3 Must-Have Party Staples…
The Invitation. The Food. The Ambiance.
1 The Party Invitation
A perfect party requires great planning from the start. A well-designed invitation alone can spark curiosity and excitement from your guests in anticipation of the special day. If the invitation is creative, well thought out, or custom designed, it will successfully set the tone for the mood of your party before your guest arrives.
Your invitation design should match the style and décor of your party be it formal, informal, or semi-formal. Take into consideration the color scheme of the party, the feeling you would like to evoke in your guest such as fun or high energy, beautiful and elegant, modern chic, feminine, masculine, etc.
When it comes to the type of invitation let’s explore the following two options.
1. Folded Invitations
The classic folded greeting-card style invitation can easily highlight wording or a picture on the front and allow for printing of the details of the event on the inside. These are also nice if you’d like to insert something into the fold of the invite.
2. Flat Invitations
Flat invitations highlight all of the details on one side of the paper. Flat invitations are easy to print, and this style can easily be placed on your refrigerator for quick reference.
Think outside of the box
Let your creativity lead you. Don't feel trapped in a box of a specific style. If your budget allows pair your invitation with something interactive like candy or a mini cupcake. Another creative idea is to send a picture magnet of you and your spouse for your wedding!
Pair your invitation with a custom mask for the Covid19 conscience or send a Lei with your invitations for a Hawaiian-themed party. You can also attach a small food gift to the invitation like a custom cookie or even cake-pops (Check out the cake-pop recipe from our previous blog).
Overall, thinking of creative ideas for your invitation will stimulate excitement and anticipation of your event.
When it comes to food duty, the name of the game is "no stress". Don't overcomplicate your menu with a bunch of new dishes. Make food that you are good at and that people love. Narrowing down the options will take the pressure off you and keep your guests happy.
New dishes can be fun but limit your new dishes to 30% of the menu. Throw in one that you love, something store-bought, and throw in a crowd pleaser and you have yourself the perfect menu.
For your drinks, guests love a fun name for a cocktail! Add your initials like AJ's Lemonade or Summertime Cooler to make it a conversation piece. It adds personality to something as simple as a Strawberry Lemonade.
Large-scale drinks are all about the garnishes. Add some fresh or frozen fruit with straws and you have just given your party drinks a face-lift. Neutral liquors like Vodka and rum can be put on the side to make it easy for your 21+ guests to become their own mixologists.
Also, planning the perfect menu has everything to do with the set-up of your event, here are some other factors to take into consideration:
*At designLEE Studios, our rule of thumb is, if there is limited seating, stick to finger food hors d’oeuvres, so that guests can hold their food and drinks easily.
When deciding how many hors d’oeuvres to make, consider 6-8 small bites per guest. For example, let’s say you have pigs-in-a-blanket and deviled eggs on your menu, you can assume that each guest will have at least 3 of each. If the eggs are larger, maybe 1.5.
Also, consider how the items are served. No one wants to take the last burger slider if there are only 4 out at a time and no one wants to hassle the host to see if there are more wings in the oven. Make your platters bountiful! Not overcrowded, but fill the tray placing items all facing the same direction or follow patterns.
Don't overwhelm yourself, even if you're a great cook give yourself more time than you think you need to take care of all the cooking. People will love the food so keep the number of items that you have to make to a minimum so that you can still impress your guests.
Secretly everyone wants to know the menu. Here are some popular food themes and ideas:
Add A Printed Food Menu To The Table
Take an extra step and print off your menu in advance! Grab an inexpensive paper holder or mini chalkboard and write out the choices for your guests. Everyone can look at the buffet and see the options, but this adds an extra level of class to your party, casual or fancy.
For seated dinners, an easy half sheet printout works great. Printed menus also make your guests with allergies feel more confident about eating without the need to check-in.
Commit to the theme! The theme of your event doesn't always need to be a Hawaiian Party or Taco Extravaganza. Your theme can be as simple as 2 colors Red and White or Black and Gold.
Use something as simple as colors and show it in the details of what you do, it will make all the difference. Purchase the red napkins instead of the standard white ones. Get a dozen of pink roses and spread them around the tables, bathrooms, and chairs if that is the theme.
Let the lighting set the tone for your party. Sometimes a bright and fun party can benefit from you switching out a light bulb in a standard lamp to a color that matches your theme.
The great thing about music is that it fills the gaps of any awkward silence that can happen. Music tells your guest how they are supposed to feel in a particular moment and can help your friends and family to socialize more or even dance! Add a customized playlist using iTunes, Spotify, or Pandora so that you have all of the songs that set your mood. It is very important to create the right atmosphere for your guest to have fun, mingle, and relax.
Farewell Party Gifts
Consider parting gifts for your guest, they are a nice gesture and a warm way to say thank you for coming and farewell. After weeks or months of planning the perfect party, a parting gift is classy and a great way to finish strong!
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