Happy February! The month where my PINK obsession can come out and about proudly with no apologies and I finally have the excuse to throw another party after seemingly endless celebrations over the holiday season.
I love to entertain. LOVE. Having people I adore and cherish over to my home for a meal or festive gathering brings me so much joy. However, I’m aware that not everyone always feels this way. After all, hosting a party is a lot of work. It takes a lot of prep. And let’s face it, that little thing called ‘money’ factors in real quick. Because of this, I decided I would walk through my own process on throwing a party on the blog! As I’m co-hosting a women’s gathering for our Community Group this coming weekend, I wanted to go step by step this week on some fun ideas that may inspire you to throw a little last minute shindig of your own.
Step one: select a color palette. For Valentine’s Day, there are about a million and one different combinations of red, pink and white out there in terms of party supplies. My co-host (teaser: she will be revealed here very shortly in the next week and you certainly won’t want to miss it!) and I quickly decided that PINK was going to be the main focus of the event because let’s face it – if there was ever an excuse to go pink-overboard, it’s an all-women’s Valentine’s party. Once we knew what the main color was, we wanted to use specific accent colors to tie it all together. We chose gold, white and more shades of pink (if you’re not a pink fan you should still keep reading and tie in your own color palette!).
Step two: plan your menu with a theme. It’s important to decide what you will be serving so that you can choose what time to host the event, what you need to do in terms of cooking, what your overall budget will be, and how to spell out the information for your guests on the invitations. For this gathering, we chose to make the menu simple and title the event, “Cocktails & Cupcakes”. More revealing details later.
Step three: select invitations. Once we knew what the color scheme was, it was easy to head to Paperless Post and select an invite. Because they have so many cute invitations, it can often be overwhelming to sort through the options. But knowing what our vision was, these invites were perfect. I can’t get enough of them! And Paperless Post makes it so easy to customize, send and monitor your invitations. My favorite tool? The ability to track your guests to see who has opened the invitation and see if you may need to follow up with anyone on rsvp’ing. I know my friends reading are giggling at me admitting this in this moment.
Step four: start gathering supplies. Time to shop! You may first want to do some research online to see what is out there before you walk in and out of Target and realize that you blacked out and have a car full of bags of “little things” that somehow totaled over $100. Uh, or more. We’ve all been there. I like to scour stores like Target and Paper Source online first so that I can go in with a clear head and pick up only the essentials. For this party, the ‘Be Mine’ balloons were an absolute must, especially for $5. And though the heart confetti was a bit more spendy, I’m hoping to salvage what I can post-party and use it in the future. Hello, baby or bridal shower!
Step five: make a timeline. Once you have what you need, start mapping out how you will put it all together the week of the party. Try to break it down into chunks, like making food that can be prepared in advanced, cleaning and tidying before the day of, arranging party favors earlier in the week while watching The Bachelor, or setting the table well in advance so you have time to play around to get it right. I’ll admit, I wish I was better at this step. I often find myself leaving too much until the last minute. This round, I’m feeling a bit more prepared. Remember, give yourself grace in this! Entertaining is a process and one that takes a long time to really get comfortable with. And at the end of the day, I guarantee that your guests will be delighted to simply be invited and share a meal and some time together. That is what this is all about anyways, of course!
Hooray! Five steps to get you started! I’m hoping they help and perhaps inspire you to start dreaming up your own soirée. Keep checking back here on the blog this week to start to begin to see how “Cocktails & Cupcakes” will all come together!