Sunday, December 30, 2012

Party Planning 101: Part One

Hello my name is Lisa, and I have a crush on Pinterest.

A little late to the game, yes. But I've been so hooked on it lately for all things party-planning. Technically, I'm not throwing a New Year's Eve bash this year, but as I said in my last post I have such a fun time planning parties and events and such. NYE always seems like the perfect time to throw a fun party with family and friends, or even to schedule a nice reunion with old friends from back home.

As fun as a party sounds, I think the plan for this year is simple: a calm evening at home involving a bonfire and fireworks with family, The Boy, and nice cup of homemade hot chocolate (recipe will come in 2013! YAY!).

However, for those of you spontaneous folks who DO want throw a party this NYE - or any party at any other time in the future - here are a few party-planning tips I've learned through the years.

Once you've made your guest list, pick a fun theme to incorporate throughout the party. You can work this into the decorations, the food, the attire, whatever you choose. If you're a planner and make preperations in advance, invitations are always a great idea to give your guests a heads-up of the theme and dress of the event (formal, casual, etc.). You won't necessarily have to state the theme on your invite, but I've found it fun to apply your theme to the design.

If you're buying rather than designing invites, there are some great designs out there that will likely give you some inspiration. Remember, this is YOUR party, make it personal and put your own spin on it!

Check out these invites I found via Pinterest...classy :)

Pink invite via Zazzle
Formal Invite via Southern Fried Paper
Fun invite via SBVintageAndDesign

If you're spontaneous, though, a simple phone call will work just fine!

A theme can be anything from period costumes (Downton Abbey, anyone?), a "Who Dunnit?" mystery theme, or something as simple as "Happy New Year!" and "Silver and White," making your color scheme very easy.

Don't fret if you're lacking in the theme department, though. A few years ago I hosted a NYE/reunion party for my old friends from high school. Basically, the day before, my mom and I raided a party store and found all sorts of tinsel, banners, even a NYE ball to drop on the cheap and just had fun with it! Our Christmas decorations were still up, so it was already a festive atmosphere. Trust me, your theme (or lack thereof) will NOT make or break your party. I'm a party-planning nerd, so I get into these things!

Oh, these are FUN. Decorations can be anything from extravagant to simple and still work with your theme. Bonus: They don't have to empty your wallet to look fun and fancy!

I've found that various party supply stores will have all you need and more, and if you catch them at the right time they can actually be pretty affordable. (HINT: Buy next year's NYE Party decor as soon as 2013 hits the calendar, ha! Clearance sales rock.) However, basic party supplies and DIY projects can go a long way.

Here are more Pinterest finds (NONE of these photos are mine, so check my page for all of the sources!)

  • Check out that first beauty. What is it about an outdoor setting at night with candles? It's just radiant and can really set the mood for a get-together, no matter the size. This setting wouldn't be terribly expensive, depending on how many candles and the types that you want to use. Wal-Mart sells them in packs of 50, and even Sam's sells these in bulk - both at very reasonable prices. If you don't have votives, try out clear jars (like empty baby food jars, without the label), or use candles of different sizes in various-sized jars. Don't be afraid to experiment!
  • The second picture is a great example of the "Silver and White" theme I mentioned earlier. Simple touches like white and silver balloons with curled string can add a fun effect. Bonus points for clear balloons with confetti in them - festive, yes?!
  • Mason jars. Aaaah, the mason jars. If you grew up in the South, you grew up using a mason jar in some fashion. For me, my grandmother met us at the door with one of these guys filled with ice and cold Coca-Cola. If you're weaving gold into your theme/color scheme, this would be fun touch, whether for your drinks or just decoration. You could use them as holders for straws, forks, party horns, etc.

    I'm not a huge fan of the completely painted look in this picture, so for my imaginary party I would most likely leave the jar clear and tie a wide glittery or festive ribbon around the center, or cover the lid in either paint or glitter that matched my color scheme. (I'm a bit of a fan of glitter ;) )
  • Oh, these votives. I heart these little lovelies. There's a short description of how to create these on Pinterest, but I found this tutorial to be really helpful. A seemingly small addition to your decor that will have a great effect. (P.S. I REALLY like glitter! :) )


Ohhhh how I love parties! And glitter! Did I mention that already?

Next post is coming soon, and will involve the best parts!!! Food and desserts! Fun fun fun!

Ciao bellas!


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