by Edited by Lisa A. Grimaldi | November 07, 2011

Champagne in glassesFridays and Saturdays are peak times for holiday parties; booking on a slower weekday could save as much as 10-15 percent. If you're happy with the venue, signing a two- to three-year contract could result in lower food-and-beverage minimums. And if your venue is a hotel or restaurant, ask if they will donate a gift certificate that can be raffled off during your party. Thanks to Patricia Fernandez, director of catering at the InterContinental Tampa (, for the tips.