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Moyarta's Top 10 Tips for Successful Holiday Entertaining

Moyarta have put together some tips that will help you plan your holiday gathering and ensure that the big event runs smoothly. When we are planning our events, we use the same guidelines and hope that you will find them useful.

  1. Plan your theme. What type of gathering is it?
    Whether planning a small intimate Christmas Eve dinner or a large family lunchtime gathering, think about what type of event you wish to have. Will it be elegant and formal or smart and more casual? This is the first step in planning any event and will help you make future decisions along the planning path.
  2. Set the date and prepare your guest list. Who would you like to invite?
    Make sure your guests know the date, time and type of event it will be. Mail out invitations at least 4 weeks in advance for more formal gatherings. Email or call guests to invite them if it’s not a formal event. If it’s a large party you are planning, and have asked for RSVP’s, make sure you keep track of who has accepted the invitation.
  3. Running order. What are the timings for each part of the event on the day?
    This is the essential tool for your event and Moyarta recommends having one for any type of event. It’s essentially a plan of how your event will run on the day including timings, roles and responsibilities etc. ie: What jobs will you be allocating to each family member or friend who is helping you at the event.
  4. Menu. What will you serve and which drinks should accompany the food?
    Choose and organize recipes. If you would like to serve dishes that you have not made before, we recommend doing a trial run before the event. This will avoid any surprises on the day and give you a chance to fine tune or adjust the recipe if necessary.
  5. Serving and utensils. What will you be using to serve and present your meal?
    What types of plates, platters serving pieces will be used. Think about what types of napkins and table linen, you will use. For help with finding the right sized tablecloth for your table, see Moyarta’s guide in our Style Companion at For large gatherings, make sure you have plenty of glassware and flatware. If you don’t have enough in your own collection think about either hiring some pieces well in advance of the party or borrowing from friends or relatives. Do you need to hire bar or wait staff? Sometimes having an extra pair of hands to help you with serving drinks, handing around h’orderves or even helping with the clean up afterwards can be a great help.
  6. Trial Run of Set Up.
    Do a trial run of the table setting or buffet. Often setting everything out in advance can really help with things on the day. Laying everything out first for a trail run will ensure that you avoid running around at the last minute on the day trying to find the odd serving piece or utensil that you forgot that you needed.
  7. Don't forget to set the ambiamce.
    Thinking about the theme you have chosen for your event or gathering, what type of ambiance would you like to create. Have you thought about things such as music and lighting. If you will be using candles, make sure that they are fragrance free if you will be using them on the dining table or buffet. Don’t forget to ensure that the temperature is just right. Remember that the room will warm quickly with lots of people inside so think about this in advance.
  8. Prepare a shopping list.
    Write everything down and take it with you when you shop. Cross it off as you go so that nothing is accidentally forgotten.
  9. Prepare a countdown checklist.
    Set the table the evening before or even earlier if you can. Refer to your running order that you have created ( point 3 above) and make a list of everything you need to do on the day of your event. This will help you prioritise your tasks and allocate your time effectively.
    Don’t forget to put out guest towels in the bathroom.
  10. Remember to relax. Enjoy your own event.
    There’s no reason why your guests should be the only ones to enjoy themselves. If you have planned carefully, you will be able to relax on the day and enjoy yourself too. Don’t forget though that if something goes awry, don’t worry or point it out to your guests. Chances are they will be too busy enjoying themselves to notice anyway so why draw attention to whatever it may be. Relax and enjoy your event and happy holidays from Moyarta.