Holiday Event Planning Tips

Whether you’re planning to hold an intimate dinner in your chic loft for a handful or your closest friends or a massive soiree in your more traditional, polished manor, holiday entertaining can present more than a few complications if the proper preparative precautions aren’t taken.

Design by CMR Interiors + Photo Credit: Jorge Simes

Photo Credit: Canadian House & Home
Photo Credit: Canadian House & Home

Take a look below at a few of our holiday planning tips to ensure your event going off without a hitch.

  • Keep it personal and avoid the cold e-vites altogether. If you can’t send out hand-written invitations, make a phone call.
  • Use Runners or linen place settings instead of table cloths.
  • Easy-to-eat hors d’oeuvres, like tooth picked mixed olives and caper-studded ham cubes are great. Be sure to circulate them around the house to prevent guests from congregating in one area.
  • Avoid any stark overhead lighting and opt for soft candles, votives work beautifully!
  • Play an eclectic mix of music throughout the night, perhaps a little jazz, a little samba and maybe even some down-tempo dance music. But be sure to start slow, crescendo to the faster stuff and then come back down at the end of the night to some relaxing tunes.
  • Simple, family-style potlucks usually do the trick when it comes to creating a menu that everyone can enjoy.
  • If you opt to cater your event, choose a catering company that specializes in the cuisine you intend on featuring for the evening. Nothing is worse than planning a pasta dinner only to find out that the catering company you’ve selected specialized in chintz Mediterranean fare

One of our favorite local catering companies is My Chef Catering based out of Naperville. Founded by Bill and Karen Garlough, the business began as a 4,500 sq. ft. gourmet deli and kitchen, catering simple social events. Today, My Chef Catering is a multi-million dollar catering operation that works with more than 850 corporate clients and thousands of social customers, many of whom were referrals from other clients.

Another CMR fav is Blue Plate Events. This Chicago-based company will tantalize your guests with dishes of roasted pistachios in rice wine apricot vinaigrette, seared baby rack of lamb with espresso-spiked demi-glace, and bartlett pear, clementine and green mango sorbet in a spun sugar nest.

And remember, if you’re planning on doing the cooking yourself, now is the time to start planning a holiday menu. Stay tuned for some of our favorite holiday recipes.


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