If you are anything like me, then you notice the impending change of season coming before it even arrives….the ever so slight chill in the air on your early morning walk with the dog…..the warmth of the sun on your skin as opposed to searingunbearable heat….winter is coming……and I cannot wait. But for most us Winter brings with it imminent doom and gloom…..mostly due to the fact Queenslanders scarcely even experience a “Winter” so I guess it is categorically hard to cope and/or prepare for something that barely makes a dent in the seasonal calendar.
However what if you have a big Event planned in those few and far between colder winter months? How are you going to get your guests to first and foremost rug up and actually leave the house in the middle of winter, and secondly enjoy their time at your special event without focusing on the cold weather? Well if you have an Event planned – be it anything from a private Corporate Event, Birthday, Engagement Party or even a Wedding – there are some simple ideas that you can implement for your Event to ensure your guests have a memorable experience, and everyone is not “left out in the cold”.
First and foremost, creating the illusion of being warm is probably the smartest and most cost effective winter warmer solution – using a warm colour palette for your styling and utilising gold, copper and brass tones, gives the perception of warmth immediately as soon as guests steps foot into a room or a venue or a marquee. You can even go bolder by incorporating deep red, yellow and burnt orange tones. A warm colour tone enables your guests to immediately feel at ease and sets the mood for the rest of the evening – a good first impression is important after all.
Styling additions such as floor rugs | pillows | throw rugs – not only create a warmth aspect but they add to your overall styling and theming with minimal fuss. Things that have a dual purpose are a fantastic idea – floor rugs and cushions look great as well as feel great; throw rugs add an additional styling aspect in tune with your colour palette, but they are also able to be used by guests to put over their legs etc to ward off the chill as the evening wears on.
Apart from realising the majority of your desired food options for a Winter Event need to be hot items, why not incorporate a soup or a hearty “stew in a cup” into your cocktail catering – I can guarantee your guests will thank you for it – but make sure it’s tasty and packs a flavour punch.
For a seated event why not incorporate a warm palate cleaner such as a consommé or a broth into your two or three course meal, and make sure you have something hearty on the menu such as a braised lamb shoulder and creamy mash. Nothing warms the soul like comfort food does.
For something sweet why not try something quirky and unique that the guests can participate in – incorporate a hot chocolate bar or station that enables guests to help themselves and make their own “dessert” beverage; set it up with marshmallows, nuts, chocolates, cookies, and I can guarantee you it will be something they talk about for weeks to come. Alternatively you can always do the tried and tested chocolate fondue station; this is a fun and delicious alternative to the usual dessert or sweets bar.
For individual portions, why not incorporate something tasty like individual hot chocolate cups or warm caramel cups w/ deep fried ice cream or cream – individual serves are cute and personalised and guests love these at cocktail style events. And who doesn’t love anything with hot caramel.
Apart from the usual red wine winter warmer, spice up your beverage selection with things such as spiced hot rum barrels, a cinnamon and star anise winter punch or even hot sake. By adding these items to your beverage selection ensures your guests remain warm all night whilst consuming absolutely delicious and tasty concoctions.
Lighting is one of the most important characteristics of any Event – to keep within the warm theme and tones, you need to use warm light bulbs (not white or ice blue) and add a combination of things such as candles, lanterns and fairy or bud lighting to create a wow factor as well as establishing that warm and inviting feeling you want your guests to experience when they walk into the room / area.
Steer clear of extremely bright lighting; if you are holding your Event at a venue ensure there is a dimmer switch available, and you are able to dim the lighting to a desired tone to fit with your warm tones and overall feel of your Event.
This is the fun aspect – if you want your guests to be warm as well as have a little fun whilst doing it, why not incorporate a winter accessory station into your Event. Things such as a beanie & gloves station or boxes filled with scarves and shawls – are a great idea to keep guests warm whilst not interfering with their original Event attire. My only suggestion is if these are hire items and you need to return them all post event, then make sure guests don’t leave with these items at the end of the night! You will never get them back!
Other simple winter warmer accessory ideas include a lip balm and moisturiser station for the ladies, as we all know the cooler months are that much harsher on our skin; and a cigar station for the gents. Fairly inexpensive ideas to incorporate into your winter Event that guests will very much appreciate.
So overall holding your Event in Winter is the perfect opportunity to incorporate beautiful and unique styling, utilise warmer colour tones, have fun with your catering and adding in quirky and fun accessory stations into your Event. There’s nothing better than rugging up and having a nice glass of red wine or spiced rum, with the winter chill on your face. Now all we need is for Winter to hurry up and arrive…….