AUTHOR: BEC OF 'FOR EVERY HEN'
It may be cold outside, but that doesn't mean your celebration won't be a RED HOT success! From outfits and decorations through to food and drink ideas; to learn how to host a winter themed party to beat them all, read on...!
COLOUR PALETTE IDEAS FOR YOUR WINTER THEMED PARTY
This tip alone is a serious game changer! Pick a colour palette before doing any other planning.
Why? Because once you know the different colours/shades/textures you want to work with, absolutely everything else becomes SO much easier! Whether you're sourcing decorations, selecting food and drinks, choosing outfits... knowing (and sticking to) the theme colours will not only make your job much less stressful, but will also result in a celebration that flows and looks incredible!
We've decided to keep our winter wonderland theme cosy and rustic; using a colour palette filled with creams, whites, browns and greens (alongside gold accents and natural textures such as chunky wool, wood and jute). You can see an example of these colours and textures together below.
Here are some other winter party theme colour examples:
Hot tip: Pick some base colours (e.g. greys, whites, creams), then incorporate pops of your bride's favourite colour for some added fun (blue, for example)!
WINTER THEMED COSTUMES & OUTFIT IDEAS
Baby it's COLD outside! So why not encourage your guests to rug up in their best winter woollies? Beanies, scarves, mittens, ugg boots, slippers, coats, and even dressing gowns accepted attire - literally my dream dress code!
Alternatively, if you would like your celebration to ooze glamour and charm, opt for themes such as 'glitter', 'little white dress', 'winter themed dresses' or 'winter sparkle'. You could also set a colour block theme using your event palette (for example ,everyone come dressed in gold, green or brown - bride dressed in white!).
And finally, if you'd like to give your guests a little more freedom in their wardrobe, why not ask everyone to come in an outfit that resembles 'snow', 'ice', or even the season itself. The range of costumes (from stunning, glittery dresses through to DIY snowflakes and Santa outfits) will be SO entertaining and great for photos!
WINTER THEMED PARTY FOOD
There are a few ways to approach your winter themed food.
First of all: warmth. When I think of the cooler months, I think of delicious meals that make me feel cosy and warm - meals that remind me of my childhood. For example, mini shepherds pies, self-serve butter chicken and rice, pulled pork rolls, pasta meals, lasagne, baked potatoes, or even pizza!
Now reverse that thought and consider all things cold! Think along the lines of sundae bars, ice-cream bars and self serve gelati. For those interested in setting up a station dedicated to these frozen delights, be sure to include a variety of delicious toppings (nuts, honeycomb, chocolate, lollies, sprinkles, fruits). Guests will have an absolute ball personalising their very own treats.
If you want the theme to carry through to your food table, consider serving up an array of appetizers and sweets that pair well with your party colour palette. Using the example from the beginning of this article, serving a range of foods that are cream, white, brown, green and gold is an easy way to tie your edibles to the rest of the celebration. This could include cupcakes decorated with white icing, avocado dip with crackers, cheese and crackers, chocolates, caramel popcorn mixed with plain popcorn, iced donuts, Ferrero Rocher's, mini sandwiches, biscuits, cake pops, mousse, scones, mini quiches and so on.
And finally, stunning labels, signs and/or inventive layouts are a fun way to theme your spread. From cupcakes set up to form the shape of a snowflake, popcorn served in jars decorated as snowmen or little biscuits iced with wintery images, through to simple yet beautiful themed signage ('enjoy some food' or 'treat yourself); there are many ways to get creative.
Hot tip: If you like bits and pieces from the different options above, there's no reason you can't mix and match! Serve some themed foods alongside dishes in your party colours, and then top it off with a sign at the back of your table. Do what works best for your particular event!
WINTER THEMED COCKTAILS & DRINKS
When the temperature drops, winter themed drinks such as hot chocolate (with a dash of Irish Whisky), butterscotch hot chocolate, warmed eggnog, mulled wine, hot caramel cocktail, or the delicious sticky date martini (sticky date pudding in cocktail form - my mouth waters at the mere thought of it) are your best bets. Snuggled up near the fire, best gals around, warm beverage in hand; it's a dream on those cold winter days!
If you want to zone in on the 'chill' factor, slushies with added punch (i.e. vodka or gin) or chilled drinks in your palette colours (e.g. snow cap cocktail, chocolate martinis, or the amazing toblerone cocktail) are bound to go down a treat!
DECORATE IN STYLE
Winter themed decorations should make your guests feel warm, cosy and happy.
We love using natural items and textures to help create this beautiful ambience. Indoor plants add stunning greenery, fairy lights add a subtle yet beautiful glow to the room (grab these out of your Christmas box to save yourself some money), fire creates warmth and wintery feels (open fire, fire pit, candles or candlesticks - they all work!), sticks painted white add a frosty feel and pinecones (painted white or left natural) draw the mind to winters gone by.
Burlap or twine work wonders when attached to jars (which can hold the flickering light of a small candle) or vases. Burlap also makes for a beautiful table runner. Wooden pallets can be incorporated into your day to create stylish indoor picnic tables (or outdoor, if the weather permits), complete with comfortable rugs, throws and cushions.
Gold accents will add a bit of elegance to your celebration. Gold rimmed wine glasses, a couple of gold candle holders, gold cutlery, or even some edible gold glitter sprinkled over sweet dishes is bound to impress. Don't overdo it with this colour, though - subtle hints will make the biggest impact!
And finally, make sure your beautiful guests keep warm by providing chunky woollen blankets to wrap around themselves outside, maybe some mittens and beanies too!
PLAY SOME WINTER THEMED GAMES
When it comes to pre-wedding celebrations, there are an abundance of games for you to choose from (for bridal shower game inspiration, click here; for hen party game ideas, click here). But if it's winter themed games for adults you're after, the following tweaks to classic options may be of interest!
Write down a list of scenarios that remind you of winter (for example, 'Snowball fights', 'Ice Skating', 'Snowboarding', 'Frozen', etc.). At the party, break guests up into small teams and assign one of the scenarios to each of them. It is then their job to create a photo or selfie that relates to that scene within 2 minutes! Click here to view full game instructions.
DO YOU WANT TO BUILD A SNOWMAN?
Split guests into groups (with at least 3 members each) and ask them to create a snow(wo)man bride within 10 minutes using ONLY toilet paper (you can find bamboo and recycled toilet paper here)! This is achieved by dressing one team member by throwing, wrapping, twisting, etc. toilet paper over their body. Once the time is up, have each of the snowmen strut their stuff and have the host pick best frozen fellow!
Alternative: Split guests into teams and hand each of them their own box of random items (for example, cushions, blankets, ribbons, etc.). Ask teams to transform one of their members into a snowman using ONLY the items from their box! When 10 minutes is up, the snowmen put on a show (if they can move!) and the bride/host awards their favourite with a prize!
This is one of my favourite winter themed party games for those heading out and about! Make a list of wintery items that guests have to find and photograph themselves with. For example, drinking a cocktail in an ice bar, holding a box of the bride's favourite icy-poles, eating an ice-cream, next to a snowman they've built out of random items, etc. Have a prize for the team/individual who finds (and photographs) everything on their list first!
ENJOY SOME WINTER THEMED ACTIVITIES
COCKTAIL CLASS WITH A WINTERY TWIST
So much fun to make and incredibly delicious, what's not to love about a cocktail masterclass?! Learn how to create the best of the best winter inspired cocktails at the hands of a pro. Or, request master teachings for your bride-to-be's favourite mix! After you've all worked your magic with a shaker, you can enjoy sipping on your creations by a crackling fire.
HIT THE SLOPES
Whether you go for the day or the weekend, heading to the snow is the ultimate winter activity! Snowball fights, skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, falling (so much falling!), laughing and keeping warm by a giant open fire. What more could an adventure loving hen want?!
ICE BAR EXEPERIENCE
Rather than heading up the mountain, find the chill closer to home. An ice bar experience brings the freezing climate to the city; meaning you can rug up and enjoy some ice-cold fun before stepping outside into what will feel like a warm breeze! Be sure to enjoy some delish cocktails and snap many a photo in this unique environment before leaving!
Treat your best friend and her girls to an all-round pamper sesh. But rather than playing it safe, encourage everyone to have a bit of fun and try a bold, new, wintery look!
For example, if you're getting a makeup artist in, perhaps ask that she take inspiration from the cooler months; resulting in stunning winter themed makeup. Similarly, a nail technician may choose to paint gorgeous little snowflakes, create glittery masterpieces or take inspiration from a winter colour palette.
Depending on your budget, there are a couple of ways to introduce a snap happy area to your celebration:
Save some cash and DIY it with a beautiful backdrop. Take a look around your venue and find an area that would be suitable. This could be anywhere from a plain wall (wooden or white would be perfect for this theme) through to a stunning outdoor view. If you want to give your background a bit of 'WOW factor', this can be done using streamers (in your theme colours) hanging down from the ceiling, florals, balloon garlands, or even by bringing the outdoors in (think wooden stumps, greenery, etc.).
Simple blackboards and chalk make great props (as they allow guests to write their own messages/speech bubbles which will DEFINITELY get more and more hilarious as the night goes on!). It’s also a good idea to write phrases on some of the boards before the party starts (‘[Name’s] hen’s party’, 'Party Time', 'Kiss the Miss Goodbye', 'Baby it's COLD Outside!', 'Snow Much Fun', etc.).
If you do want to include actual props, these can be found in most party shops or via Etsy. You could also hit up some op shops and keep a lookout for wintery outfits/costumes that won’t cost a fortune. Warm hats, funny glasses, big jackets, giant mittens and more would be great for filling your prop basket with.
For this DIY option, let guests use their own cameras or phones to capture images. One celebration I went to had a selfie stick set up at the perfect height - all we had to do was pop our phone in on timer and voila, instant photobooth!
If the thought of DIYing this activity causes more stress than excitement, actual photobooth companies can be brought in to help. Ranging from booths through to mirrors, there's an option for everyone's style. And most importantly, such businesses can customise the photo strip to suit your celebration (i.e. your hen's name, accompanied by snowflakes, can grace the strip if you wish!).
WINTER EDIBLES - COOKING OR SIMPLY ENJOYING
There are so many incredibly delicious meals associated with the winter months. Warm, filling - perfect when paired with a glass of wine! Why not take advantage of the wonderful foodstuff on offer by either learning how to make it yourself (hello cheeky cooking class!), or by visiting a local winter themed restaurant (open fire a must).
If you'd prefer to stay in for the celebration, there is also the option of hiring a personal chef for the party. They will not only whip up a fabulous restaurant quality meal to be enjoyed around the table at home, but will also let you in on a few little secret when it comes to cooking delectable food!
And finally, if you're feeling a little competitive, you could challenge everyone to a gingerbread decorating contest. Whether they be shaped like little men, snowflakes or simple shapes - ask guests to get those creative juices flowing and turn their bland biscuit base into some sort of masterpiece!
DOWNLOAD WINTER PARTY PRINTABLES
ARTICLES RELATED TO THE WINTER THEMED PARTY
If you enjoyed the winter themed party ideas above, we think you will also love the following thoughtful articles. First in the list... how to host an incredible beautiful winter wonderland bridal shower! Fun, unique and memorable, these ideas add on to those above. Then there is this beautiful, thoughtful article dedicated to personalising your best friend's celebration in an effort to make her feel as amazing as possible on her big day - click here to read it now!