Last week, my daughter Thea and I were invited by Party City to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina to attend a four-day/eight-parties weekend extravaganza. The sponsored series of events included attending a Football Kickoff Party, a Baby Shower, a Carnival, a Spongebob Birthday Party, a Rock Star Party, a Halloween Party, an Oscar Worthy Movie Night and a Girls Night-In Party. Whew, I am exhausted but inspired!
Each evening before we retired, (or a few hours before the party depending on timing), Thea and I would receive an invitation to our next party. It created such an excitement for us. But is this not what invitations are suppose to do - to create a sense of anticipation for the party?
Tara Riceberg, a celebrity event planner and home stylist (you will be hearing more about her as she is joining The Succulent Wife as a monthly contributor) states that the invitation sets the tone for the party, which is key to tell your guests what they can expect. Here are some more of Tara's tips to guarantee a successful party, one that will really get your guests in the mood:
1. If you are on a limited budget focus on "table-scaping":
- For a Buffet - use boxes and books as risers for the table. When you throw a table cloth over it, it creates a dramatic effect to display the serving plates. Use a dry eraser to write what food is being served on little mirrors, picture frames themed items beside the serving dishes.
1 table scaping
- For a sit-down dinner - Layer the tablecloths for a dramatic effect. Think outside the box by using such "props" as candy in a beautiful glass bowl as a center piece. Use Chinese takeout boxes for your guests to take home the candy and don't go home empty-handed.
2. Think window space is wall space. Use streamers, stick-ups and balloons on the windows.
3 windows as wall space
3. Decorate the floor too. Hardwood and ceramic floors are an easy surface on which to add decorative, themed stick-ons.
4 decorate the floor
4. Use wearables as decorations. Tutus can hang over lamp shades or put three together to hang on the door as a wreath. Costume bling rings, necklaces and faux jewels can adorn tabletops to add to the decor. The great thing is that all the wearables can be taken home by the guests as party favors. Tie boas, hats or other large wearables to the back of chairs.
5 wearables as decor
5. Wall covers that are perfect backdrops to transform a room.
6 wall covers
6. Style the menu to match the theme.
7 themed menu
7. Be creative in blocking "off limit" areas. Use votives on a stairway or if you have children at the party, use bundles of Christmas lights on the first six flights of stairs. It will keep people from going up the stairs and also create a nice ambiance with a dramatic lighting effect. Also think of hanging accents to block entrances.
7 off limits areas
8. Balloons, balloons, balloons. They can make a dramatic entrance or fill a large space that costs very little.
9 use balloons
9. Most importantly, enjoy yourself! It is your party also. Don't sweat the small stuff (because no one will notice anyway). If you are worried about throwing a big party, start off small. It is all about having fun with your friends.
THANK YOU Party City & team for a most memorable 4 days. My parties will never be the same after this!