How to Throw a Perfect Holiday Party

A guide to get your planning started.

holiday party planning tips, how to plan a holiday party

Oftentimes after getting married, or even engaged, couples decide to start having holiday parties instead of simply attending them. Newlyweds may not have much experience hosting a festive soirée. Unless you are able to hire a planner for the fête, organizing an event – especially if it is more formal than gatherings you usually host – can be stressful and intimidating. However, with helpful tips from Andrea Freeman Events and inspirational photos from the last party she planned, you’ll have a guide to get you started.

plaid themed holiday party color palette, how to plan a holiday party

Come up with a theme or color palette. Some holiday parties have a built theme – tree trimming, ugly sweater, and cookie swap are all pretty straight forward, but what if you want to have a good ol' fashioned holiday party? What then? Coming up with a color palette or seasonal concept may be all you need. Plaid and chocolate were the focus for this one. 

spiked hot chocolate at holiday party, how to throw a holiday party

Small bites or family-style meal? When hosting a party at home, it can be tricky to execute as well as be a guest and enjoy. Prepping in advance can help! Setting out small bites while guests mix and mingle is always a hit. A beautiful platter of cheese and cured meats can easily be set up in the morning, stored in the fridge, and set out right before guests arrive. If you decide to take on a dinner party (and I caution against this if you don't have help), family style is the way to go. That way you can make dishes in advance and warm before serving. 

tapered candles at long table for holiday party, how to throw a holiday party

Set the mood. Dimming the lights is dramatic, creates ambience, and allows you to use loads of candles. The rich, warm glow of candles never goes out of style, and nothing sets the mood like a crackling fire burning.

kraft paper cartoon greeting card place setting for holiday party

Joyful playlist. A nice mix of holiday tunes and background music will help create a lively atmosphere. Remember that conversation is the priority, so keep the volume low enough for people to chat easily without shouting.  

holiday party decor florals and tapered candle, how to throw a holiday party

Décor. Floral design is just one element of the table. Make sure your scale is small enough to leave room for food and allow guests to be able to see each other easily.

For more festive inspiration, view holiday gift ideas here, and watch a tutorial on making your own DIY wreath.

Photos courtesy of Sara Wight Photography

Authored by: Emily Lasnier