Holiday Party Planning 101

By Alexie Rendon – November 19, 2021

November is upon us, and the time to celebrate life with those that mean the most to us is here. Whether it’s hosting a friendsgiving, family Christmas or a night of New Years Eve festivities at your home, most of us will be doing some sort of party planning in the near future. 

Holiday happenings certainly do not have to be elaborate or pretentious to be meaningful. However, why not add a few stand out touches to make these parties unforgettable? If you don’t know where to start, have no fear — AFM is here to make that planning a piece of pumpkin pie!

First things first, start planning a few weeks before the event. Anetta Paver, owner of Enchanted Event Décor, says it’s never too early to get on people’s calendars. News flash, sending traditional invitations through the mail is never going out of style. 

As the small details start coming together, there is no need to stress. Give your party guests some wine and everything will be fine. 

“If you are stressed, there are companies who can help,” Paver said. 

It’s no secret, one of the quickest ways to bring people together is through food.  Once your guests are invited, it’s time to start planning your menu. 

Charcuterie boards are a crowd pleaser no matter the age. Rosemary Ewald, owner of Spread and Co. is always ready to whip up a beautiful and delicious cheese board your guests will be raving about. 

Blossoming from her love of making homemade spreads, pickles and cheese boards, Ewald and her husband started Spread and Co. in 2019. Since its founding, Spread and Co. has grown into a restaurant with two locations and a catering service right here for you to enjoy in Austin.

“One of my favorite things about having a cheeseboard at a party is that it can bring people together,” Ewald said. “Even if you don’t know anyone there, you can start having a conversation about the things you have tried on the board.”

Once you have planned the perfect menu for family and friends to enjoy, it’s time to think about how to make your space inviting. 

Anetta Paver and Enchanted Event Décor specialize in making events magical and memorable. 

 “When it comes to creating an event and an atmosphere, usually, people already have décor in their home. Stick with that theme,” Paver said. “Don’t try to create something new, expand on the things you already have.” 

Another good rule of thumb Paver likes to remind people of is the lighting. Christmas décor can provide additional lighting. Keep it balanced. Don’t let it get too dark but don’t turn on excruciating back lights that take away from the atmosphere.  

As your guests gather in the kitchen for the main course meal, the table scape is undoubtedly going to be front and center. Paver says place settings do not have to be elaborate. Natural greenery can be a simple, yet beautiful touch. 

Many people have china sets that go untouched in a cabinet for years. Paver encourages clients to utilize what they have. 

“Why are we waiting for a special occasion to use these things? Every day is a special occasion.”

Event planner Jennifer Hentrich with Creative Consultants says the key to a good party are the transitions.

“Every 30 minutes have a new activity, new music, or an element of entertainment to keep the party moving,” Hentrich said.  

Let’s not forget to keep the kids happy. For holiday gatherings, Hentrich said you cannot go wrong with artificial snow or a visit from Santa Claus. 

At the end of the night when your guests are ready to head home, Hentrich and Paver both agree, take home gifts are a hit. Simple things like warm cookies or Bloody Mary hangover kits are the perfect things to let your guests know how much you appreciate them. 

Cheers to good food, good company and so many memories. Happy holidays. 


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