Holiday Party-Planning Tips

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No matter how small or large the details, Ray’s on The River sales and events manager Bonnie Salvatierra has them all covered. And after a decade of celebrating the successes and learning from the occasional hiccups, Salvatierra has accumulated countless lists of do’s and don’ts. In the spirit of the rapidly approaching holiday season, following are a few of her favorite party-planning pointers to ensure festive and fret-free festivities.

After a decade of celebrating the successes and learning from the occasional hiccups, Salvatierra has accumulated countless lists of do’s and don’ts. In the spirit of the rapidly approaching holiday season, following are a few of her favorite party-planning pointers to ensure festive and fret-free festivities:

Be flexible. Always plan for and allow some flexibility in an event timeline, especially for large gatherings.
Define the dress code. Whether cocktail or casual, it’s important for hosts to make their preference known. Guests generally like an excuse to dress up – especially during the holidays – so consider ditching the Christmas sweaters for cocktail attire.
Get the party started. Incorporate a fun holiday cocktail to be passed along with some hors d’oeuvre as guests arrive.
Always keep the drinks flowing. Everyone is more relaxed with a drink, and December is the one month of the year where calories don’t count.
Throw out the assigned seating. Cocktail style is the way to go for holiday parties. Rather than having a seat for everyone, set the room with a mixture of standing hi-boys and tables for sitting to encourage guests to mix and mingle.
Bring on the entertainment. Having a DJ, band, photo booth or casino night will turn the party up a notch. If entertainment isn’t in the budget, play some games or host a raffle – anything to bring everyone together and keep the party going.
Get creative with the food and drinks. Offer a gourmet coffee/hot chocolate station (with the option to add alcohol), s’mores, gingerbread houses or anything else festive.
Act like everything is perfect even when it isn’t. Chances are no one even knows there’s an issue, so it’s important to remain calm and put out any fires without bringing attention to it.
Have the Epsom salt ready. After planning and hosting an event, it will be time for a well-deserved relaxing bath and a glass (or bottle) of wine!

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