from Charlotte Melia, MD of luxury party planning company, Dazzle & Fizz.
Preparation is key
The key to any successful event is in the planning. As host, you need time to welcome and interact with your guests. This is impossible if you’re stuck in the kitchen the whole time. Choose catering options that can largely be prepared in advance (a cold buffet is a perfect example, or a one-pot hot meal that can be left quietly simmering on the stove). This allows you more time to share your festive sparkle with your guests!
Atmosphere is everything
I can usually gage a party based on my experience in the first 5 minutes. If the host is warm, welcoming, attentive and enthusiastic upon entry, you can usually guarantee this hospitality will be maintained throughout. By contrast, if you walk in to a ‘cold’ space (somewhere with no music, overly quiet, no clear direction of where to go/ what’s expected of you) then a level of awkwardness has been established, which is hard to shake. Ensure your guests get off to the best start by; 1) Offering them a welcome drink 2) Playing upbeat music at a volume that is fun, but they can still talk comfortably 3) Directing them straight to the party room to meet the other guests.
Guilt (and hangover) free fizz
If you’ve ever been pregnant at Christmas, or simply don’t drink alcohol, you can sometimes feel like a bit of an afterthought at a Christmas party. Especially at the corporate Christmas do, where the whole focus can seem to be on alcohol. Make sure that ALL of your guests feel invested in this Christmas by creating some signature virgin cocktails. Seedlip have the most amazing alcohol free gin, which is divine with tonic and lime!
Pick a theme and run with it
Rather than simply hosting a ‘Christmas’ party, pick one element of the festive season to act as your party theme. Great festive themes include Let it Snow, Winter Wonderland, Narnia and of course, Glitter!
Make a statement table centre
Whatever your theme, a statement table centre can really set the tone of the whole event and act as a great talking point for your guests.
Pre-make a Christmas playlist with the whole family in mind
If you have a range of ages at your Christmas gathering, create a playlist that is appropriate for children (no explicit lyrics) and doesn’t send Granny completely mad by lunchtime at the same time. Traditional Christmas songs are a great choice, as is more commercial pop. Perhaps lay off the hard rap music until New Year’s Eve…
Whether it’s board games, the Wii console, or professional entertainment, do plan adequate activities for your guests to enjoy throughout the event. If you have a mixed range of ages at your party, choose activities that the whole party can enjoy together.
Interactive dining tables
This is particularly important if you have children attending your Christmas party. In each place setting, include an interactive table gift, or activity pack. This can break awkward silences and keep younger guests at the dining table all the way to dessert.
Think outside of the [gift] box
Christmas is such a busy time and you can find yourself attending a seemingly never-ending line of Christmas parties. Make sure that yours stands out by choosing a theme/ venue/ concept that is completely off-piste! Tropical Island theme in December?! Why not?!
If you’re relaxed and enjoying the party, then your guests will follow suit. Don’t get so caught up in the party-planning that you forget to enjoy the event!
Check out our Dazzle and fizz online shop at http://www.dazzleandfizz.co.uk, where you can shop by theme and colour, browse ‘Christmas’ to pick your perfect festive partyware. With everything having been carefully curated by our expert stylists, you can recreate the magic at home, without the party planner budget.