Planning your party

Planning your party

Victoria Barker
The Sunday Times
Nov 29, 2015

‘TIS the season to be jolly and if you plan to host a Christmas bash at home, here are some tips:

Deck the halls

To create something special, Ms Anna Lim, creative director of boutique event consultancy Spellbound, says personalisation is very important.

“Small touches like writing the guests’ names on the seating cards with menus, or including Christmas wishes for them, will go a long way to making them feel that you took the time,” she adds.

Mr Alex Philippot, managing partner of corporate event agency Fullcolors Event, suggests: “Personalise your (dining) table with elegant décor such as good mood lighting, perhaps a touch of red to go along with the Christmas theme and find a way to add in your personal touch because it is your party.”

Besides the personal touch, remember to keep a close eye on the big picture — the food and decorations.

Since the holiday is generally very traditional, it is not necessary to choose a fancy theme for your party.

You can stick with the tried-andtested staples like “turkey, cranberries, eggnog and, of course, make sure you have a Christmas tree,” says Ms Lim.

For an easy, eco-friendly decoration, Ms Alethea Seet, business development manager of Party Parlour, recommends using mason jars or simple vases for flower arrangements or ornaments to fit different occasions.

She says: “Fresh florals not only look good but smell good too. Pair them with candles or a scent diffuser.”

Model-host Jaymee Ong, who hosts AXN’s eBuzz, says the right decorations at Christmas set the tone for the whole occasion.

She says: “My mum covers the house with lights inside and out and her tree is always amazing… even the bathrooms are decorated.”

And while she may not go as big with the décor as her mum, she says that a “really lovely decorated table” can make a big difference to any Yuletide get-together.

Don’t stress yourself out

For at-home party-planners, Ms Ong advises: “It’s important to be really prepared. There’s no point giving a party and leaving everything for the last minute. Dishes should be prepared and ready to go in the oven, with plenty of time to spare.”

Ms Ekta Hathiramani of Panache Events agrees. “You want everything to look and feel perfect, but if you’re feeling anxious, it won’t,” she says.

And while handling the cooking yourself might be manageable for smaller groups, entertainment company Fizazzle’s Tanya Quinn says: “If you have 30 guests or more, I would always choose catering as the price per head will work out cheaper, and caterers come equipped with all essentials from cutlery to condiments, so you don’t have to worry as much.”

But do take note of your guests’ dietary requirements, ensuring a mix of vegetarian and meats so that no one goes hungry, says Ms Hathiramani.

Ultimately, the best way to ensure your guests enjoy themselves at your party is to make them feel comfortable.

This article was first published on November 29, 2015.
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