Guide to Planning a Christmas Party on Long Island

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"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful." ~ Norman Vincent Peale

Christmas parties are known for its high spirit, festive feel and all around good cheer. For many, it's become a tradition to either host or attend a particular Christmas Party -whether it's for your business or social contacts. These types of parties offer a lot in terms of flexibility, and could be large enough to fill an entire hotel ballroom, or intimate enough to feel comfortable at a small winery. With the vastness of options available to you as the Christmas party planner, we're here to help you narrow down your choices. Just use the guide below to find the perfect location for you to host your next Christmas party:

  • Is there a specific geographic area you would like to restrict your search to?
  • Knowing what region you do or don't want your Christmas party to be located in can easily help rule out several hundred catering halls. Of course the more specific your desired geographic area, the fewer options you have to work with. This fact may be very welcome to some overwhelmed party planners, but may seem frustrating to others who look forward to being given a variety of catering hall options. A good compromise is to first limit your geographic area to a very specific area. If you are not pleased with the choices of catering halls in that region, then slowly expand your search to the surrounding areas until you are happy with the number of choices being offered, as well as with the distance. Since Christmas parties in Long Island will undoubtedly be during the colder weather, selecting a location that's closer to the majority of the party guests might be a good idea in case winter driving conditions gets bad.

  • Is there a specific type of catering hall (i.e. hotel, vineyard, restaurant, etc.) you would like to restrict your search to?
  • Limiting your catering hall search to the type of catering hall is another way to quickly narrow down your top choices. Knowing exactly the type of catering hall you would like to use can help organize your event quickly and efficiently. However, being flexible with the type of catering hall you choose can often result in a unique event that impresses all of your guests, including yourself! Of course the type of hall you end up choosing will rely largely in part to how large your Christmas party will be. Of course, outdoor locations will not be idea during this time of year.

  • What is the date of your Christmas party?
  • This may be an obvious "to do", but it is nevertheless an important factor in selecting the perfect catering hall for your Christmas party. Just like selecting airline tickets, the more flexible you are the more likely it is to get better rates, options and availability. A good rule of thumb is to have your Christmas party take place at some point between Thanksgiving and Christmas. In order to make sure that most of your party guests can attend your event, you may want to ask your guests to save the date, or clear a proposed date with your intended guest list before securing a location.

  • How formal an affair do you want your Christmas party to be?
  • The level of formality of your Christmas party doesn't necessarily equate to the level of pricing of the catering hall. Instead, it can help you to select an appropriate type of hall if given the choice. If you were hoping for a more laid back affair, then perhaps a formal hotel ballroom isn't the perfect catering hall for you, despite the large number of people it can hold. Perhaps a large room at a restaurant would better suit your needs.

  • Is there a specific theme you would like to portray?
  • Selecting a theme for your Christmas party could really enhance the overall experience for the guests of honor as well as for everyone else. Of course, with a Christmas party - your theme is already selected for you. However, you could take it a step further by selecting an even more specific theme. For example, perhaps you would like to portray a "winter wonderland" at your party. In that case, maybe you could choose to have your party at a hotel ballroom where it's easier to transform the room into a winter wonderland. Or, select a catering hall that is known for its extensive outdoor holiday decorations.

  • How many people will you be hosting at the Christmas party?
  • The number of anticipated guests will undoubtedly help limit your catering hall choices, especially if it's a large number. This is true in terms amount of space and the pricing per plate of food. Depending on your budget, this could be the determining factor of where your event should be located at, especially since hosting the party outdoors is out of the question during December.

  • Will you be requiring onsite food catering?
  • Most of the catering halls we showcase on our website include food catering. However, some do not and will require additional cost and planning in order to provide quality food for your guests. Additionally, if the catering hall of your wishes allows onsite food catering, but not the type of food that you wish to feature, then you may be able to work out a deal with the catering hall's management in order to bring in the type of food you would like to feature.

  • How much do you expect to spend per plate?
  • As mentioned earlier, where your Christmas party is located will largely - if not completely - depend upon how much you are able and/or willing to spend per plate. If you are especially interested in a specific catering hall, but the cost per plate is higher than you were expecting, you may need to either rethink that catering hall or the number of people you invite to the event.

  • Will you be requiring a Kosher, Vegetarian or Vegan menus?
  • Many catering halls do offer Kosher, Vegetarian or Vegan menus. If this is a must for your event, make sure your catering hall choice has this option.

  • Will you be requiring a full service bar or food stations/carving stations for a cocktail hour?
  • Most catering halls (especially hotels and large halls) will offer this service in a customized party package. If the catering hall of your choice does not offer this service in a package be sure to inquire about the additional costs and how it may or may not affect the overall scheduling of your event. It might be a fun idea to add special holiday drinks to the bar menu, such as eggnog or spiced wine.

  • Will you be requiring a catering hall that provides party favors?
  • Perhaps not surprisingly, these days many catering halls automatically offer you a selection of party favors to choose from in order to streamline your party planning. However, most of these favors are geared towards wedding parties. If you are not happy with the selection of party favors that are offered, or if you would like to present your guests with additional favors, check to see if the catering hall of your choice has any suggestions. Also keep in mind how you would like to disseminate the party favors at your Christmas party. Would you like the favors arranged as part of each person's place setting, or would you rather offer them the favors at their departure? This can largely affect the flow of the event, and even the overall presentation of the party.

  • Would you prefer a location with attached or nearby accommodations for out of town guests?
  • If your answer to this question is yes, then you should highly consider hotels as your choice of catering hall. However, pay special attention to non hotel catering halls that are in close proximity to other hotel accommodations. Most halls should have this information ready at hand.

  • Will you be requiring a party planner?
  • If you book your Christmas party at a catering hall, chances are you will be provided with an in-house party planner that can help ensure that your event goes smoothly. If you are not provided with one, but you are still interested in having a party planner, keep in mind that Long Island party planners have a wide range of rates, involvement and expertise. The catering hall of your choice could also assist you in finding a party planner who has been involved with past events at that location.

  • Would simultaneous events at your location be acceptable?
  • This is an important, yet often overlooked, factor to keep in mind when booking your Christmas party. Neighboring events could distract from a calm celebration or compete with a high energy celebration. On the other hand, catering halls that offer simultaneous events could help keep your costs low and could even fuel the party spirit. In any case, as the party planner, you should be aware as to what types of events may be going on simultaneously to ensure that your guests are comfortable and safe.

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