In the last few weeks, Tom and I have both been involved in a lot of different parties. Not all have been covered on the blog yet. The baby shower for Esther is the only one I’ve really shown. But I did want to share some of my favorite event planning sites. I can’t visit these without inspiration, wanting to throw a party, and wondering just how much it costs to pull some of those things off.
Amy Atlas is the “it” dessert table designer in the US. She has come up with so many different ways to make desserts look elegant. Some people even forgo a wedding cake to have her do a dessert table instead. And many celebs have her design tables for their parties and for their kids’ birthday parties. Her tables are beautiful, creative, and always well thought out, in part because they are so orderly and all lined up. It’s no wonder that she’s got the look to copy right now. I’ve seen designs that imitate Atlas’s work in party pictures all over the internet.
In fact, this beautiful table is what inspired me and my mom to use ostrich feathers for Esther’s shower:
Next up is Martha Stewart. I know, I know, nothing ground-breaking here. But her site is the one that made the template available for me to make the banner I used at Esther’s shower. Banners are wildly popular for parties right now, whether they are flags, scraps of paper or fabric, or if they spell something out, as the one I made did. The reason I chose it was that it could pull double duty: announcing that the party was for Charlotte at the shower, and later announcing that Charlotte had arrived at the hospital. Banners are a lot of time-consuming work to put together, so it’s nice to know it will get a second use. You can find the link to the free templates here.
Other examples would include this banner from Lilybella Boutique:
And this one by mom Erin (of erinandaaron.com), which I love. She made it for her twin boys’ pirate party:
Sara Malone has a blog that I follow and love. It’s called Party Perfect (or Sara’s Party Perfect to be exact), and it has all kinds of goodness. It features pictures from well-executed parties for both children and adults (and even the occasional pet). If you’re looking for inspiration for the next party you’ll throw, look no further.
Check out this picture from her site. It shows the food from a “country” themed first birthday (not as in the genre of music, but as in the location). I am in love with the table. It’s a door resting on bales of hay. So easy, so precious. And notice the banner in the background?
I also enjoy following the folks at Create My Event. They have so many fun ideas with pictures to help get your creative juices flowing.
Check out this picture from their site. It was a treat intended for fans of Sex and the City to enjoy with a cosmo before watching the newest movie, but it’s so cute that it could be used anytime. Which is great, because I’m not a SATC chick myself. Isn’t it a creative idea for a sugar cookie??
And last but definitely not least, there’s Brittany over at One Charming Party. Isn’t that a cute name for a blog? Anyway, Brittany’s got a great site for party planners because she tells you about her favorite things as they come out, shares ideas for parties, shows pictures, and even has tutorials…or she will, when her site is complete.
One suggestion she made for parties, I really liked. She said:
“Remember when you’re planning your party (and trying to incorporate–yet not totally include–a commercialized character) to focus on what that character does, not bombard your guests and clutter up your decor with character party supplies.”
So smart. Does anyone really want a ton of junk with a cartoon character all over it? How else can you engage the child in a character themed party? She threw a Diego party, and check these pictures from her site out:
Her invites were with the theme but not slapped up and down with Diego’s mug.
She had a professional face painter transform the guests into the animal of their choice upon arrival.
She had an animal handler come talk to the small group of guests about different animals Diego would see. They even got to touch some of the animals. How cool would a kid think that is? They sure wouldn’t forget that party easily.
And she sent them home with a pair of binoculars as a favor. She adds to that:
“If you’re going to send home a party favor, it should either be edible or high enough quality that it won’t end up in the trash. I’ll be perfectly honest, it’s expensive to give a real pair of binoculars to each guest. And you might choose a different party favor for your jungle themed event. But please think through the life span of every party item you buy, including the items you send home with your guests.”
Another clever idea was to incorporate the cupcakes and the favors into the decor. It helps the decorations look more filled out, don’t you think?
I can tell you right now, that if I’d gone to a party like that when I was little, I would still remember it.
I love reading tips and seeing ideas from event planners. I am so impressed with people who aren’t afraid to share knowledge of their trade. Chances are, I’m not going to pay for an event planner anyway, so they aren’t losing business. And I get better ideas for parties. So awesome.
I hope you can find this list helpful and can find some inspiration for your next event from these ladies, too.