PLANNING THE PERFECT PARTY ON A BUDGET

Thursday, June 1, 2017


Planning a party, a successful one at that, can be quite overwhelming with lots to consider and think about. After event styling and making decor for years, I know first hand that it can be a complex process, especially when you don't know where to start and what to spend your time and money on.

Since I'm in the midst of planning my daughter's birthday party, I thought it would be the perfect time to share some tips for planning a beautiful and successful party (no matter the celebration), while staying on a budget.


CHOOSE A THEME:

The fun part about planning a party is deciding on a theme! Whether it's a Summer Flamingo party or a Strawberry & Gingham Picnic party, this will set the basis for all your planning. Themes can also be centered around a favorite color palette (ex. white & gold, pink & yellow), as well as with your style.  Bohemian and modern vintage styles are among my favorites.

I like using Pinterest as an excellent place to gain inspiration on ideas too. Although they may not be your exact vision because parties are unique to your personal style, they are great examples to help keep you focused during the planning process. I love making inspiration boards as a road map for parties I plan. A free mobile app I really enjoy using is called POTO, for making collages. Here's an example of a recent board I made using this app, for my daughter's upcoming Enchanted Unicorn Birthday Party.


CREATING A PARTY THAT'S COHESIVE

When planning a party, some people think that they need to buy everything associated with the theme. If you're hosting a Summer Flamingo party for friends, don't feel like you need to buy Flamingo everything to tie the look together. Rather, use the color palette to keep the party decor looking cohesive. When styling parties, I like to chose a few places I want to showcase the theme: in the cake, in a creative station, and on the dessert table. All the other decor can be neutral with pops of your color scheme. This keeps the party looking visually appealing, instead of being overwhelmed with the same kind of decor.  



CAKE, CUPCAKES or SWEET TREATS?

Having a cake was typically the norm when it came to birthday parties, weddings, and other special celebrations. Now-a-days, it's all up to personal preference. Cakes are a fantastic way to really showcase your theme and they can be the statement piece to your party, just as a luxury handbag is to an outfit. Cakes can be quite elaborate, but even simple cakes can be transformed into something extraordinaire! Adding height and/or layers can amp up any cakes look. Order a semi-naked tiered cake as a cost friendly option and a cake topper and cake stand to highlight a single layered cake.

On the other spectrum, serving cupcakes and other sweet treats, in lieu of a cake have been popular for its convenience and uniqueness. Cupcakes are generally easier to serve with easy clean up.  You can always order a small cake for the celebrant and then serve cupcakes or other sweet treats to your guests. Smaller desserts also allow you to have a variety of flavors to choose from, making it more personalized for your guests. Other popular sweet treats have been donut towers and parfaits in cute jars.



WHERE TO INVEST YOUR MONEY IF YOU'RE WORKING ON A BUDGET

Parties can be a pretty penny and the most elaborate are usually planned several months in advance. If you're on a budget (like myself), concentrate most of your funds on: Entertainment, the Dessert Table/Bar and one Statement Piece. You want your guests to remember more than just pretty plates and cups, so work on the major parts of your celebration first.

For entertainment, I love setting up a station: a flower crown station or crafting station. If you're hosting a bridal shower, have a veil making station for the bride. It's fun and exciting, especially if you're holding a contest for the winner. Stations are interactive and you'll be a happy camper seeing all your guests mingling with one another. If you have a station where they will be keeping their creation, it can double up as a party favor too. Now, who doesn't love that!

The dessert table is the prettiest area of your party and where you gather to recognize your celebrant, sing Happy Birthday or hold a toast.  It's also the perfect spot to showcase your theme. So, show off your decorating skills with amazing decor and yummy treats on beautiful serving plates. You can even choose to have a bar, such as a coffee bar or Smore's bar, for something more specific and unique.

If you have room to splurge on one last thing, make it on a statement piece. It can be on a lovely garland, a large display of balloons or even a decorated back drop for guests to use as a photo booth. The point is to choose one more main thing to focus on, which can even be on the food, if you choose.

You can happily move into the little details: napkins, straws, glassware, favors, and more once the major things are set in place. You now have a perfectly planned party everyone will surely enjoy!  I hope these tips help you plan your next fabulous party! I will be posting a DIY and a "Styling a Dessert Table" post as part of this month's series. So, please stay tuned for more to come. Thanks so much for following along! xo

Warmly ~  

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by mlekoshi