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From Our Blog

Party Planning Tips from a Pro

The holidays are arriving and with them parties and celebrations that mark the season.

If you’re thinking of hosting an event, our Director of Catering and Events, Christopher Shimkus has a few tips to share. Working with some of the largest celebrations in our historic Boston hotel, he knows how to translate your vision into a flawless gathering.

“The first thing you need to consider is your budget,” Christopher says. Whether you’re planning a corporate event or a party in your home, knowing how much you have to spend will help focus your choices. Then think about who is on your guest list and what you want your event to accomplish. Is it an awards celebration or a gift exchange? Or is it simply an opportunity for friends and family to get to know each other? Once you identify its purpose, then you can design your party to match.

Let the date inform your planning. Remember that once you move into December, the day of the week you’re hosting is an important consideration. People get booked up early, so you may decide on a cocktail party, which allows people to drop by for an hour on the way to a second event. And be sure to let people know if it’s formal or casual, and whether there’s a theme, like an ugly sweater party. One of the benefits of a holiday event is that it comes with its own built-in theme.

As you start to design your party, consider all the senses. “As host, think about what you want people to see, sense, smell and hear once they enter,” Christopher says. The décor, the music, the food and beverage should contribute to the mood. “Plan the party to encourage mingling.” Think about the layout of your home or space. From food, drink and dessert tables scattered through the room, to music to other activities, design your space to encourage people to circulate. If you’re on a budget, focus the decorations where the food is going to be, as it will be the heart of your party.

“Plan for people to arrive 30 minutes before the start of your party, because someone always will,” Christopher says. Have the music playing and cold appetizers ready, such as cheese plates and crudités. Be sure to have something for the early arrivers to do. Small, simple activities make first guests feel like they’re being helpful.

Offer people a drink when they arrive. Whether it’s a signature cocktail, wine beer or soft drink, this gesture allows you time to welcome your guests personally. And whatever you plan, make sure you have fun. The mood of the hosts sets the tone for the entire event.

As one of the most sought-after luxury hotels Boston offers, we are expert at making events memorable, festive and a reflection of your vision. From lavish affairs to intimate gatherings, we create holiday parties for every personality. Contact us at 1 (617) 457-2281 and let us know how we can help you with your next celebration.

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