Can you feel it in the air? The change of season is upon us; the nights are drawing in and the shops have got Christmas stock in already. And, whilst it might feel too early to look at Christmas cards and presents, it’s never too early to organise your Christmas party!
In fact, here at Bertie’s we have customers who have had their parties booked with us since January. But, don’t worry if you haven’t started yet, we’ve got a checklist of everything you need to do to create the perfect Christmas party.
So, whether you are organising your work’s do, a family celebration or a Christmas party for a group of friends, here are our top party planning tips.
Before you get started, ask people what they want to do and think about how you can best meet their needs. There are lots of party options to choose from, such as:
- Sit down meals or a buffet
- Evening or daytime
- Private or shared party nights
- December or January parties.
At this stage, you’ll also need to determine your budget and an estimate of how many people are attending, as this will affect your choice of venue.
Get it booked
Once you have found a venue that matches your requirements, make your reservation as soon as possible – Christmas is a busy time of year for all involved. Next, drop a save the date note to all of the people you are inviting so that they can put it in their diaries – giving you time to finalise the details before sending an official invite.
Themes can be a bit controversial and it will depend on the group of people attending the party as to whether you want to go all-out or be subtle here. If your attendees are a wild, fun-loving bunch who love to get dressed up then you could go for a Roaring Twenties theme or a Masquerade Ball. Alternatively, you could try a casino night or have a black tie dress code to ensure a glamorous turnout.
Once you’ve decided on a theme you can then incorporate it into all areas of your party, including:
- Food and drinks
- Decoration of the venue
- Entertainment and music.
Food and drink
We all love to indulge at Christmas, so make sure that your Christmas menu is a real treat. Take into consideration how much effort you want to put into organising your event; if you want an easy life then choose a venue with a buffet or Choice Menu on the night, but if you want to really get stuck in then you could do pre-orders.
Depending on your budget you might want to buy drinks for your guests, perhaps with a round of cocktails for everyone or prepaid drinks vouchers or tokens.
Don’t forget to draw up a table plan to avoid any awkward moments on the night!
Your venue might include entertainment as part of your package, in which case sit back and relax. If not, or if you are organising a private party and want to make it really special, then consider these options for extra sparkle:
- Music – DJ or band (or both)
- Compère – perhaps a local celebrity or comedian
- Magician, caricaturist
- Casino tables or other games.
It’s often the little, thoughtful touches that make an event memorable, so here’s some tips for wowing your guests:
– Say thank you – Christmas is a time for expressing our gratitude; use your party to formally thank people for their effort during the year. You could do this through a short speech or individual thank you cards on the table.
– Break the ice – depending on how well guests know each other, you may need to ease them into the evening’s celebrations. How about putting little ice-breaker questions or festive facts on table place settings to start people off.
– Awards or a quiz – guaranteed to get people laughing and talking, consider some fun awards with trophies or a short quiz and prizes.
– Goody bags – these could be on the table when guests sit down or given out at the end. A little gift such as some chocolates, a thank you card or a voucher goes a long way in building goodwill for the coming year.
Keep in touch
When planning any event, communication is key to success. Keep in touch with your venue’s Event Coordinator and ensure they are aware of your plans and special requests. Equally, let your guests know what to expect and timings, addresses and transport arrangements.
Finally, after your Christmas party, ask your guests for their feedback and build this into next year’s celebrations.
It’s not too late!
Bertie’s offers a range of Christmas Party packages and we still have some availability for:
- Christmas Party Nights and Lunches – shared parties with a three course Choice Menu on the night and a disco
- Private Parties – with a hot buffet menu, plus a band and disco
- Christmas Day Lunch – three course meal, live music and presents for children
- January Party Nights – shared party nights, with a three course meal (pre-order) and disco
- New Year Gala Dinner – four course meal and entertainment to see in the New Year in style.
Have a look at our Christmas brochure for details of our parties or call our events team on 01422 371 724 to enquire about availability and to make a reservation.