Stress-reducing Thanksgiving Entertaining Tips from Aviva Samuels: A Recipe for Planning Success Approached from the Perspective of a Wedding Planner

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Kiss the Planner, a Florida Wedding Planning company offers a stress-reducing approach to holiday entertaining, similar in style to the way one would approach planning any large scale event, such as a wedding. This Thanksgiving, the secret sauce is strategic planning, creating a recipe for success. These four tips will help any host or hostess enjoy the holiday, relax during the preparation and make the Thanksgiving holiday special for friends and family.

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Just as you would when planning a wedding, begin as early as possible to account for everything you'll need to accomplish.

Organize, Plan and Conquer.

Creating a plan on paper will help reduce the stress involved in planning any affair. Before doing anything else, Aviva Samuels of Kiss the Planner recommends putting all thoughts on paper and meticulously creating the necessary checklists. “Just as you would when planning a wedding, begin as early as possible in order to account for everything you'll need to accomplish. By the time the big day rolls around , you will know that all the tasks and potential problems have been thought through. Start in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving by creating a detailed ‘to-do’ list to include menu planning, shopping lists, seating and serving arrangements, plans for décor, event timeline and a back-up or recovery plan for any cooking mishaps and other potential predicaments. And take note, plan to try on your outfit long before Thanksgiving Day so you don’t feel like the stuffing in the bird or experiment with a new recipe well in advance, so the turkey won’t be dryer than the chardonnay. Anything that will prevent needless stress in the 11th hour should be tackled way in advance.”

Consider employing others, so you can enjoy yourself.

“Since the point is to enjoy your loved ones, think of ways to reduce your personal stress and evaluate the elements that take up most your time. High on the list might be ordering a catered meal, or asking others to each bring a dish. Equally stressful might be serving the meal, mixing the drinks or cleaning up afterwards. If you like the idea of being able to interact as the hostess with the mostest, but the work seems more daunting than enjoyable; consider just passing hors d'oeuvres or glasses of wine, while hired help does the bulk of the chores. Lastly, employing a florist to decorate the table or other areas of your home may not save money, but it may certainly save your sanity. Perishable products like fruits and flowers are often hard to do in advance and many aspects of decorating can be time-consuming. If you do decide to do it yourself, start well in advance or keep it simple.“

Think strategically about the guest list and the seating arrangements.

“While I do advocate making sure that your guests are comfortable, I don’t recommend spending all your time worrying about potential conflict between certain guests. Assigning seats may help, but think about the comfort level of your guests as you do so, so that older guests have adequate space to move around or having children seated within easy access of a restroom, so as not to disturb others when exiting the table. You may want to consider seating kids close by to their parents, for any needed attention or alternatively in another room altogether, to keep down the noise level. If your preference is a more casual affair, opt out of assigned seating, but still be mindful of guest needs. If your space is small, you might need to rearrange the furniture to make the most of the space you have to work with.”

Make sure there is something for everyone.

“In my humble opinion” continues Aviva Samuels, “it is perfectly okay and rather thoughtful to ask your guests about their diet regimens. Find out in advance if they have any dietary restrictions, especially when serving a plated meal, so you can plan the menu accordingly. If you aren’t sure what those that have a restriction are able to eat, politely ask them what they are accustomed to eating is a considerate way to handle the situation. If you prefer not to have to ask, plan a buffet meal that consists of items that can also accommodate Vegetarians, Vegans, Gluten-free, or other Allergy-sensitive guests. When it comes to ensuring that all your guests have a good time, it might be helpful to create a timeline for the flow of the evening, just as you would for a wedding. Consider an ice breaker activity to include guests that do not know anyone, as well as activities for teens or kids such as games or a movie set up in a nearby room.“

Holiday entertaining may not be easy, but it can be rewarding. In order to not underestimate the planning required for a holiday celebration, take a wedding planner’s approach and give it the same attention to detail that you would give to a planning a wedding. A well thought out and structured plan, similar to that of a large-scaled event will ensure a successful and less stressful event for its host. By incorporating these helpful stress-reducing tips in getting prepared, you’ll be much more relaxed and in honor of Thanksgiving, you will likely be thankful that you did.

Aviva Samuels, Expert Wedding Planner of Kiss the Planner, a Florida Wedding Planning company is available to speak to the media about holiday entertaining, wedding planning and event planning for events of any size and scale. For more information on Kiss the Planner and Aviva Samuels go to:

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