Tips for Planning A Spectacular Party

One week from today I will be hosting a baby shower for my dear best friend Julia. Julia is expecting a little boy in October, so I am hosting a picnic themed shower for her. As I prep for this event, I thought I would share my go-to elements for planning a memorable and special party.

A Personalized Invite 

I love picking out invitations. I think I just have a true obsession with pretty paper. I also prefer a personalized printed invitation over the ones you buy in a pack at the store and then fill in the blanks. Here is the invitation I created for Julia's shower using the free templates from On To Baby. This invite was very cute and free to design!

Delightful Drinks

I have two go-to approaches for drink options. Most often, I go with a simple approach and serve lemonade, tea and water. I make a huge batch of Crystal Light lemonade and put it in my large glass drink dispenser (a house warming gift from Julia from Bed, Bath & Beyond). I serve ice tea from a glass pitcher and also offer bottled water.

If I am serving bottled drinks or wine, I use my trusty drink tub. I picked my drink tub up several years ago and use it often. I even added a chalkboard label to it, so I can always change up labeling.

I'm also a big fan of striped straws. I love the extra flair they add. In the past, I have purchased these on Etsy, but have also picked them up at Kirklands and TJ Maxx. I love the way they styled drinks in the picture below from Style Me Pretty.

Crafty Menu

Pinterest is a huge help when it comes to selecting party foods and also styling party foods. I don't love to cook, but I love to style and create a beautiful tablescape. I always try to push the envelope and do something different. It takes the food from every day dinner to a special occasion. Here is a shot from a wine tasting wedding shower I hosted with friends last fall.

Dreamy Decor

Dreamy decor ideas can be very lavish, but can also be very affordable. Etsy is a good place to start if you're interested in purchasing decor for a certain theme. Many sellers offer party decor kits at an affordable price. Hostess with the Mostess is also another great source for party decor inspiration. I'm loving this setup featured on Hostess with the Mostess by Sunny by Design.

A Gorgeous Gift

I always adore a personalized gift. I usually never purchase off the registry. Instead, I enjoy going to my favorite boutique in town, MK's Totebags and Monogramming, and picking out a unique gift. Etsy is also a wonderful source for personalized gifts.

Fun Favors

To wrap up your party, throw in a great take-home favor for the guests. Sometimes, I think favors can be tacky and cheap, but there are so many clever ideas out there. For a past baby shower, I purchased coffee mugs from IKEA and then personalized them with vinyl using my Cricut. The mugs were stuffed with drink mixes (coffee and tea) and a biscotti stick. I topped them off with tag stating "A baby is brewing!"

That wraps up my list of factors I keep in mind when throwing a party. Did I miss anything? I would love to hear your go-to party planning secrets.

Happy Saturday!

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