Does planning a holiday party stress you out? I’m sure you love the idea of hosting an elegant party for family and friends. But, you’re wondering, “How will I ever find the time to plan a party with everything else going on?”
Believe me, I totally understand! We recently hosted the first party in our new home. This was our “Housewarming Holiday Party”. We just moved into the house in October. So, by the time we were settled there was no time to plan an elaborate party. Luckily, simple yet elegant parties are just my style!
I hope the details of our housewarming holiday party will inspire you! Duplicate some of these ideas for your party, or modify to suit your taste.
Planning the Holiday Party
First, think about the type of party you would like to have, and whom to invite. Will the party be intimate, or will it be large?
We wanted the first party in our new home to be an evening to remember. Since we recently moved in, we weren’t properly settled until around Thanksgiving. Therefore, it made perfect sense to combine our housewarming with a holiday party to celebrate the Christmas season.
Hire a Caterer for Large Parties if Possible
I had barely finished unpacking boxes when we began planning the party. Although I love to entertain, we usually hire a caterer when hosting large events. Large parties are a lot of work!
I recommend going this route, so you can really enjoy yourself. However, if this isn’t possible, simply grab some inspo from our holiday party as you plan yours. Just try to keep things as simple as possible!
Our caterer, Palate New Orleans, did an amazing job as usual. I wanted the party to be elegant, yet simple with a casual feel. Katie, our event coordinator, really understood my style. The catering team carried through every detail perfectly.
I will share details about the outfit I wore to host our housewarming holiday party, so be sure to look for that info in another post!
Set the Tone for The Event
Select invitations that set the tone or “feel” that you envision for your party. Be sure to order them well in advance, and mail them about three weeks before the party.
We ordered our housewarming holiday party invitations from Scriptura. They were elegant, yet fun. Furthermore, they perfectly set the casual-chic tone for the event.
We selected envelopes in a pearlescent Champagne-beige hue. The envelopes complemented the invitations beautifully, and added a little touch of glamour!
Addressing the Invitations
Hand-addressing envelopes can be stressful, when you aren’t in love with your handwriting! First, you really want the envelope to look pretty. And, there are only so many extra envelopes. You’re afraid to screw up and run out of envelopes, right?
Believe me, I know – the pressure is on!
For this housewarming holiday party, we hired someone to hand-address the invitations. Just do a search online to find someone who does calligraphy or hand-addressing. You can ship the envelopes if you can’t find someone locally. Be sure to check the vendor’s turnaround time. This is why it’s so important to order your invitations well in advance of your party!
Simple and Elegant Holiday Party Decor
I know you don’t have the time for fussy party decor. No problem! I’m a huge fan of keeping it simple and elegant.
Fresh Flowers, Greenery & Candles
For our holiday party we decorated with layers of rustic fresh greenery, ivory pillar candles, and gold accents. It was so beautiful! The layered greenery with gold accents added lush texture and sparkle. Furthermore, the decorations coordinated perfectly with the other decor in the space!
I especially love the glass pillar candle holders! You can buy similar ones here: Eastland Glass Cylinder Vases Set of 4
I love decorating with fresh greenery, especially during the holidays. The greenery dries beautifully, and will last through the entire season. Check out this post to see what the greenery looked like a week later at our gift exchange get-together!
We ordered several small floral arrangements of fresh greenery, white roses, green berries and gold miniature ornaments. We placed one of these on the coffee table, surrounded by white votive candles. The flowers and candles looked absolutely gorgeous beside the tree!
Check out this post to see how I was able to stretch these floral arrangements to use them for our gift exchange the following week.
Party Food & Bar
Hors d’oeuvres were passed during the first hour of the party. If you are not hiring wait staff for your party, simply reserve a table or counter space for your appetizers.
I usually like to serve a fruit and cheese tray at smaller parties. It’s easy to put together, and makes a lovely presentation. And, everybody loves cheese!
For special events, I like to have a “signature cocktail”. For this housewarming holiday party celebration, Prosecco was offered to guests as they arrived. It was the perfect choice, considering the invitations!
How to Figure Out How Much Alcohol to Buy
When planning your party, figuring out how much alcohol to buy can be frustrating. But it doesn’t have to be!
We use this bar calculator anytime we’re having people over, whether for a small dinner party or for a large cocktail party like this one.
With this calculator, you can be sure to have a well-stocked bar, customized to your guests expected consumption and drink preferences!
The caterers set up the buffet with hammered copper chafing dishes, which looked right at home in the space. The buffet included finger sandwiches, roasted pork, and grilled vegetables. For dessert, we offered guests a variety of bite-sized pastries.
We had a seafood bar, also in the dining room. This included a lovely presentation of boiled shrimp over ice molds, and oyster shooters. The seafood display was quickly demolished – this is New Orleans, after all!
We decorated the dining table buffet with fresh greenery. In addition, we added votives and a cluster of tall pillar candles at the center. These tall pillars were the focal point of the buffet.
I just love candles, don’t you? There’s no such thing as too many!
Everything was so elegant, yet quite simple. And, it was such a fun party, for ourselves and our guests!
See how easy it can be to host an elegant party that will delight your guests? It just takes a little planning, that’s all.
Time to Start Planning
Effortlessly plan and host your next holiday party. Simply duplicate or modify some of these ideas!
I hope that our housewarming holiday party has inspired you. Now, I know you can’t wait to start planning! Have fun, and please let me know how it turns out in the comments below!