There are few things better than a big gathering of those you love most at your house during the holiday season. But planning a large party, on top of the rest of the holiday hustle and bustle, can be very challenging. Our COO, Scott Miller, offers some of his personal tips for creating a stress free soiree which hits high notes from start to finish.
To begin - structure and delegation are crucial. From menu writing to theme selection to delegating tasks, the best way to create a great party is to begin with a solid foundation. Scott recommends writing a menu and selecting a theme - and then notifying your guests of the theme so that they show up with the correct food (no tacos at an Italian themed party, for example). If doing all the cooking yourself, then simple is best. Avoid potential disaster and stick to well practiced items from your repertoire when cooking for a crowd. And enlist family and household members for prepping, errand running, decorating, and all the other dozens of details which go into a successful party. If extra help is needed, look to the neighborhood babysitter to help with set up and breakdown.
When planning the style of the party, an informal mixer is often more fun and pleasant than a formal dinner party. Don’t feel compelled to set a long table and bust out the place cards. Buffets are easy, efficient, and a great way to serve a crowd. When plating food, look to creating different ‘stations’ in various areas around the house - appetizers in the living room, entrees on the kitchen island - dessert and coffee on the dining room hutch - to maximize both your space and food organization.
Scott also recommends a well stocked bar to keep the party flowing smoothly and socially. Traditional mixers and vodka, gin, bourbon, rum, plus a few choices of wine are all essential. It’s also nice to have coffee, cocoa, and hot cider at hand. Take advantage of the explosive CT craft beer scene and provide some local brews for an added local touch that your guests will appreciate.
Last but most certainly not least - have fun! With proper planning, your party and drinks should flow smoothly and you will be free to mingle and socialize with your beloved guests. Whether they are friends, family members, clients, or colleagues, the pleasure of your company is the most important aspect of entertaining; so plan properly and execute smoothly to ensure that everyone - including you - can relax and enjoy the evening’s festivities.