Jamie Cremin started her dream career in New York City, planning events for a famous music venue, and then brought her expertise to Michigan to create Luxury Life Events and open Sullivan's Public House in Oxford with her husband.
As an event planner and restaurant owner, she said she has seen a lot of industry changes this year. She and her husband introduced protocols in February in their restaurant to ensure guest and employee safety, such as table service hand sanitizing, social distancing and glove wearing, and have taken every precaution since then to make sure they are a part of the solution. Learn more at luxurylifebyjamie.com or call (646)-207-3174.
Outdoor gatherings will be tough for the holidays. How can I set up my indoor space the safest way possible?
The first thing I recommend is to rearrange all chairs and furniture in your gathering space, so that it gives a comfortable distance apart from one another without feeling like you are at a socially-distanced meeting. Guests will go where they are guided and typically respect the space and setup of a host's home over a restaurant, which makes it easier to create the space you desire. Make hand sanitizer easy to find (a pump is best) and coordinate the colors and fragrances to your holiday theme. A great way to start any party off on the right foot this year is by simply stating your expectations and concerns, if any, up front.
How can I socially distance my guests during the meal?
You can simply space out your glassware and napkin settings for more guest room. A simple way to measure good spacing is by sitting at each place setting, putting your hands above the center of the plate with just the top of your middle fingers touching and pointing both elbows out to either side. For your napkins, consider a disposable option this year; for your glassware, personalize it not only for a lovely personalized gift but also because it takes away the worries of picking up someone else's glass; for your plateware, try handwriting names on each plate with a washable paint marker; for your silverware, make sure to have more than enough prepared as each utensil should only be used for one dish.
What should I serve?
If you are considering a buffet, add a lovely touch of someone to serve your guests; however, I would highly recommend a plated meal served by one or a team of designated people (please note that this can be executed with your appetizers, as well!). An individualized plate instead of multiple guests reaching over various dishes is your safest bet. For your cocktails and bar, a designated wine pourer would be appreciated, or for a fun twist, do a cocktail-making class where each guest has their own glass, sugar cubes, mint, berries, tools and other pre-portioned ingredients needed.
Any suggestions if I do decide to host outdoors?
If you do opt for an outdoor event, provide a well-heated and vented tent. Tents should be placed on concrete and put up a day in advance to heat the concrete flooring. The pluses to this idea would be more space and fresh air. The same serving suggestions would still apply; however, an all-disposable plate and silverware option would be the way to go.