For those of you that don’t know me, I’m a party girl. In college I threw kick-ass house parties and now that I’m a mom I still throw kick-ass house parties – only now there are kids running around. To me, party planning is a creative outlet, a chance to try new things and make things pretty and perfect in my VERY imperfect life. It’s an opportunity to take favorite bits and pieces and create a memorable event around them. While it may be true that the kids would be happy with just a pinata and cake, the point is moot because I wouldn’t be!
For me, the first step in planning any event is the theme. I’m not talking cheesy 1980 bar mitzvah themes like “songs from the movie Grease”, but a general idea to base the party around. Does your friend who’s having a baby shower have a pet name for her growing baby? Does your 3 year old daughter love a particular book or TV show? Even if you are having a party for a specific occasion (Halloween, Super Bowl, Oscar Night) you can focus on one area or item that relates to the event and use that as your starting point.
Let’s face it, the majority of kids want the same kinds of party, so make your party stand out by making it just a little different. Have a little princess dying for a Disney princess EXPLOSION to rock her house? Try focusing the party’s decor on something other than the princess herself. Belle lovers have teacup decorations, Arielites have fish and an underwater theme; reinforce the idea that the little girls are the princesses OF the story. Use elements of the story to set the theme and set your color options.
Now that you have that down, move onto setting the theme in play with your invitations. While I LOVE a good paper invitation, it’s not always needed. For more casual parties and events, an e-vite is totally acceptable. But I still think that milestone or traditional events NEED a paper mailed invitation. Baby Showers, Bridal Showers, Baby’s first birthday are definitely paper invite-worthy. But when it comes to your son’s Star War’s themed 4th birthday, an emailed invitation works fine. But if you are going to email out an invitation, make sure it’s an invitation and not just an email. Design a cute message with colors and images that represent your theme and send that.
An invitation doesn’t just set the theme for your party, it also sets the tone. Not only do I want them to have the party details, but I want my invitations to show my guests that I’m excited to celebrate with them and get them excited for my party.
I love scanning Etsy or eBay for designers who make custom invites and have them design a digital file to include in my email. Vendors such as TomKat Studio or Polka Dots and Pirates have adorable, pre-designed options to chose from. And if you catch them early enough, they may be able to do custom designs for you.
Remember, people’s schedules fill up quickly these days, and it’s always best to send your invite, whichever way you are sending it, 3-4 weeks out.
LaLaLa is my personal web log of life as a wife Jason (Dadcentric/PetCobra/@PetCobra), a career woman (PR/MARCOMM) and crazed mother to a kindergartner (Lucas) and 2 year old (Zoe). Just as life goes in different directions – so do my obsessions. Fashion, Pop Culture and just making things look just “so” keep me going.
I also love to party – as in throw them. I firmly believe in adding special details to every event and holiday, making them yours and making them special. I’m also a wanna-be-hobbiest-photographer and sometime maker of “crafty crap”. 🙂
We live in lovely San Diego and spend a lot of their free time either at the beach and … who am I kidding? We have no free time… we’re parents!