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     As temperatures drop and the first snow falls in Tennessee, you may be wondering how to bring warmth to your event. With the cold outside, it’s even more important to bring coziness inside. Miriam-Webster defines cozy as “small, comfortable, and warm…friendly and pleasant…suggesting or showing a closeness between two people, groups, businesses, etc….very close”. Coziness is created through a blend of physical and emotional comfort.

     Three ways to create physical comfort are achieving a comfortable temperature, through food, and by welcoming dècor. The specific venue will provide many parameters in how to balance these aspects. A fire is a good method of bringing in warmth. It has the added bonus of instantly brightening spirits so if you can arrange for a lit fireplace or two and candles liberally placed everywhere you can double your impact. If you will have a gift or favor for guests consider scarves as they give warmth and are soft. For food, serve warm, home-style dishes and hot, spiced drinks. Be intentional about presentation, though. This is a special event so spruce up those settings! For dècor, it’s ok to use darker colors, but go with warm undertones and make sure to include some light colored accents. Jewel tones in red, purple, teal, and green are welcoming and still energizing. If you can incorporate soft fabrics and shapes that will enhance the sense of physical ease. Just don’t forget that good structure is still important.

     For emotional comfort, music is invaluable in creating a cozy setting. If you hope for a lot of conversation, go with instrumental only music so that lyrics won’t become distracting. If you can create fun, but simple games at individual tables this can help break the ice and stimulate good conversation. Also, think about seating arrangements. Who is sitting together? How is the table set up? Is there both order and detail in the place settings? Too sparse dècor can give a feeling of emptiness to the area, but if it’s too cluttered it becomes stressful.

     Emotional and physical coziness really are tied together. Each one influences the other so making something more physically comfortable will have an emotional effect and vice versa. Here’s to events that bring warmth and welcome even when it is cold outside.

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