Celebrities are associated with everything luxurious and elegant, which is why their holiday soirees reflect those qualities as well. You may not have a $20 million mansion or a spot on Cosmopolitan’s latest cover, but you do have the know-how to recreate your very own celebrity-inspired event.
I’ve gathered the best tips from A-list planners to help you throw a holiday party that’s as impressive as celebrity salaries:
Provide Colorful Options
American fashion designer Zac Posen knows a thing or two about throwing holiday parties and celebrity style in general. He recommends setting a colorful table, and he’s not talking about the plates or tablecloths.
Instead, fill your dishes with color. Posen loves to use the produce that’s in season during winter to really enhance the flavor of his food. For instance, he serves salad made up of grated beets, jicama, turnips, kale, pomegranates and baby lettuce.
Set the Table the Night Before
On the day of your holiday party, you’re probably going to be busy arranging the appetizers and putting any last-minute touches on your decor. Colin Cowie, event planner for celebs such as Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise and Jennifer Aniston suggests this tip: Give yourself one less thing to worry about by setting your table the night before. Attach sticky notes to each plate and bowl so you’re reminded of what food goes in which dish.
Don’t Expect Perfection
If you go into your holiday event thinking that it has to be 100 percent perfect, you’re likely to be disappointed somehow. Celebrity restaurateur Liza Utter has played hostess to high-end clientele like Courtney Cox, Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks (no pressure, right?). She likes to keep this mantra in mind: “It’s not about perfection, it’s about connection.” And she’s correct.
Who cares if the rolls you put on the table are slightly burnt? Or the tablecloth isn’t the color you expected? The whole idea behind your holiday party is to make new memories with your friends and family.
Nobody is going to remember what the decor looked like or what appetizers you served, they’re going to recall the special memories and conversations they had over dinner and drinks.
Sure, celebrity holiday parties are stocked with bottles of Dom Perignon, but your event doesn’t have to be. After all, a bottle of that champagne runs for almost $200 a pop. As long as there’s champagne at your party, I don’t think your guests will be complaining that it’s not Dom Perignon. After all, champagne is simply a symbol for celebration.
Stick With a Simple Color Palette
Kelly Wearstler, interior and fashion designer, was a judge on Bravo’s Top Design and styled Cameron Diaz’s Manhattan apartment. This celebrity stylist recommends a black-and-white color palette for your holiday party, a combination that is always classic and timeless. The shades contrast beautifully with other bright colors and sparkling metallics to give your party a glam effect.
Pay Attention to Lighting
Wearstler also emphasized the importance of great lighting, saying that everyone and everything looks better in a warmly lit environment. Instead of relying on one overhead light for your event, try combining a variety of light sources, like a crackling fire, groupings of candles and white stringed lights. These lighting options set the perfect warm, intimate vibe for your holiday soiree.
Go Easy on Yourself
Attempting to throw a party that’s Hollywood A-lister status comes with a bit of pressure. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to make a divine five-course meal. Instead, serve finger food. Just stay away from informal options like chicken fingers and Doritos.
Instead, opt for classy hors d’oeuvres, like mini quiches, sweet potato tartlets, roasted nuts, stuffed mushrooms and tortellini caprese bites. You can pick up frozen puff pastry sheets and puff pastry cups at your local supermarket so you don’t have to make your own from scratch (nobody will ever know).
Make Dishes Ahead of Time
When guests arrive, who wants to be stuck in the kitchen checking on what’s in the oven or stirring soup on the stove? To ensure that you have plenty of time with your loved ones, Cowie suggests preparing dishes that can be made ahead of time, like a casserole. This way, you can just pop the dish in the oven to warm it up and mingle with your guests.
There may be a few things that stress you out during the party, but don’t let them get to you. When a host or a hostess is stressed out, that tends to impact the guests of the event. Soon enough they start to feel tense, and that doesn’t create an ambiance for a great party.
Instead, learn to let loose; go with the flow; drink some of that off-brand champagne—and just have some fun. That excited attitude will be contagious to your guests.
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