If I’ve realized anything over the past couple years, especially since starting Designtwentyfive, it’s that I LOVE planning parties! And if I’m being completely honest, I think I might love the dreaming and the planning and the decorating more than the actual party itself. But, of course, I love that part too!
I recently took a poll on the ole ‘gram to see if you guys would like a behind the scenes look at how I plan a party and the answer was an overwhelming YES. So here we are. I thought I’d share a few key tips for the planning phase (since I’m currently right in the middle of it!), as well as some of the decorations I’ve already purchased, and then after his party, I’ll share more of the details & specifics!
Here we go…
TIPS FOR PLANNING A PARTY
1. Start planning way earlier than you think is “appropriate”.
People laughed at me when I started talking about Henry’s birthday 6 months in advance, but the reality is, life gets crazy and the more time you can spend daydreaming about your plans, the more organized you’ll feel when it gets down to crunch time. I didn’t actually DO anything for his birthday until about 6 weeks before, but I had a Pinterest board started months ago that I could pin my ideas too. Then it was just time to streamline.Source: Pinterest board.
2. Send out your invites about one month prior.
I’ve always been a “the earlier the better” type when it comes to invites. Once your plans are dialed in as far as theme, date, time, location, there’s really no reason not to. Shop around for invites a couple weeks before you want to mail them out, so you have time to find the perfect one & have them printed. PRO TIP: Have the guest and return addresses printed for you! It’s a great time saver and place to splurge a little – trust me, it’s worth every penny (your hand will thank me later) and creates a WOW factor for your guests…double whammy! You can grab this invitation design here.
One of the questions I get asked often is how do you find time to plan a party in the middle of regular life (i.e. mommin’, workin’, cleaning the house, etc), and while it seems simple, having the envelopes already addressed saves SO MUCH time – I mailed 50 Christmas Cards out in ten minutes because all I had to do was stuff, seal & stamp.
Now for the fun stuff...
3. Give yourself a budget.
Ok, I know I said fun stuff, but you need to know how much you can spend on the fun stuff, right?! Think of what’s most important to you first. For me, I know decorations are high on my list of priorities, then food & drinks. Some people are the other way around. Pick what is most important to YOU and give yourself the most to spend there.
4. Visualize your space.
As I just said, decorations are easily my favorite part of planning but it’s super easy to go overboard or end up buying things you don’t use/need. I highly recommend looking at your space & picking 2-3 focal points. In my case, we’re hosting the party at our house, so I picked kitchen/food area, dining room hutch & table, and mantle. These are all relatively close together, so I don’t need to go wild in any one place because it will all flow together. If you’ve read my other party features, you’ll know I’m a big fan of creating vignettes throughout the party instead of decorating every inch of your space.
So let’s talk decorations, shall we? The great thing about visualizing your space and purchasing products based around your ideas is that you’ll save tons of time when it comes to decorating AND save money! I’m going to lay out my ideas for my three spaces in hopes that it will help give you some ideas for your own party, but you’ll have to come back for The Reveal in February to see it come to life!
Source: 100 Layer Cake
The Mantle: This was the first space I thought of when I was planning. The way our house is set up, it’s smack in the middle of our living/dining room, so it’s a main focal point. Here’s what I’m doing for that space:
- Colored Streamer backdrop (You can also get these at the Dollar Store)
- Paper Pinwheels & Tissue Fans in front of the streamers
- Expanding Tissue Garland
- 30” TWO Balloons (I got these on Amazon, but they aren’t here yet, so I’ll update after I verify the quality!)
All of this adds depth & fun while being relatively inexpensive. I’ll link all the items for you (not affiliate, just like to help a sista out!).
Source: Balloon Garland | Fiesta Tablescape
The Dining Room: I’m probably most excited about this because I’m going to tackle my first Balloon Garland! I’ve read blog after blog that highly recommend using a balloon pump, balloon decorating strip & balloon tying tool so you better believe I snagged those. The great thing about these is that they are reusable for future parties so it’s more of an investment!
- Balloons for balloon garland: I’m using these & these from Studio Pep that I sell in the shop, as well as a generic pack in case I need more fluff.
- Serape Table Runners: I considered this my “splurge piece” because it’s not something I can really see myself reusing, but they would be great for future fiestas! Also, they come out to about $6/ea so really not that expensive of a splurge.
- I plan to get some faux succulents/cactus to make a centerpiece but haven’t landed on details yet.
The Kitchen/Food Area: We’re planning a taco bar, chips & dips, maybe some churros and of course, mama’s favorite, margaritas! I know it’s a kid party, but ya gotta get the grown-ups there somehow ;)
- Tassel Garland
- “2” Balloon
- Fiesta Inspired plates, cups & napkins from our shop
- I’ll also probably use some of the extra decorations from other spaces like the streamers & paper fans to create a backdrop here as well!
Alright friends, I think that about covers my main tips for the planning phase! I hope that you found this helpful for any type of party, not just a Taco TWOsday Fiesta. As always, if you have anything to add or fun tips you want to share, please comment below! I love hearing from y’all!
Before I wrap this up, a sort of random point I want to make, in hopes that someone can relate… its okay to go a little wild with parties if it brings you joy! It’s part of celebrating a milestone and the memories last a lifetime! During my whole planning phase for Henry’s 2nd birthday, I’ve been concerned about what other people will think when they get here and it’s a full-blown fiesta! But then I remembered it doesn’t matter what they think – I’m doing this for Henry & for me and creating fun memories for us! So party on, sister!