How to Pull Off A Fabulous Fête When You’re Busier than Busy Can Be

Posted by: samy December 6, 2014 No Comments

This is indeed the most wonderful time of the year. And the stinkin’ busiest.

If all that merriment has just added a few dozen more social engagements to your already jammed schedule (not to mention the extra hours you need to find to decorate the house, extra shopping trips and all that wrapping), you may be feeling in need of a stiff eggnog.

Fear not, party mavens. You can still be the flawless party host you aim to be with a little bit of planning and a couple of sticky notes. Seriously. We plan bazillions of events every year for our clients, and if there’s one golden rule to throwing a brilliant bash – it’s plan, plan, plan – and then plan some more.

Related: How to Throw a Stress Free and Stylish Cocktail Party

Erin just hosted her annual tree trimming party. As luck would have it, the days leading up to the grand event were full (although this is the Season of Entertaining, so it’s not all that surprising) – and even her rule of planning nothing else for the day of the party got derailed as a last-minute morning meeting had to get squeezed into the hours leading up to the guests’ arrival.

But when the well wishers came, she was cool, calm and collected – despite the morning disruption. Why? Because she had her party plan locked and loaded.


TL - xmas buffetThis is the biggest element to any soirée. Get the food wrong and you have sunk your own gathering.

About a month before the party date, set a theme for your menu, which will keep you on track and organized. Erin’s menu this year was “Après Ski” and featured items like cheese fondue, steak tartar, shrimp cocktail, bowls of popcorn, crudité and dip and s’mores.

Items like good-quality dips were purchased pre-made, and everything else was prepped a day or two before, so that on the party day, only an hour was needed to assemble and set out the buffet.

We strongly suggest you also pick a menu that can be prepped ahead of time or purchased from a quality grocery store or caterer. Remember: no one will have a better time if you prepare everything from scratch.

Related: The Seven Day Plan That Will Keep You Sane When Hosting Christmas Dinner


TL - xmas 2 glasses red wineWe always like a featured cocktail to greet guests. Sticking with the Après Ski theme, the welcome drink was a Buttered Bourbon Apple Cider, which not only made the house smell warm and inviting, but as a large punch, it was left simmering on the stove for stress-free entertaining.

The bar was set with red and white wine, beer, sparkling water, vodka and whiskey. That’s it. If someone’s favourite tipple wasn’t offered, there was enough of a selection that they could find something else.

Related: Top 10 Rules to Throwing a Great Party

Dishes and Glasses

photo 2-1When we say plan, we mean it. Creating lists will help keep you organized and on track to ensure your party goes off without a hitch. Don’t underestimate the importance of visualizing – and sketching out – what food item will go where on the buffet, and in what bowl or plate. Once you know what you will need, you can get it out of storage, clean and polish it, and keep them neatly to the side for easy access day-of.

Related: How to Polish Glasses – video


TL - xmas place settingIn the days leading up to the party, Erin made sure the hall closet was cleared of coats to make room for guests winter wear (so much nicer than just piling everyone’s things on your bed), vacuumed up extra pine needles and set out the outdoor space for smokers.

Also set the table ahead of time, arrange flowers and fresh candles.

Party Day

Friends toasting wine glassesClear your schedule of everything on the day of your event. Use the day for last minute to-dos: shovel the driveway, wipe down counter tops, put out clean towels and of course set out the food and bar. But mostly pour yourself a drink and be rested and relaxed for when your guests arrive.

Leave a Reply

No Comments