We don鈥檛 know about you, but the holidays always seem to sneak up on us! This year is no different, and we鈥檙e left with just a few weeks to plan all of our holiday parties and events. So we turned to our trusted party planner pros for their best advice on pulling together an amazing event in a short time frame. Read on for tips and tricks from the gals at Gather Events, Sara Fried of Fete Nashville and Antonia Christianson of Antonia Christianson Events. Get ready to be the best hostess on the block!

holiday party inspiration

1. Less is more for holiday decor. The gals at Gather Events suggest 鈥渓imiting your decor to areas that matter.鈥 A few thoughtful pieces can go a long way. 鈥淛ust because it鈥檚 a holiday party, doesn鈥檛 mean every surface needs to be covered in tinsel.鈥 They suggest trying a few garlands of pine and greenery around the entryway and bar. Bonus: Your home will smell festive too! (Event design via Fete Nashville, photo via Amy Harris)

2. Keep it casual with bite-sized treats. Antonia of Antonia Christianson Events suggests, 鈥淐reate a menu that is bite size and doesn鈥檛 require utensils.鈥 Your guests will thank you! 鈥淭his allows them to mix and mingle with each other without feeling like they need to sit down to eat.鈥 Plus, miniature foods are just plain cute.

3. DIY food stations offer a little something for everyone. Event planner Sara Fried of Fete Nashville loves the idea of a DIY food bar. 鈥淎ccommodate different tastes and dietary restrictions by having something that guests can customize, like a taco or nacho bar.鈥

4. Let guests indulge in some holiday sweets. When it comes to dessert, Sara advises you to go all out. 鈥淒on鈥檛 skimp on the dessert buffet. Save time by going to local bakeries and markets and getting a few of their best desserts,鈥 says Sara. 鈥淒on鈥檛 be afraid to ask for help too. If your friend makes the best peppermint bark you鈥檝e ever had, ask her to bring some!鈥


4. A signature cocktail is the way to go. 鈥淪implify your life by narrowing down the drinks you offer,鈥 say the girls at Gather Events. 鈥淎 festive signature drink can be self-serve and made in advance,鈥 Antonia says, adding, 鈥淥ffer the same drink in alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions so all of your guests feel like they are partaking in the fun!鈥 (Event planning via Antonia Christianson Events, photo via Tracey Sanders)

5. Get help so you鈥檙e free to sip and mingle. 鈥淚f you can,鈥 adds Sara, 鈥渟plurge on a licensed bartender or mixologist to serve drinks.鈥 No prep work required.


6. Make it an activity potluck. 鈥淕et your guests involved!鈥 advises Gather Events. 鈥淎sk your friends and family to bring food and activities with them to the party.鈥 You鈥檙e guaranteed to have something fun for everyone that way. (Event design via Gather Events, photo via Brian Tropiano)

7. No need to spend hours curating the perfect playlist. 鈥淪ites like Spotify are great. Find a pre-created playlist and take all of the hassle out of prepping music,鈥 says Antonia.

We can鈥檛 wait to put these tips to good use for our upcoming events. Ready, set, celebrate!

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