Hello, darlings! I hope your holiday season is going well!
Our party partners, Evite.com, has challenged their Brand Influencers, a group of bloggers and designers who know how to party, to share our tips on how to plan a "party on the fly". The challenge was to host a party that didn't fit the usual holiday party theme, such as Ugly Sweater or White Elephant. We had to think outside the box, like M. Night Shyamalan, and add a "twist" to it. LOL. And did I mention limited time and a budget of $100.
Planning a last minute gathering does not have to be stressful. You have a lot to do in a short period of time, so keep to your plan simple, easy and use a lot of what you already have at home. To all my fellow procrastinators, relax.......follow my easy-peasy tips for planning a stylish, stress-free last minute shin-dig.
Cocktails & Crafts: Jewelry Making Party
I decided to host a "Cocktails & Crafts: Jewelry Making Party". I thought this would be a great idea for my guests to make something special for someone special. Handcrafted items are always a great idea for a Christmas gift. So I placed a call to my friend, Sherri Singleton, a fabulous jewelry designer, to serve as the instructor. She agreed and then the planning began.
Get The Word Out
This invite was created on Evite.com
Procrastinators REJOICE! Evite.com is your answer to getting the word out FAST and FREE. It's the easiest way to invite your fabulous friends over for a little last minute holiday cheer. They have an awesome collection of invitation designs you can send electronically for FREE. All you have to do is choose a design, input the party details, add your email addresses and SEND. You will get notifications when someone Replies and it keeps track of who hasn't responded.
Before you send the invitation, call each guest to give them a heads up. When planning a last-minute gathering, it's best to contact your guests by phone first. Some may have plans already and can't attend or some may come by later after a previous engagement. This is also helpful when it comes to planning the menu, it will give you an approximate number of guests who will be attending so you can plan accordingly. Get as much info you can while you have them on the phone, i.e., email addresses or food allergies if you don't already know. Also, make them aware that an Evite invite will follow with all the party details and to please RSVP.
Food & Beverage
Plan a simple and easy menu. I used my entire budget to purchase items that were already prepared and ready to eat:
- Veggies with ranch dip & hummus
- Assorted Cheese & Crackers
- Fresh fruits: strawberries, sliced apples, and grapes
- Tea sandwiches (I took the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving and made a turkey salad with cranberries & walnuts.)
- Signature Drink - Moscato (I had a few bottles leftover from a previous party)
If you are anything like me, your Christmas tree and holiday decor have been up since November 1st (smile). If you don't have a holiday decor up, pull out the old votive candles and place them strategically throughout the party area. To add a little aroma to the air, I burned my favorite essential oil, Spiced Patchouli. It's exotic and not overpowering.
Being a creative who loves to design and make beautiful things, I had everything needed for my guests to get inspired to create. I placed everything needed to make jewelry on the dining table, including 2 organza drawstring jewelry pouches for each guest to place their finished designs in, ready for gift giving.
Of course, a good host will always send a thank you card. Evite.com can help you with that as well.
As you can see planning a party on the fly is possible. It's not rocket science, just keep it simple, easy and fun!