How to decorate for your festive parties

If you’re hosting a party during the festive season, you want to make it a night to remember. There’s a lot to consider, from the food you serve and people you invite, to the music you play and, of course, the way you decorate. Sometimes the effort that goes into planning a party can take away from the fun and lightheartedness the night is meant to embody. Just because you’re hosting doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a good time too!

The best way to ensure a stress-free, highly memorable night is to start planning early. When it comes to decorating, there’s so much to consider – but the good news is we’ve broken it all down for you. Without further ado, here are some of the best ideas for decorating your festive parties.

Pick a theme

Everybody loves a theme, and one surefire way to curate a fun and memorable festive party is to design everything around your chosen concept. Of course, you can opt for a straightforward Christmas theme (wreaths, bon bons, a Christmas tree – you know the drill), but there are plenty of other great ideas to choose from if you want to get a little more creative.

Some ideas for themes include a candy cane Christmas party (yep, we’re talking candy canes everywhere), a winter wonderland party, a wreath-making party, a fondue party, an ugly sweater party, a Christmas scavenger hunt party, a Grinch-mas party…the list goes on. The theme will inform all your decorating choices, and depending on which one you choose, it may even influence the dresscode of your guests (ugly sweaters all round!). Everyone is sure to get on board with a theme making it the perfect way to bring the festive vibe.

Consider a colour scheme

Colour is so important when it comes to decorating and it plays an important role in bringing the festive season to life. Of course, you can’t go wrong with traditional Christmas colour combinations of red, green and gold, but if you’ve decided to go with a theme, this may impact your choice.

For instance, if you’ve chosen a winter wonderland theme, you’ll want to opt for lots of blues and whites, combined with warm lighting – anything that evokes an enchanting snow-white Christmas. Meanwhile, a Grinch-mas party will need lots of green, whereas a more minimalist Christmas party might involve muted whites and beiges, with only a hint of those quintessential reds and greens.

Lighting is everything

When it comes to creating a festive, welcoming vibe, lighting is equally important. Flickering candles are perfect for creating an intimate, cosy setting, while twinkly fairy lights can evoke a magical feel. Layering different types of lighting is a great way to create something visually exciting. If you want to get crafty, it’s easy to make festive lights with some jars, tealights, holly and ribbon. Don’t forget to pay attention to your overhead hanging lights, as they can be a good opportunity for extra decorations if you adorn them with dried flowers, baubles or ribbon.

First impressions count

It may be a tired adage, but there’s a reason this phrase is thrown around so often. First impressions most certainly count, and for this reason, it’s important to make a lasting impression from the moment your guests enter the party. Whether it’s a beautiful wreath arrangement, an eye-catching lighting setup or some other kind of decoration, make sure you treat the entrance to your party with utmost importance.

Treat your dining table as the centrepiece

Another incredibly important element in your party is the dining table. This especially applies if there’s going to be a sit-down meal involved, but it’s equally as important if you’re simply offering a grazing table. There’s so much fun to be had when it comes to decorating your dining table, from crockery and glassware to sprigs of holly, napkins and candlesticks. Don’t be afraid to go all out, your guests will love you for it.

Don’t forget the bar

It’s not a party without a bar, and this is certainly an area of your party where you can have a little fun. Don’t just have people pouring drinks in the kitchen – creating a designated bar area is an instant party pleaser. You can even take a piece of furniture, like a dresser, and turn it into a makeshift bar.

Whether it’s a self-service bar or you have someone pouring drinks, be sure to include plenty of festive drink choices and fun adornments (dried petals, dehydrated oranges, cherries or mini candy canes are all great additions). Make your bar pop with elegant glassware or pretty handmade signs offering a cocktail list…the possibilities are endless! Of course, if this is going to be a booze-free event, a hot chocolate bar is sure to be a favourite among guests.

Personalise wherever you can

One great way to win over your guests is to make it as personal as possible. This might involve handwritten place cards with the names of all attendees on the dining table. Personalised napkin rings are another sweet idea, and you can never go wrong with individual handwritten invitations. You might even have a guestbook on your coffee table where your guests can write messages or holiday wishes. Gifting guests with an adult party bag at the start or end of the night is another playful way to evoke the holiday cheer.

Don’t forget to have fun

Ultimately, a festive party is all about enjoyment, so don’t be afraid to get creative and have fun with your decorations. Think outside the box and add in personal touches wherever you can – this might be a chalkboard menu, pin-the-tail-on-the-Rudolph wall, polaroid station or an advent countdown display. Getting crafty with paper pom poms and homemade festive lights is a surefire way to add in that extra special touch.

At the end of the day, if you’ve had fun with your decorations, your guests will be able to feel it, and this is certain to translate into a night of joy and excitement that will be remembered for a long time to come.

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