme will help give you direction during the planning process. It’s best to pick a happy and whimsical theme 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. If you want your holiday party to have some class or just fully encapsulate the spirit of the holiday, then this is key.  

Some of the most popular holiday party theme ideas include: masquerade balls, winter wonderland, a golden thanksgiving, movie themed parties, a white elephant party, Grinch-mas, murder mystery parties, and tropical Christmas.

Whichever theme you choose, you want your guests to recognize it as soon as they walk in, except for maybe a murder mystery. It's the details that come below that are sure to bring the theme home.

Picking a Holiday Party 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 it's available, if there's a kitchen for use or not, the capacity, parking, restrooms, and security if needed.

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

    Choosing the venue will also help you decide how many people you can invite to your party and help you finalize the guest list. Of course, if guest capacity is key in creating the party you want, then you may consider that first in your planning.

    Finalizing the Guest List

    Assuming you’re not overly concerned about whether your party is intimate or grandiose, making the guest list is the next step after you’ve nailed down your theme and venue.

    Believe it or not, creating the guest list is another thing that can go hand-in-hand with your theme. After all, not everyone you know is the Tropical Christmas or Murder Mystery Party type. Plus, some themes just don’t accommodate as many people or require more. While you could certainly have some must-invite guests, remember it’s your party and the spirit of it and who’s invited is up to you.

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

    If you are throwing a small, holiday 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, then the sky’s the limit. Just be sure that you have ample seating for your guests and plenty of elbow room.

    Sending 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 weekend parties. 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. 

    If you want to really build up the holiday party of the year, a creative invitation is a great way to do it. Sending a small, elegant gift, such as one of our Le Mini collection, along with a sincere, enticing, or even mysterious message along with it can really stoke the anticipation.

    On the invitations, be sure to include all of the key party info, including: the location, the date and time, the party theme, if it's kid-friendly, if guests should bring a dish, appropriate attire, a phone number or email to follow up and RSVP with.

    Purchasing Party 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 appetizers and snacks. 

    For holiday party food, catering is an excellent option. It allows a more stress free evening, as well as food that looks elegant and tastes delicious. Another option is a potluck party, where guests bring a dish for the party. This can take a lot off your plate for less-formal holiday parties and themes. 

    If your party is at a restaurant, you can decide between ordering off a regular menu or a custom menu of entrees for guests. Many restaurants and facilities also offer a buffet option where staff will serve guests an abundance of delicious food.

    For drinks, be creative and serve up unique holiday cocktails along with the standard coffee, water, tea, and soft drinks. For those who don’t drink, hot apple cider or hot chocolate are easy drinks to make your party extra festive.

    Whether you’re cooking yourself, having a potluck, or getting your party catered, always  overestimate when buying food and beverages. This way, you can avoid the stress and embarrassment  of not having enough food and drinks for your guests. Aside from having food that matches the spirit of the event, be sure to use matching dishes and glassware to complete your gorgeous holiday party theme as well. 

    Decorating for a Holiday Party

    For your party, you want to choose holiday décor that matches your party’s theme and creates the warm and inviting ambiance you envision.  

    Of course, the theme will play a big role in choosing the level of elegance, sophistication, fun, or nonchalance in your party decorations. Here’s a few quick décor ideas for some differently themed holiday parties:

    For a Masquerade Ball, Winter Wonderland, or Golden Thanksgiving Party décor, choose décor that is elegant and timeless. Black and white, gold, and silver are great for matching the elegance of your guests and sparkling under holiday lights. Décor such as flower arrangements and candles can really bring the simple elegance home and add ambiance to your event as well.

    For Grinch-mas, Tropical Holidays, and Murder Mysteries, the décor can be looser on elegance, as the spirit of the theme is not as formal and high end. However, making sure the décor matches the theme in color scheme and other aspects is still important. 

    Plan Your Holiday Party and Choose Venus et Fleur for all Your Flower Arrangements

    Now that you have a little better idea of how to plan a holiday party and keep its theme together, you’re ready to throw a party with all the fun or elegance to keep them talking and waiting until next year. For any floral arrangements you might need for your holiday party, from the standard green and red of Christmas to one of unmatched elegance, we hope you choose Venus et Fleur and our long-lasting flowers.