Styling tips for your Christmas events

Every year we encounter a few clients who are short on time for taking care of their ‘End of Year Celebrations’. As a result we have become quite savvy at navigating these short turnarounds to ensure them a spectacular event regardless.

This week JAK Creative worked with our friends at A LIST Guide to create an Express Guide to Christmas styling. You can read the original article here or read on for the JAKspiration version!


Your Christmas event venue is locked in, catering is sorted and the guest list is confirmed. But what about styling?

Fear not – A LIST Guide has you covered! Here, Kerryn Howell, creative director at JAK Creative & Events, answers our burning questions about event styling for Christmas parties.

Oh no! I’ve completely forgotten to organise styling. What are some last-minute tips to make my event look amazing?

When you’re short on time, start with Christmas crackers. ‘But what if I’m having a cocktail party?’ I hear you say. Doesn’t matter! This still works.

Often Christmas crackers is a detail people think of last, but if you start there it can inform your linen colour palette and other details like graphics for invites, holding slides and menu.

Even the supermarkets are stocking amazing Christmas crackers, so you don’t need to look far for your solution!

Seriously! Look at this! What an inspired colour palette of lavender, red, mint and teal with white polka dots. Kmart. Say no more. $2 for 8 crackers (stop it!)

Also, if you are short on time, ask the venue about what they’ve done before and ask for photos – this will give you an insight into what works well in their space.

Make it your own by adding splashes of party style and personality, but the great thing is you’re not reinventing the wheel and many teething challenges will have already been overcome.

Lastly, ask your event designer or stylist. We always have loads of ideas on standby and can very easily give clients inspiration for quick solutions. We know what is available, what’s trending and what is easy to turn around quickly.

This alone can save you heaps of time and will give you great results. Just give us the lead and let us make it easy for you. That’s our job after all!

Do I have to stick to red and green? What colour palettes are on trend for Christmas?

Christmas this year can be described as ‘anything goes!’ We are seeing lots of sophisticated looks as well as some playful and fun interpretations.

Many designers are choosing a traditional Christmas colour and teaming it with something unexpected. Think red with hot pink and green with teal. Refer to cool crackers pictured above.

Botanical Christmas is also hot right now, so lots of green hues with pops of gold and modern embellishments looks very cool.

MCI_MaryKay@PlazaBalloom - Table9_Edited
A spectacular table scape of tropical foliage and pops of colour set off with gold cutlery, gold charger plates and crystal stemware for a sophisticated and dramatic Christmas setting.

Copper is starting to sneak away (oh how we shall miss you!) and silver is making an entrance. Try soft Australian eucalyptus with charcoals, grey tones and silver. Brushed silver for details and chrome for metallic furniture accents and grey tones for linen are gorgeous.

Pastel palettes are also popular for Christmas styling and we are seeing more of ‘champagne’, which is a very soft metallic hue. White, champagne and blush make a wonderful sophisticated cocktail soiree palette this year.

I have a very limited budget – does this mean I have to scrap styling altogether?

Absolutely not! Making an impact is about creating a shift, a change in perspective, an exceeded expectation or element of surprise and delight.

These shifts are possible and made memorable with some thoughtful decisions and commitment to keeping the experience for your guests front of mind.

It is far better bang for your buck to choose one or two statement areas for wow factor rather than allocating ‘dribs and drabs’ to every area of your event.

It’s completely acceptable to have a simple centrepiece if you have a fabulous entrance. Or if your entertainment is important and people will be focusing on the stage, spend your money making that space amazing.

Investigate if your venue has any complimentary items such as tea light votives, candelabra, mirror bases or special furniture.

Utilising in-house items can allow you to stretch your budget further. The trick with using these items is to make it feel intended and integrate their items with your overall look.

Any last tips?

IKEA or Kmart! Seriously, if hiring someone to design and decorate for you is not an option then these stores are a great solution. Every year both stores release cheap and fabulous options for styling tables and creating centrepieces.

And if you choose wisely you could re-purpose these items for decorating your reception or office or even give them away to some well deserving employees for their personal Christmas celebrations.

If you need assistance creating and styling a memorable event, contact JAK Creative & Events.

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