I love a party. I love to throw a party, I love to attend a party….I guess that is why I do what I do, help people throw the most memorable parties. After gathering some inspiration for my own holiday party, I thought, hey, why not share some of what I am thinking in-case some of our readers are planning parties of their own and looking for special touches and details to pull it all together.Here we go. Whether it is a Christmas dinner party, New Years Eve party or a wedding, the stage must be set from the start. Your entrance should welcome guests and get them prepared for the amazing night ahead of them. So take some time to punch up the entry , making sure to give a great first impression.
Once inside, what is the first thing people do? Well, look for the bar of course! I always set several bar vignettes around the space so that if there is a steady flow at the beginning of my event, no one has to wait to get a beverage. Adorable self-serve options are definitely best at cocktail parties. Of course, that’s unless you have a mixologist friend or family member that is willing to serve as bartender for the evening. But even then, I suggest you have a self-serve option.Having pre-made cocktails for the start of the party is a great way to keep a line from forming at the bar.A holiday favorite, champagne. Having a champagne bar allows guests to create their own special holiday cocktail and is such a festive touch.To go a bit further with what makes a holiday bar fun and unique, I thought I would share a few ideas that I will be incorporating into my bar setup.Fruited or herbed ice, not only is this gorgeous, but when the ice melts, the frozen fruit or herbs add another flavor dimension to your cocktail. I love these square cubes. You can find the trays to make them at Bed Bath and Beyond.
Shake all of the ingredients together with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Stir the ingredients together in the glass. Garnish with a dozen arils (seeds from the Pomegranate) or an orange zest twist.After all your friends have a drink in their hands, they can warm up by the fire (if you have a fireplace, you simply must have a fire lit). To add to the wintery feel of things, you can throw some fir bows from your Christmas tree on the flames to create a lovely fragrance and a comforting crackling sound.Around your space, you should set simple but lovely decorations. Be sure not to go over board here as people will need counter and tabletop space to set drinks and plates while they talk.Poinsettias are a hit this time of year. And they are inexpensive (I picked up 12, 6 inch poinsettias in red, white and pink and white from my local Home Depot for $.99!).Whenever possible I use candles, especially scented in vanilla or sugar cookie. It creates a lovely glow in the spaceand has the added bonus of treating your guests to the delightful smell of fresh baked cookies.Food is always an important part of a good party. Again, I take the approach of several separate displays. I absolutely always have a gourmet cheese spread. I find a well designed arrangement to feel bountiful and natural.