Plan a holiday party like the pros with Bronson van Wyck and Fiona Leahy

A beige holiday party invitation with a green fringe border, surrounded by holiday themed props like a cocktail and a party cracker.
Paperless Post Blog > Holidays > Plan a holiday party like the pros with Bronson van Wyck and Fiona Leahy

‘Tis the season for holiday hosting, toasting, and promoting your brand that’s both classy and on-brand. If you’re at the helm of navigating a professional soirée at the year’s end, Paperless Post has everything you need to prep and plan for a memorable (and very merry) holiday party that can serve as both a thank you to your loyal customers, and a preview of what’s to come for your company.  

With our easy-to-use professional event management features and Personal Design Services—offering unique, fully customized artwork, monograms, and more for truly standout invitations—you can incorporate important elements from your brand into your special holiday event. 

Hosting a large brand event this holiday season? Whether you’re celebrating a new book release with a Christmas cocktail party, fêting an exciting product launch with a glam winter gala, or hosting a press or PR event that will have guests buzzing with cheer, upgrading to Paperless Post Plus allows you to unlock a sleigh-full of our smartest customization and management features that are perfect for your festive fête. 

Meet the experts
Fiona Leahy is a professional event planner and designer.
Images courtesy of Fiona Leahy and Bronson van Wyck.


But customized invitations are only one aspect of making a holiday event all your own. To find out how to turn your party into an unforgettable branding moment, we spoke with two sought-after professionals—Fiona Leahy, an in-demand event planner known for hosting elaborate, elegant parties for celebrity clientele and the NYC fashion elite, and Bronson van Wyck, one of the world’s leading experts on hospitality whose entertaining style blends sophistication and Southern charm—to score their top tips and tricks for festivities that feel like your brand.

Increase your brand recognition

When planning your holiday party, incorporating your brand’s essence, personality, and identity should be at the top of your to-do list. 

“I really love embracing a brand’s identity and creativity,” Ms. Leahy says. “For example, I would use an element of a brand’s aesthetic and heighten it for the holidays with a save the date, menus, etc. Visually replicating a brand’s aesthetic and using the creative elements from a brand’s DNA helps to create a successful and authentic event.” 

Mr. van Wyck adds that brand recognition is important, but it’s a delicate balance. “Rather than overwhelming guests with overt branding, the magic often lies in subtlety,” he says. “Think of it as weaving your brand seamlessly into the fabric of the event, with discreet touches like branded cocktail napkins, logos on plates, or blind embossing on printed materials.”

Opt for more general winter-inspired themes that hint at seasonal elegance (think: gilded accents, greenery, and cool blue hues) vs. overdone holiday motifs. You can also start highlighting your branding before the party event starts simply by uploading your logo, watermark, or color palette to your invitations using Paperless Post’s Upload Your Own Logo feature, or add your logo to your invitation emails with Replace Our Logo feature—available with Paperless Post Plus.

Master your guest list

A graphic holiday party invitation with cocktail glasses and shaker next to an illustration of Paperless Post’s Guest Tags feature.
“Montmorency” by Paperless Post


Brand or corporate events often have higher stakes when it comes to the guest list. Impress your VIP party-goers with seamless logistics, transportation, and check-in. 

With a knack for orchestrating large-scale luxury events with star-studded attendees, Ms. Leahy shares her key to success: “We always have a ‘facebook’ for seating, arrivals, and departures.” The facebooks include images of the guests so hostesses are familiar with who is who. But, she adds, “A brand event doesn’t have the same degree of familiarity. You have to pay particular attention to seating and other elements to do with VIPs to ensure a seamless and successful event.”   

Mr. van Wyck adds that your guest list can serve as an extension of your brand at the event. “Brand events feature meticulously curated guest lists that revolve around attendees who effectively embody their desired image. Within these curated lists a further layer of exclusivity often exists—VIPs who typically include industry influencers, key clients, or high-ranking executives. VIP guests are accorded distinct privileges, such as designated seating, exclusive access, or personalized experiences. As such, it becomes imperative to track their arrivals and monitor their whereabouts throughout the event,” he shares.

For a successful and superior on-site experience, Paperless Post’s professional event management platform allows you to create custom Guest Surveys, Guest Tags, and on-site Guest Check-in using our app. Every sophisticated Paperless Post invitation allows you to easily add contacts, track opens and RSVPs, communicate with guests and ask questions, schedule and send event reminders, and appoint holiday party co-hosts.

Serve up your holiday party with a side of hospitality

Both of our party pros agree that adding small touches of personalization go a long way—and that, above all else, your event should be authentic to your brand. “There’s no one type of festive!” says Ms. Leahy. “If you are a minimalist brand, stick to that. Keep things authentic, but most importantly fun and on-brand.”

Of course, you want your guests to remember your holiday party long after it’s over. When it comes to making your party memorable, little details make a huge impact, says Mr. van Wyck, who insists that even “small touches of holiday hospitality” can make even the biggest events feel intimate. “Perhaps it’s a treat left on each place setting—something that guests can take home as a reminder of the event. These tokens need not be extravagant; a simple, thoughtful gesture suffices to convey that genuine consideration was invested in every detail,” he says. 

Creating a custom URL and adding password protection is a simple, yet sophisticated detail that takes your event from ordinary to exclusive. In addition, upgrading to Paperless Post Plus allows you to add even more fun, branded details with Premium Blocks, including photo galleries, speaker bios, accommodation information, and more without cluttering your holiday party invitation.

Brand your holiday party with Paperless Post

The holiday season is the perfect time to gather your clients, customers, and community and celebrate a year’s worth of achievements—as well as all the excitement that lies ahead for your brand. So pop the bubbly, prep your nice list (and your guest list), and start planning your professional holiday event with the help of Paperless Post’s event management tools and Plus features. Merry everything!


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