I purchased The Alison Show's Party With Alison course for some party-planning help. The entire guide is brilliant. If you love throwing parties or if you absolutely hate parties but are required to throw one, you should buy it. Parties are my thing, & Alison was able to help me be more intentional & organized with my planning. She talks a lot about having objectives for your event. What's your end goal? I had two. 1) I wanted it to look fabulous & over the top. Partially for vanity reasons, but mostly becauseI show my love through how much garlands & glitter I can put up in one location so I wanted to deck the place out for Lexi. Also, I like things to look pretty. 2) I wanted to create a party that isn't awkward. I'm awkward. Social situations totally stress me out. I don't like being that one weirdo sitting alone in the corner at a shower because I don't know anyone else. Luckily, Alison had a remedy for that as well.
I'm really lucky to have a talented designer as my BFF & sister-in-law, Bri, to make all the things for all the parties. I decided the event was going to be all about pink! Flamingos are all the rage & I wasn't ready to let them go quite yet, so we had flamingos sprinkled throughout.
Then, oops, I found a giant pack of multicolored confetti at Hobby Lobby, which needed to be included in each invite.
If you are local, Copy Tec in Pleasant Grove is one of my favorite places to print.
Bri built a beautiful home last year & was nice enough to let me host it at her place. I made a tiny hats for each flamingo because these flamingos were here to party, but when it was actually the time to party, I didn't have time to put their party attire on, which still bums me out today. However, I had more important things to do than to make sure the flamingos were looking their best.
PS. You can buy a flock of flamingos here.
italian soda bar
Remember the part when I told you that I have meltdowns in the midst of social situations? Right. This part of the party was for me & all others who feel stressed about going to parties. The queen herself said to make sure to give your guests something to do when they walk in. Sort of like real parties when everyone is carrying around a martini? Insert italian soda here because we are all mormon.
Let's break it down, top to bottom.
Garland hack #1: Buy pom pom fringe at your local craft store. It's like $1 per yard & no stress over making one yourself.
Garland hack #2: If you have or have access to a sewing machine, use it! Cut out a bunch of shapes out of paper & sew them right together. It's so cheap & so, so fast. Plus, disposable because nothing is worse than untangling garlands, am I right?
The "sip, sip, hooray!" cutout was made with blood, sweat & tears. This craft is not for the weak of (crafting) heart. I printed out each letter on printer paper, cut it out, traced it backwards onto this gold glitter cardstock, then cut it out again. It took forever but I was so happy with how it turned out.
Luckily my friend Andy gave me a crash course on making italian sodas. I'd had them before & knew they were delicious, but wasn't quite sure how to execute properly. Bri made the adorable instruction graphic for our guests.
These plastic champagne flutes are from Zurchers, along with these metallic gold straws. The pink bows were found by Bri on clearance at Target. Steal of a deal.
I opted for Pellegrino because it looks fancier than liters of club soda, plus I prefer less carbonation. We really didn't need more gas floating around the party than absolutely necessary. I was worried about keeping ice frozen, but no fear, this pretty ice bucket from Target worked like a charm. I picked up 4 different kinds of Torani Syrup from my local kitchen supply store. (The Bosch Kitchen Supply Store on Center Street in Orem, if you are local.) They were an expensive purchase ($7.50 for the syrup, $4.50 for the pump,) but I've used them for every event since so it was worth the price! You can't go wrong with whipped cream & heavy cream in a pretty glass from World Market, all atop a tray from IKEA that looks like it's rimmed with boobs. I'm serious, just look at it.
The linens were both borrowed, however, I know you can get the coral & white striped fabric at Hobby Lobby. The gold sequin tablecloth was borrowed to us by one of Bri's lovely friends.
If you haven't ever used festooning, do it! This was another trick my fellow party planner, Andy, told me about. You can find it in the same isle at your party supply store by the streamers. You can probably make your own, but that sounds like a nightmare. I had a very specific color palette I wanted & apparently peach & blush aren't normal colors to carry, so I ordered most of it from Oh Happy Day. Luckily it was the Christmas season so I picked up a few packs of tinsel from Walmart for $1 to throw into the mix. The "Oh Baby" garland is from the party line at Target.
My bestie, Cait, & I made the vases for another event. We scoured a few thrift stores for cheap vases, taped them off & sprayed them with gold spray paint, & wallah! Easy, peasy.
This was admittedly my favorite part of the party. I mean, baked goods & that damn backdrop. I say that with a bit of fire, because it was a BEAST. If you are going to make one, I suggest not starting it at midnight before the day of the event. I recruited Cait to help me with this & it seriously took until 4 AM to complete it. But, it's beautiful. High fives to Cait because she is a wizard.
A run down as to how to make it. We laid out butchers paper & cut/taped it to size. Then you go hog wild with the tissue paper. Tape, cut into size, cut the fringe. Repeat. About a million times. The smartest thing we did was buying pre-cut gold, table fringe. Bri had a photo backdrop contraption that we were able to tape the tissue backdrop to. I suppose you could also tape it onto a piece of pvc, string fishing line through it & secure it to the ceiling to give it that floating effect. It was time-consuming but worth it.
Food! I decided to outsource the majority of it because girlfriend didn't have a lot of time. I custom ordered the donuts from Provo Bakery. The sugar cookies were from Swig, then cut in half. I made the mini-cupcakes, topped with a pink sugar ball. I picked up a bunch of white fudge covered oreos, then drizzled them with pink candy melt.
I cut out a sign, like the sip, sip, hooray, that said "pastry shoppe" but you couldn't even see it over the backdrop. That was one of the only hiccups, but it happens. Onward.
As I'm writing this up, I think I might have gone a little out of control. You probably don't need a italian soda bar, a pastry shoppe & a creperie, but I'm a crazy person. This was a touch self-serving because crepes are my favorite. This particular part of the shower was an absolute hit. It's relatively easy to do & the people love it. It feels more intentional than a pot luck, which is still delicious. (I'm hungry. I want all the food right now.)
Another adorable print made by Bri. My mother in law came & made crepes for our guests which was so nice of her. We had a variety of toppings for the guests. Nutella, cookie butter, strawberries, raspberries, bananas, butter syrup & whipped cream. Very healthy. Basically carrots.
I picked up the pink striped cups at Target in the party section, along with the metallic gold, striped napkins. The neon pink plates were purchased here. The gold glitter pennant banner was purchased at Zurchers.
Lex loves Trader Joe's cookie butter. In turn, I really wanted to use that some how in the favor. Cait mentioned how her mom had a killer cookie butter popcorn recipe, so I was sold. Instead of being given the recipe, Leann made the popcorn for me. People are so nice. PS. That popcorn was addictive & is probably the reason I am dieting now.
The gold, polka dot containers are from, you guessed it, Target, along with the neon pink tags. I decided the "ready to pop" sticker & printed it on adhesive paper at home. I designed it to the size of one of the hole punches I already had so I didn't have to bother cutting them out by hand.
the final touches
We put color-coordinating wrapping paper over the existing art over the gift couch. I borrowed some Bright Lab Lights from work to drape over the banister, & the decor was complete.