Published on December 8, 2015

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Photography by SARA & RICH COMBS

background music

Spotify, Pandora, or even that retro turntable that’s been sitting in the closet. No matter the method, a continuous stream of classic tunes is always a good idea. 

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Photography by Alyssa Rosenheck

tabletop essentials

Elegant sit-down dinner or a brief cocktail fete? No matter the formality, no party should be without these basics:

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Photography by dustjacket-attic.com

quick apps

Regardless of the fact that you’ve got a 4-course dinner planned, set up a small cheese board or a plate of easy apps for guests to munch on when they first arrive. 

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Photography by Skeem Inc

something fragrant

Whether you’re mixing up your special cinnamon citrus concoction over the stove or lighting up your go-to scented candle, set the scene with a festive scent. 

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Photography by Katrin Bjork

holiday decor

Call it a no-brainer, but no holiday fete should be without festive details that complement the season. Pine garlands, string lights, we’re looking at you.

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Photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK

a well-stocked bar

Now’s the perfect time to unleash your inner bartender, and put those mouthwatering cocktail recipes to good use.

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Photography by dolly and oatmeal

proper lighting

Keep the lights to a comfortable low – dim enough to set a soothing tone, yet bright enough for easy movement throughout the space. Bonus points for whimsical string or holiday lights.

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Photography by blog.freepeople.com

a backdrop for photos

A wall of balloons or festive garland make for the perfect photo backdrop!