Expert tips provided by Edge Catering’s director of business development, Chrissie Vides
Whether you’re hosting a holiday gathering for the first time or you’re a seasoned veteran, these simple holiday hosting hacks will reduce stress when planning your next eventSambaJoy
1. Don’t overcomplicate your menu
There's no need to introduce super-complex dishes to wow your guests. Stick to the holiday staples you do well. When you want to elevate a simple dish, consider presentation. Instead of chicken skewers on a platter with dipping sauce in a separate bowl, fill the bottom of shot glasses with the dip, add a mini-skewer with chicken directly in the shot glass and you’ve got yourself a fun but simple appetizer! Similarly, instead of creating a mammoth charcuterie platter, make it into single portions and create a mini-version for each guest at their seat. It’s not always about going bigger but being super-intentional about your choices.
2. Be prepared
Whenever you can, prepare dishes ahead of time and choose items that can be frozen a couple days before the event. Make a calendar of items and don’t leave all the prep for last minute—plan ahead.
3. Get it delivered
Home delivery services have come a long way in the last couple years (thanks, COVID), so let’s take advantage of it! Instead of rushing out last minute to the store, order items online ahead of time and have them delivered to your doorstep.SambaJoy
4. Be intentional with your tablescape decor
When it comes to tablescapes, it’s not all about more is more—nor is it practical with a large feast. Small intentional decor choices will not only take away the stress of a large set-up (and clean-up), but also impress your guests.
Work with a local florist like Ecorce Floral to create a stunning winter greenery runner or scatter bud vases filled with seasonal selections. Take a single piece of pine or spruce and lay it on each place setting.
Create beautiful menus and name cards that will welcome your guests to their seats with Pinterest-worthy stationery from Making Memories Stationery.
Candles definitely set the mood, but tapered candles can not only be a nuisance with space but they can also be dangerous. Instead of tapered candles, I always recommend lower votives which can be rented in a large variety of styles and colors from decor companies like Bespoke Decor.
Lastly, to ensure you have enough room for everything, do a “dish dress rehearsal”. Set the table with all the dishes that will be used—both for place settings and serving dishes. Once you have all that set, then add in the table decor to ensure everything fits.
5. Simplify your bar selection
Instead of stocking your bar with every spirit out there, I suggest creating two pre-batched signature cocktails (with two different flavour profiles) and stick to wine and a non-alcoholic beverage for your dinner. Offer a post-dinner drink, and keep it simple to execute—like coffee and Bailey’s—but top it off with a festive garnish like a mini-coffee or toffee-flavoured candy cane. With so many super-fun holiday cocktails out there, the most difficult part will be choosing which ones.
6. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, help is available
Hosting is supposed to be fun, not something you dread. If you are super-stressed and feeling overwhelmed, turn to the pros to help you bring it all together. Hire a bartending company like Lavish Liquid to source out and serve up super yummy and elevated drinks. Connect with the events team here at Edge Catering who can share with you the variety of holiday offerings we have that will be sure to bring the culinary experience to the next level. Whether it's delivered canapés or a full holiday dinner package, Edge Catering has got your back. Let us help you bring it all together!
More than anything, this holiday season, focus on what's really important—spending time with family and friends and creating long-lasting memories that are not just sweet, but yummy too.
- Catering by Edge Catering, @edgecaters
- Photography by SambaJoy, @sambajoy
- Design by Chrissie Vides, Edge Catering, director of business development
- Winter Floral by Ecorce Flowers, @ecorce.flowers
- Decor by Bespoke Decor, @bepokedecor
- Decor by Pedersen, @pedersenseventrentals
- Cocktails by Lavish Liquid, @lavishliquid
- Candy by Karameller Candy, @karamellercandy
- Stationery by Making Memories Stationery, @makingmemories.stationery
- Cakes and desserts by Edge pastry chef, @alysa_bakes