If you’re dieting for the holidays this year, you’ve come to the wrong place – the My Big Day team has rounded up ten of our favorite guilty pleasure party appetizers. No counting calories allowed!
Whip up any of these recipes (double or triple them to feed a crowd), and you’ll be getting all the compliments. To promote safe partying during the pandemic, we’ve chosen bite-sized apps for your guests. Bonus: Dishes are optional and clean-up is easy.
Whether you need a little help planning your next event, or want to show up the day-of with everything done, our team with over 15 years of experience in the event industry is here to help. Book now.
Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers
A little spicy? Yep. Super indulgent? Yes. Totally addictive? You bet.
Yield: 12 poppers
Cream Cheese Tortilla Bites
Quick and easy (only 4 ingredients!) and vegetarian.
Yield: 36 bites
Feta and Spinach Puff Pastry Appetizers
These fancy pastries look as good as they taste and are sure to impress. Vegetarian.
Yield: 27 pastries
Ritz Crackers Party Sandwiches
Yes, the nostalgic snack is still a party favorite. Customize with your own favorite cheese and meat, or cheese and roasted veggies.
Yield: 48 sandwiches
Crockpot Apple Butter and Bourbon Meatballs
Sweet and tangy. Add hot sauce for an extra kick.
Yield: 32 meatballs
Cranberry Havarti Bites
Decadent, creamy, and tangy.
Yield: 16 bites
Cranberry Brie Crostini Bites
Cranberry + brie is a sophisticated holiday combo, and this recipe can be made in advance and then assembled in just minutes on party day.
Yield: 24 toasts
Twice Baked Potato Bites
Like a mini baked potato with all the toppings, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
These snacking skewers are like a portable charcuterie board, without the touching-something-someone-else-has-touched.
Yield: 18 skewers
Mini Bacon Ranch Cheese Balls on a Pretzel Stick
These salty, satisfying game-day snacks make a popular party app.
Visit our Party Appetizers Pinterest board for many more party-worthy recipes. For more party planning tips and ideas, follow My Big Day on Facebook and Instagram.
Entertaining for the holidays can have you juggling many roles: chef, bartender, performer – even family mediator. Setting up a self-serve bar for your holiday party gives you more time to enjoy your guests, but it may not be as simple as you think. Here are some tips to DIY a successful self-serve bar for the holidays.
Keep the drink selection simple
As the party host, it’s up to you how many drink options you’d like to supply for your guests. You can stick to just beer and wine, add in a themed cocktail, or stock all the basics of a full bar and allow guests to create their own drinks. Here are some staples to consider:
If you’d like to serve a signature cocktail hassle-free, you can pre-mix ingredients and serve them in a large beverage dispenser. To keep drinks cold without diluting them, chill ingredients thoroughly before mixing, then: add ice cubes made out of your non-alcoholic ingredients, add frozen fruit, or choose a beverage dispenser designed to keep liquids cold.
Write cocktail recipes for guests
If your guests like to be a bit more hands-on, you can provide the cocktail recipe and let guests mix their own drinks. Choose a signature cocktail or two and print the recipes on paper or cardstock, write them on a chalkboard, or even on a mirror. If a drink requires an exact measurement, be sure to have that measuring utensil available. Don’t forget to provide any garnishes.
Choose drinks that complement your theme or occasion
This is the fun part: brainstorming signature drinks to suit your party theme or occasion. Warm, rich drinks are welcome at a cozy fall or winter party. Traditional drinks like mulled wine are a festive addition to holiday parties. And fresh, fruity drinks are ideal for summer get-togethers. For ideas and inspiration, check out our list of eight signature cocktails for your next event or five fall-inspired cocktail recipes.
Purchase the right amount of alcohol for your party
Party duration, number of guests, type of alcohol, and type of party all affect how much alcohol you’ll need to purchase. This drink calculator from Evite is a great place to start.
Have supplies readily available
The supplies you’ll need depend on the complexity of your drink offerings. Even the most basic self-serve bar will need:
Other supplies to consider include:
eep your guests (and yourself) safe
With a self-serve bar, you won’t be able to keep track of how much alcohol each guest consumes. Look for signs of intoxication (loud speech, slurred speech, stumbling, rude behavior, etc.) and discourage any guests you suspect to be impaired from driving. Be ready to call ride services, offer a room for the night, or even to call police if things escalate. Check your local and state laws: As party host, you may be held responsible for the actions of impaired guests, even after they’ve left your property.
Sound like a lot? With some planning and drink prep, anyone can provide their own self-serve bar this holiday season. But if you’re short on time or just don’t feel ready, you can book all of these services with On the Rocks.
You’ll get a consultation with us to discuss drink ideas, how much alcohol you’ll need to purchase, and delivery coordination. On the day of your event, our TIPS-certified bartenders – trained in safe service and preventing drunk driving and underage intoxication – will serve your guests, so you can be worry free.
by Randi Juric, My Big Day
Being a good hostess doesn’t take a lot of skill. Being a good hostess is all about the timing and the come one come all attitude. All you need to remember is smiles, full drinks, full plates, great atmosphere. Here are a few structure points to being the best hostess you can be. As a hostess you are the greeter, server, entertainer, problem solver, and cleanup crew unless of course you hire someone for any of these jobs. Even if you hire someone a super hostess still eyeballs the help to make sure it’s getting done right. A great hostess can super charge the room just by their smile and presentation as you greet a guest. Be infectious and make the crowd happy and go lucky with a smile! We call that a Super Hospi Hostess, hospi stands for hospitality.
1. Set a clear start and end:
When you send out an invite be sure you list time, place, start and end dates. This will allow people to plan for the event accordingly. This will also ensure your party loving friends don’t overstay their welcome. Be sure to add an RSVP due date for a better had count for your event.
Be prepared to make confirmation calls to those who haven’t RSVP yet. Always be sure to ask if you think you may need to make special accommodations for some one.
When guests start to arrive be sure to make the rules clear “take your shoes off and head on in” or “There is/is not a smoking area out back”. Be sure you keep the environment comfortable for all guests and you too! Welcome them in and shoe them the layout. Everyone loves snacks and drinks, it’s the best part of the party!! Remember as your walking around mingling and welcoming new guests it’s OK to eyeball everyone’s plates and drinks. Be sure to ask in passing if they need a refill on any food or drink or if you can take their plate. Remember to SMILE SMILE SMILE!
4. Mingle, Mingle, Mingle:
It is very important to mingle and mix things up. Walk around and talk with your guests, catch up and maybe get people who may not know each other to start a conversation. Keep your background music in mind should you decide to play some.
Always put together a playlist that fits your crowd and don’t play it too loud. We want the music to entertain but not blast away!
5. Clean up:
Clean as you go! It makes things so much easier as you go to pick up and clean as your walking around mingling. Offer to take some ones trash for them. A hostess never leaves their guest with their hands full.
6. The wind down and long good bye:
Read your crowd! Timing is everything on the wind down. About an hour to thirty minutes before your scheduled end time take the time to look around and see if your guests seem to be winding down or going strong. If they are winding down you can turn your music down in the background more and start cleaning up a little more heavily as you mingle and say your goodbyes to those leaving. You can also thank people for coming as you’re cleaning up in their area before you move on, this will give the guest the impression the party is coming to an end politely. On the other hand if your guests seem to still be going strong and you don’t have to be out by a specific time start asking for refills again or if you can get them anything else. You can also turn the music up just a smidge. Mingle and ask your guests if they have met so and so yet and see if you can make some new connections.
7. The morning after:
Give some of your guests’ calls over the next week and thank them for coming again and see if they have any feedback for you good or bad, just listen to what they have to say there is always room for improvement. This helps you refine your hosting skills and see what works and doesn’t so well. This also gives you an opportunity to give more invites if you have other events you want to have some guests to join. Your guests will love the follow up and the time you took to say thank you again. It leaves a great impression that you cared to call them and ask if they had a good time.
These hostess tips have been brought to you by My Big Day Events!
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