Creating the scene

by Clemi Cruickshank

Clemi has been a major player at Bread & Honey for two years. Before joining us, she worked as a wedding manager at Bijou Weddings and as a marketing executive at Quintessentially.

For many of us, Christmas is the one time of year when we really think about setting the scene. Even if it’s a low-key gathering at home for friends, there’s something about the season of goodwill that inspires us all to inject a little sparkle and glitz into proceedings.

And while styling a venue is undoubtedly one of my favourite parts of the job all year round, I have to admit it’s a real treat when December comes around.

Whether it’s a lavish sit-down meal where food takes centre stage, or a mix-and-mingle drinks reception with nibbles on the side, Christmas events should be brimming with festive touches.

Creating the right lighting is essential at this time of year – think twinkling fairy lights, flickering candles and glistening decorations. When it’s cold and dark outside, this is the one time of year to really indulge creating a welcoming and cosy environment to encourage your guests to let their hair down and relax.

Of course, Christmas is the time of year for coming together to eat, drink and be merry so it’s vital your table settings strike the right note.

The possibilities here are endless, and as long as you keep to one theme you’ll be onto a winner. You could go traditional with decadent glassware, rich red accessories and holly, ivy and evergreen centrepieces. Or opt for a blend of modernity and nature with simple, paired down place settings interspersed with pinecones and rustic touches.

The same applies to decorations and dressing the room – stick to the golden rule of keeping with one theme and you’ll avoid your venue looking tacky and gaudy.

It goes without saying that good food and drinks are central to every celebration at this time of year. Whether it’s a multi-course feast or a simple platter of mince pies, make sure there’s plenty to go round and have options in place for guests with dietary needs. If there’s one time of year you want to sparkle as a host, this is it.

Of course, after the fun and celebrations of Christmas comes the New Year and the promise of fresh beginnings. So if you’ve enjoyed the hosting, decorating and feasting of December, why not make a resolution to do more of the same in 2016?

Whether it’s an Easter celebration, a summer garden party or simple a family Sunday lunch, you don’t need to wait until Christmas for an excuse to set the scene and make an impression.

It doesn’t have to be lavish, but putting a bit of extra effort into table settings, adding a little mood lighting and creating a themed ambiance will give you and your guests a treat whatever the occasion.

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