I’ve always said that if I wasn’t in nursing school my dream job would be to have my own party planning business. There was a time when my sisters and I were really serious about it, and even looked into renting a warehouse space. Who knows maybe in the future our little dream job will become a reality?
For now I want to share with you guys some party planning tips that I’ve learned throughout the years of hosting birthday parties, gender reveals, bridal and baby showers.
1. Knowing When to DIY & When to BUY
I’m ALL for a good DIY project…for James’ Game of Thrones party I did a ton of DIY’s that were super simple and really dressed everything up. However, in some situations DIY’ing can end up being pricier than just buying it already done. For example, the hedge wall. We were seriously considering making our own, but when we added up the cost of all the supplies and compared it to the cost of renting. It was a no brainer. Unless you’re planning on using the wall multiple times, just rent it.
2. Have a Signature Cocktail
This is probably my favorite tip. Not only will people love “your attention to detail” but it’ll also save you tons of money on alcohol. Just buy the ingredients you need, and you’re done! This was a kid’s party, so we didn’t go crazy on the alcohol but obviously we wanted the parents pleased (& a little buzzed.) Since the theme was “Sophie’s Citrus Soirée” we had Aperol Spritz, and a delicious cocktail made with prosecco & a splash of San Pellegrino Momenti Clementine & Peach.
3. Decor with Dual Purpose
HomeGoods and Amazon Prime are your besties when it comes to decorating the party. Trust, it’s not as expensive as it sounds, and it looks WAY more chic than anything you would find at Party City. Plus, these decorations can later be used to decorate around the house! We got a ton of cute & affordable vases, candle sticks, and even the mirrors we hung on the hedge wall from HomeGoods!
4. Decorate the Cake Yourself
I do this for EVERY party. Not only does it give the cake a personal and unique look, it also saves you some extra money! I always go to Publix or a local bakery and either get a plain white cake or ask for a specific frosting design. Then I jazz it up on my own using fresh flowers, leaves, fruit, candy, whatever matches. For this particular cake, I just ordered a vanilla cake from Publix, with an extra layer (to give it height) and asked them to do a “brushstroke effect” with the buttercream. Then I added some eucalyptus and clementine’s for that extra razzle dazzle.
5. Always Check the Weather
Then double check it! Miami summers = rain showers every afternoon. So, we were prepared for a little rain…NOT for the full-on mini hurricane that hit us 30 minutes before the party was supposed to start.
6. Have an Indoor Alternative
Which brings me to tip #6…ALWAYS have an indoor alternative. If that’s not possible, at least try to make sure some areas are under a roof. As I mentioned, we were expecting a little rain. So thankfully our main cake table was situated right under the roof.
7. NEVER Set Up the Night Before
I know it’s tempting to have everything ready to go for the next morning, but don’t do it! If you have tables, chairs, other sturdy items then by all means go ahead. However, STAY AWAY from setting up: center pieces, table clothes, vases, flowers, BALLOONS! Reason being: Weather. Honestly maybe I’m just traumatized from our experience, but you never know!
8. Balloons HATE the Heat
One thing you REALLY shouldn’t set up the night before are balloons. We had an amazing balloon garland thanks to @balloon_creations_by_ella and one thing she told us was “Balloons hate the heat, water, and humidity.” Basically, balloons hate Miami. SO, unless you want your balloon garland shriveled and on the floor for your event, don’t set it up more than 2 hours before your outdoor party.
9. Give the People Food They Actually Want
Know your people. This was a kid’s party so a beautiful charcuterie board, although gorgeous wouldn’t have done well and would’ve just been a waste. Get food people will actually enjoy. You want your guests to leave your event feeling full and happy.
10. Don’t Open All the Food at Once!
Which brings me to the last tip, don’t open all the food at once. Chances are you’re going to have a lot of leftovers! But do you really want to save finger sandwiches that have bene sitting out all day? No thank you. My advice, just serve what’s necessary and restock as needed.
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