The countdown to Christmas is on, and the ‘To Do’ list is growing longer by the day. Throwing a kick-ass party is top priority, but there’s simply no time (or energy) to pull it off – until now. Party planner extraordinaire Nat Faulkner explains how to throw together an awesome do without breaking a sweat.

If you are anything like me and love to throw a party or host a gathering, this time of the year is really the best.

Whether you decide to throw a fancy, schmancy, elegant sit down dinner, or a holiday cocktail party, here are my tips to host a fabulous gathering, without breaking out into a sweat!

First and foremost – Remember to have fun. This is meant to be fun, not stressful so just try to relax and enjoy the ride.

Plan ahead – I say this all the time, but seriously planning ahead really helps to take the pressure off. Even if its 3 days out from a spontaneous party, try to ‘plan’ with a list so you have some kind of track to stay on.

Be Realistic – I would recommend not attempting to make a six layer Black Forest Cake for the first time. Maybe stick within your skill set and add other fabulous touches to the party. Pre made desserts from the supermarket topped with fresh fruit and flowers can be just as impressive.

Details – When I throw a party or dinner, I like to consider details to create a vibe or mood for the guests. For example, lighting, music, setting etc. I am a huge fan of fairy lights and candles for night time. And I always have a play list ready on my phone to hook up to the speakers (I pretty much just use Spotify these days). And in regards to the setting, I usually just grab some foliage from the garden and some cheap supermarket flowers (Aldi has bunches of flowers for $5.99) and put them on the table and on my food platters. I also use fresh herbs like rosemary to pop on top of the napkins at table settings or even to garnish a cocktail. In the photos below you will see the roses I added to the frosé cocktails I made (see recipe below). Simple yet effective! Bunnings also sells edible flowers that you can plant and use too!!
Remember to look around at home to see what you have to decorate the table. You don’t necessarily have to go out and buy stuff.

Drinks – Be sure to make it clear if you are supplying drinks for the party or if its BYO. If its BYO I suggest having a non alcoholic offering. And I also love to make a cocktail or a mocktail for something fun on arrival (but that is just me being extra).

Menu – What is the vibe for your party? Is it nibbles and drinks? Or a full meal. I love BBQs and salads in summer. It’s easy and a really social way of cooking and eating. Buffet style serving is always a fuss free way to serve dinner for large groups of dinner. Then it tends to stay warmer for longer too of you just keep it in the dishes they were cooked in. Slow cooked meats, roasted vegetables and salads are all fairly stress free and can be prepared in advance and left to cook while you socialise with guests. Other time saving meals are quiches and salads, mini tarts and pastries etc. Large tables of platter style nibbles is always a winner for NYE parties.

Other touches – Simple touches like candles in the bathroom (I recommend the battery operated ones if there are kids around) little vases of flowers or foliage. I like to do something fun too like have a little bowl of mints in the bathroom.

I hope that no matter what party you throw, have the most wonderful Christmas and enjoy the holiday season.

See you in 2020 for another fun filled year! Take care!

Natalie Faulkner

Natalie Faulkner  

Natalie has been to more than her fair share of children’s birthday parties, thousands in fact! With over 15 years experience in the entertainment industry, and a passion for entertaining young and old, Natalie is the director of fun for kids entertainment company Strawberry Fundaes Kids Parties. She also loves to throw a dinner party, set up a fabulous picnic or just chat about mum life/character life in general. Check out her party hacks and entertainment tips (to take the stress out of your next party) on her blog // www.lovedbynatty.com