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Plan Your Corporate Holiday Party Like A Pro This Year

Catering meal for large events - plated meal for weddings - short ribs with macaroni and cheese and succotash on a white plate

11 Festive Holiday Party Planning Tips From Corporate Catering Experts That Will Make You Want To Deck The Halls

The holiday season is upon us, and it’s time to elevate your corporate celebration to new heights. Planning a memorable corporate holiday party involves strategic thinking and attention to detail. It often can feel like a second full-time job, but it doesn’t have to be that stressful.

Our corporate catering pros have distilled their years of corporate holiday party planning expertise into 11 tidbits of wisdom. Even the biggest scrooges and grinches amongst your coworkers are sure to have a great time this year if you follow these tips.

1. The Corporate Holiday Party Comes Once A Year: Start Planning Early

The key to a stress-free corporate holiday party is early planning. Start the preparations well in advance, allowing ample time to organize every detail. Venues and caterers tend to have better availability earlier in the year. Our pros recommend booking before July (yes things really do book up that fast) to ensure you secure the ideal venue, vendors, and activities without unnecessary stress.

2. Set a Realistic Budget… Don’t Count On That Christmas Bonus, It Might Be A Jelly Of The Month Certificate

Creating a budget is essential to keep your corporate holiday party both impressive and cost-effective. Determine your financial boundaries early in the planning phase and adhere to them. If you’re looking for an all-inclusive experience that won’t break the bank, consider venues that allow you to work with outside caterers so you can build a customized menu to meet your needs.

Venue Rental and Decorations: 40%

This includes the cost of renting the venue and any expenses related to decorations, lighting, and other ambiance enhancements.

Food and Drink: 40%

Allocating a significant portion for catering ensures that you can provide quality food and beverages that align with the overall theme and experience of the event.

Entertainment: 10%

If you plan to have live entertainment, a DJ, or any other performance, allocate a portion of the budget for these elements.

Miscellaneous (Photography, Gifts, etc.): 10%

Reserve a portion for additional expenses like hiring a photographer, providing gifts or party favors, and any unforeseen costs.

3. Choose the Perfect Venue: Santa’s Workshop Or The Island Of Misfit Toys?

While we’d love to cater your event at the North Pole, stick to selecting real and practical venues. It is crucial for a successful event. Consider the size of your guest list, opting for a space that accommodates everyone comfortably. Whether it’s a chic event center, a stylish restaurant, or a unique outdoor location, make sure the venue aligns with your company’s vision and the festive theme.

4. Hire A Caterer: There’s Room For Every Menu Item On The Nice List

Speaking of food and drink, as we mentioned, this should be at least 40% of your budget. Don’t skimp. Keep everyone’s spirits bright with… spirits. Plan festive libations like a signature cocktail for the evening that will have everyone using this year’s hashtag on all their socials. Or stick with a tried and true selection of wines and local craft beers if the guy in finance overseeing the budget for your party is one of those scrooges we promised to help you keep happy earlier.

Keep your guests jolly and plump with a deluxe buffet. We’re obviously a little biased, but we’d let our significant other drag us to a million holiday parties where we don’t know anyone if the menu consisted of 5-star options like: Crab Cakes, Chicken Piccata, Carolina Pork Loin, Southern Vegetable Succotash, and more.

And no holiday party would be complete if you didn’t have delectable dessert options. The diet starts in January so for now, don’t just offer your guests the usual cookie exchange spread, take the party to 11 with Lowcountry favorites like Praline Pecan Tartlets, Charleston Blondie Bites, and Lemon Squares.

Remember one of the primary advantages of budgeting appropriately for food is you get to work with experts who can help you consider dietary restrictions/preferences and plan everything perfectly.

5. Interactive Holiday Activities: Caroling Anyone?

Enhance the holiday spirit by incorporating fun activities into your party. Set up a photo booth, hire a caricaturist, or organize holiday-themed games to encourage engagement. These activities not only entertain but also provide an opportunity for team members to bond outside of the office.


6. Capture Visions Of Sugarplums: Hire A Professional Photographer

Hire a professional photographer to capture the joyous moments at your corporate holiday party. These photos not only serve as delightful mementos for your team but also contribute to future marketing materials.


7. Have a Contingency Plan: Make Your Lists, Check Them Twice

Despite meticulous planning, unforeseen circumstances can arise. Prepare for the unexpected by having backup plans for transportation, venue changes, or adverse weather conditions. Being proactive ensures that any hiccups won’t derail the festive spirit.


8. Establish The Dress Code: Put On The Suit, You’re The Big Guy

Establish a dress code to help set the tone for the party. Whether it’s casual, business casual, or cocktail attire, a dress code ensures a cohesive and visually appealing atmosphere.


9. The Best Way To Spread Christmas Cheer? Incorporate a Charitable Element

We may not be able to get all the children to join hands and sing together in the spirit of harmony and peace, Spread the holiday cheer beyond your team by incorporating a charitable element into your event. Collect donations for a local charity, Toys-for-tots or something connected to your business. Not sure what charity to support? Here’s a few of our personal favorites:
Lowcountry Food Bank, Cuisine Rescue, & Food Rescue US.


10. ‘Tis The Season… Embrace Fun Themes and Traditions

Ditch the conventional and embrace fun themes or traditions to make your corporate holiday party unforgettable. Whether it’s an ugly sweater contest, a Secret Santa gift exchange, or a festive karaoke night, let creativity reign.


11. Don’t Leave Virtual Employees Home Alone: Make Considerations for Remote Team Members

In the spirit of togetherness, consider adding a virtual element to your party for team members who can’t attend in person. Leverage technology to enable remote participation in games and events.

Let Us Guide Your Sleigh: Contact Rosemary & Rye

It’s never too early to start planning your corporate holiday party. Contact us now at 843-834-4845 or via email,, and let’s chat through your menu plan so we can help you ensure your corporate holiday party stays on the nice list.

And for those of you already stuck doing your best Clark Griswold “Hallelujah! Holy sh*t! Where’s Tylenol?” impersonation because your party date is fast approaching and you didn’t have these tips in time? Follow us on Instagram & Facebook so we can keep you connected to all our industry insights before it’s too late. After all that new fiscal year kickoff meeting is closer than you think.

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