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Winter Wonderland – Tips on Hosting Events in Winter

June is the coldest month in Johannesburg, with temperatures plummeting into the negative end of the thermometer. Over the years we’ve picked up some skills on the job to battle the frigid conditions. Here’s how we keep it cosy when the weather is chilly.

Cold weather should never mean a boring party. On the contrary – the cooler weather allows for a diverse range of themes and decor such as Winter Wonderland, Blue and White, Christmas in July and many more.


In order to keep your guests warm we advise erecting a tent with sides and keeping the sides down and securely fastened to ensure that no through draft or wind gets in. Not only will this help ensure that the cold air does not get in it will ensure that the heat stays in, thus keeping your guests warm.


Once you have your structure up, we advise laying some sort of flooring. Flooring can include wooden decking, a checkerboard dance floor and/or carpets. By adding the flooring you are preventing coldness creeping up through the ground – this is crucial especially if hosting a function outdoors. The added benefit of flooring is that you will prevent condensation occurring in the evening during your event which will further add to the plummeting temperature. And let’s be honest, no lady likes her beautiful heels sinking into the grass!


You now have a fairly well insulated shell to work with. To further increase the comfort of your guests and keep them warm we suggest including some standing gas heaters. These heaters provide wonderful heat continuously and effortlessly throughout the event.

When you start adding your tables and chairs, the addition of tablecloths, cushions, napkins and other table settings – the nature of the fabrics will help warm the room. We suggest avoiding too many large metal items that hold onto cold temperatures and rather go for fabric and soft lush items such as throws and carpets in a variety of textures such as faux fur, rich cottons, luxurious silks and soft wools.


Create a warm welcome to your event using some fires outsides, a red carpet, some welcome beverages and your guests will be excited to attend your event that they will forget about the cold. When the guests walk into the area make sure the area is lit with soft lighting and lots of candles. We advise using lighting in a pink hue versus a red hue. Pink has a warming effect without the hostility and burlesque feel of red lighting.

Winter lends itself to having fun with a multitude of season specific colours. Why not pair rich burgundy with glistening gold, or deep navy with sparkling silver. Another wonderful set of colour combinations include hunter’s green and sandy beige or bright white and pastel blue to create a winter wonderland setup.


Cold temperatures do not have to ruin your event. Rather use the cold temperature to your advantage and serve warm and comforting food and drinks. Here are some ideas for your party.


– Rich and spicy Gluhwein
– Individual soup servings in an espresso mug
– Spicy samoosas and spring rolls
– Curry and Rice with Poppadums
– Mini pies including chicken and mushroom, beef and stout or vegetable.


Lastly warm up the party with a good music set to get everyone up and dancing. There is nothing better than ending a night with a good disco on the dance floor to get the blood pumping and the fun flowing.