Furniture Arranging for Entertaining

It is the season for holiday parties and gatherings. Often when organizing our social gatherings we focus on the décor and menu that our guests will enjoy and we forget to ensure our space functions optimally. What good is a well-planned function when our guests can’t mingle freely?  This season think beyond the beautiful décor and menu that you have planned and ensure your space encourages guest interaction.

What is the first thing your guests do when they arrive at your party? They take off their coat and beeline to the bar! The bar will naturally be the dictator of where your guests will mix and mingle. Place the bar opposite your entrance to avoid crowing entranceways and exits. Rectangular tables work well for a bar and if space allows pull the table away from the wall allowing for access from all sides. Place your bottles and mixes in the middle of the table and your glassware, napkins and garnishes on either side.

Another mingling point will be the buffet table. Position the buffet, as far away from the bar as possible. If space is tight a circular table works well for buffets and allows for eye contact with those gathered around it. Place your main dishes on the buffet and set out bowls of snack items on coffee tables and side tables creating ‘pit stops’; again encouraging guests to mingle and flow naturally. If your space is too large for your number of guests create food stations using multiple small tables encouraging guests to move around the room.

Although most guests will be mingling arrange seating areas against the wall or in small clusters offering seating for only a third of your guests; removing extra furniture if necessary. When arranging your furniture remember to create designated spaces for guests to place their used glassware or napkins. Placing a tray on a side table will signal that these are the places for dirty dishes. Not only will this control garbage and dish clusters around your event space but it will also make clean up easy for you as the host.

Your Holiday Checklist!

With 7 weeks to go we are about to head full swing into my favourite season of the year! To help get you through this holiday season, stress-free follow our holiday checklist. This checklist will be sure to keep you on track and offer you some tips that you maybe didn’t think of!

 

Second Week of November

____  Write out a list of holiday card recipients and organize addresses

____   Determine your holiday budget and write out a list of gift recipients and ideas

(remember to keep this list in your purse for easy access during shopping trips)

____   Buy stamps, cards, and wrapping supplies

Third Week of November

____   Spend 15 minutes a night writing out holiday cards

____   Spend a few hours on weekdays or after work shopping, when stores are calmer than they are on weekends.  Online

shopping can be done any time of day.

Last Week of November

____    Address and send out holiday cards

____    Buy bulk gifts, such as a case of wine, multiple candles, and chocolates to offer neighbours, party hosts and coworkers

____    Drop off your holiday outfits to the dry cleaner

First Week of December

____    Plan holiday menus; order your turkey, ham, or specialty foods

____    Set up a wrapping station in a low-traffic area of your home; wrap gifts as you buy them

____    Plan your holiday baking and take an inventory of baking supplies, replacing those that are running low

____    Unpack decorations, and inspect them for damaged ornaments and burned-out bulbs

Second Week of December

____   Start your house cleaning, starting with low traffic areas, such as the guest room and formal dining area

____    Have a family outing to pick out the tree and other greenery

____    Make and freeze cookie dough to bake as you need them

____    DECORATE! (my favourite part! Although this happens in the first week of December for me!)

____    Ship gifts early to guarantee on-time delivery; save a trip to the post office by scheduling an at-home pick up at

www.justshipitlogistics.com

____     If you are hosting the holiday meal, place your rental order for cutlery, serving dishes, and table settings from a local event

rental company. This will make clean up a breeze!

Third Week of December

____    Finish up your house cleaning, this time focus on frequently used rooms

____    Finish up any last minute wrapping

____    Prep your table linens, washing and iron them, then roll them around wrapping-paper tubes for short-term wrinkle-free

storage

____    Shop for food, try to shop at an off-hour. Some stores and markets expand their hours – take advantage of this!

Taxing Your Sweet Tooth – Candy Buffet 101

Candy buffets are rapidly becoming the most popular trend in events. This is a great way to add a unique element to birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and even at corporate parties.  Candy buffets are easy to assemble and a great inexpensive and modern way to build a conversation piece at your next party.

Here are a few tips to help you build a stellar candy buffet!

Presentation

Create depth and height in your presentation table. Use boxes and phone books to create dimensions. You can cover the boxes with decorative paper or cover the table and your layers with matching linens to create a seamless display.

Use a variety of different vases, trays, and bowls to display your candy options. Be creative and tie in your theme. Use wicker baskets or small pails to portray a rustic theme, crystal bowls and submersible lights in each bowl/jar to illuminate your table for a more elegant feel. Using wide-mouth containers will allow guests to see what they are getting and get at it easily; avoid containers with lids as they will easily become broken or lost. Variety in vase shape and size will keep the eye engaged and the display interesting.

Add visual interest to your display. By creating attractive labels and signs for each candy variety your guests know what they are selecting and it is a great way to incorporate your theme or colour scheme into your buffet. There are a number of online resources for free printable templates, a quick Google search will bring you a wealth of templates to choose from!

Candy Selection

 Streamline your candy options. With all of the candy options out there you will easily become overwhelmed when selecting the candy for your buffet. Keep in mind the more options you put on the table the move overwhelmed your guests will be; a good target is 6-12 options. A great way to streamline your selection is going with a colour scheme, this will really make your table pop!

Don’t get caught buying too much! It’s easy to worry that you won’t have enough. If you are providing a meal, cake, and other late night options a good estimate per person is ½ cup (4oz). Save your larger containers for the more popular candies to really pull on that visual effect!

Considering a Wedding Planner?

With the average Canadian wedding costing $25,000, attended by approximately 140 guests and requiring over 15 wedding professionals/vendors it’s no wonder that 30% of Canadian brides say planning a wedding is more stressful than enjoyable.

The average Canadian couple spends 200 hours planning their wedding; let’s face it for a newly engaged couple working full-time – who has 200 hours to spare?!?! Wedding Planners are no longer reserved for the rich and famous but have become a necessity for the time-pressed couple.

Hiring a Wedding Planner can save you time, aggravation, and even money! Here is a checklist to determine if you could benefit from hiring a Wedding Planner?

___ You are both working full-time which will prevent you from finding the time to meet up with wedding vendors during the day

___ You don’t have additional help from family, knowledgeable friends, or bridesmaids

___ You don’t know many people who can refer you to reliable wedding vendors

___ You are behind on timelines and checklists

___ You’re excited to be married, but just thinking about the planning makes your run in the opposite direction

___ You can envision your wedding but you have no idea how to make it happen

___ You can’t envision your wedding

___ You have a short engagement

___ You’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed and thinking eloping might be easier

___ You just wish you had someone who’s been through wedding planning and can give you great advice

 

If you have checked off one or more of these items you should consider hiring a Wedding Planner. Wedding Planners can relieve the stress and pressure of planning a wedding. A Wedding Planner’s connections and experience allows them to avoid common wedding mistakes creating a cost-effective and time-efficient solution to planning your wedding!