Holiday Party Ideas 2018

The annual search for holiday party ideas that will make a memorable impression is already underway for some event planning pros in Chicago. Chez asked some of the best partners from our network of top party planners about themes, decor and dishes they think will really shine in the upcoming holiday season. Here’s what they had to say.

Looking for Unique Holiday Party Ideas? Look Abroad
holiday party ideas for south korean themed party colorful south korean goods for korean inspired holiday party ideas

The expert party planners at Revel Decor know a thing or two about designing an event with serious pizzazz, and their predictions for the 2018 holiday party season are no exception: “This holiday season we’re all about trends inspired by South Korea…we’re loving bright and energizing colors like pinks, yellows and oranges,” says Revel. “Christmas lights come in neon- right?! Spray paint goes a long way, too — how about evergreen dyed pink?! Korean beauty masks are a perfect party favor and they make a great stocking stuffer too.”

Holiday Parties are the Perfect Time to Go Big
illuminated white feather centerpieces at luxury holiday party modern christmas ornament decorations at holiday party

The holidays present a rare chance to contrast an event with the conditions outside. While the winter landscape may be fairly monotone, spice up your event with a generous helping of dramatic tones. “This season we’re playing with the dramatic which means large accents, deep jewel tones, and plush fabrics,” says HMR Designs. “We want to invoke that warm, holiday ambience…Of course festive florals are always a must, but prepare to engage guests with lavish, dark environments that feel cozy with an edge.”


Your Holiday Floral Elements Can Be Seasonal Without Being Predictable

“While traditional items like pine, cedar, and coniferous elements will always be present during the holidays, adding unexpected items like succulents, feathers, fruit and vegetables, and goodies like French macaroons to centerpieces, wreaths, and garlands will add texture to your table top or event decor,” according to Claire Roenitz of The Flower Firm. What about color for the floral arrangements? “Incorporating these elements in unique color palettes like eggplant and sage, azure and rosé, or gold and onyx are modern ways to add a layer of surprise and delight your guests this holiday season.”

Experiment a Bit with Your Holiday Party Menu

Chez asked frequent collaborator Jewell Events Catering which items are making their way onto holiday party menus in 2018. Executive Chef Ben Holt said he’s seeing these exciting trends for holiday menus:

  • Shroom Boom, or dried non-GMO 100% dried chips
  • Imperfect or “Ugly” produce
  • Smoked chocolate desserts
  • Flavor injected donuts made with a syringe
  • Spiralized Vegetables as a fun starch replacement

Myles Bosack, the director of marketing at Jewell, has this prediction: “If I had to pick from this list I would say smoked chocolate desserts as one that will surely show up on buffets this holiday season.”

Enliven your Holiday Party with a Mixologist and Specialty Cocktail Bars

“Modern Specialty Cocktail Bars are something that I see trending for the 2018 holidays,” says Rachel Krieger of Blue Plate Catering. “Companies are designing cocktails that play up their unique event theme or echo company colors, as well as incorporating a bar that is run on site by our in-house mixologist. This added interactive flare allows guests to order customized drinks during the party. Spice up your next holiday party with a special cocktail that will have your guests talking long into 2019!”

So there you have it! We hope these holiday party ideas leave you filled with inspiration and a modicum of good cheer for the upcoming season. Did we miss anything? Have any favorites? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

Photography | 1-2: Revel Decor, 3-4: Kent Drake Photography, 5: The Flower Firm, 6: Jewell Events Catering, 7: Kent Drake Photography, 8: Blue Plate Catering.