How To: Throw the Perfect Holiday Party in Five Easy Steps

The holiday season means plenty of gatherings, parties, and hosting duties, all of which can certainly get a little overwhelming. Organization is always key to ensuring a stress-free event. To help you stay on top of things and handle everything with grace, I’ve laid out five easy steps for hosting the perfect holiday party.

This metallic-tinged tablescape inspired me to create some coordinating party elements below.

Click through for Brandy’s tips on throwing the perfect holiday party…

Step One: Give Plenty of Notice
Send party invitations at least two to three weeks in advance. To save time as you’re gathering RSVPs, you can certainly list “regrets only” on the invitation, but I find this works best for more informal celebrations. How darling are these dinner-party invitations “Let’s Eat” by Root Beer Float? I customized the design to list dishes from my actual Thanksgiving menu!

Step Two: Stick to a Budget
Create a realistic budget for your event and then make, buy, or borrow any decorations you’ll need to bring your party vision to life. Choose complementary details to ensure the overall look and feel is cohesive. Case in point: I adore this festive holiday party decor suite “Leaf Berry” by Moglea (how cute is that bunting banner?!). To match, I made these adorable leaf-shaped shortbread cookies that I dipped halfway in chocolate.

Step Three: Play With Your Food
Be creative with your menu and presentation. Shop locally and allow the season to dictate what you’re serving—it will always be more affordable and your guests will appreciate the freshness of your fare. These days, “naked” cakes are my jam! These simple, unfrosted cakes are easy to make and add instant charm to any dessert spread. Mother Nature is the ultimate hostess with the mostess, so take advantage of your surroundings to embellish your food presentation and decor. (Just remember to sample responsibly!)

Step Four: Break the Ice
Adding thoughtful touches, like a delicious signature drink or a hand-selected music playlist, will go a long way in making your guests feel festive and comfortable at your party. Nothing gets guests mixing and mingling like libations and/or a killer soundtrack. To help, I created this cocktail-party playlist for you to use at your next gathering (listen and download right here).

Step Five: Finish Well
At the end of the evening, send guests home with a thoughtful parting gift. You could prettily package up the leftovers or perhaps offer a to-go sweet treat—wrap the packages up in Olivia Kanaley’s “Sugar & Spice” personalized gift wrap. Lastly, be a responsible host and keep the number of your favorite car service handy, just in case someone needs a hand getting home safely.

Follow those five simple steps and you’re guaranteed a very merry time had by all. Remember, celebrations are meant to be a shared, memorable experience, so enjoy and be thankful for good food and even better company. Cheers!

Find more of Brandy on her blog.

  1. Kim Dietrich Elam

    Lovely, Brandy!

  2. Renee Pulve

    Beautiful everything Brandy! Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

  3. Thank you so much for featuring my metallic table design! Love the rest of your ideas!

  4. Pingback: Weekly Reads – 11.28.14 | Paper, Planes & Pinot