Tips & Tricks

The “sophisticated” kids party

January 7, 2016

There’s nothing less creative than a pre-packaged (insert theme here) party from your local party supply store. Unfortunately, these stores offer convenience, an attractive price point and an entire aisle of Frozen-themed plates, cups, tablecloths, streamers, balloons, toothpicks, you name it that would please any birthday girl. When I started planning my son and daughter’s birthdays, I wanted to take your typical cheesy themed party and turn it on its head. Catherine Giudici-Lowe (The Bachelor / Sean’s season) said it best with these two words: Grown Sexy.

Okay, let’s not freak out. I’m not suggesting a “sexy” 9-year-old birthday, but what I am suggesting is adding elegance and sophistication much like a wedding – only without the cost. Here are my simple tips for achieving “grown sexy” and taking your kids’ parties to the next level. But if you’re still thinking “I don’t have time” or “I’m not creative,” then insert Liv Studio. Contact me and we’ll make it happen!

Tip #1: Take a cue from weddings

No matter the type of event or theme, I tend to start with weddings for inspiration. I’m currently working on a couple of halloween parties and even though it’s uncommon, there are some really dark and beautiful gothic weddings to pull ideas from. Weddings are already elegant and simple so using them as a starting point can help tone down an overly-decorated birthday party fiasco. Plus, the event will look 10x more expensive than it is. Bonus: Wedding invitations work for all parties- not just weddings.

greenweddingshoes-pastel-wedding

via Green Wedding Shoes

Tip #2: Select a theme but carry it through subtly

If you go too theme heavy, you might as well go straight back to your party store’s “Frozen” aisle. I really do love party themes because they add a cohesive element throughout the event. However, let the theme shine through in a few places while adding complimentary colors and design to the rest. I love how this pineapple party has elements of the fruit but features balloons, decor, and even drinks to soften the style.

we-are-scout-pineapple

via We Are Scout

Tip #3: Favors should be something people want

Favors/goodies are probably my favorite thing about events because they require creativity. The goal is to create something to give guests as they leave that falls within the theme but is also something the guests love and will talk about afterwards. The days of pink paper bags filled with candy are over. Since providing favors for all of your party guests can quickly add up, I love to create decorations that can double as favors. For example, we gave handmade dream catchers to guests at my daughter’s bohemian first birthday.

GreyLikesBaby-sleep-under-stars

via Grey Likes Baby | Photography by Johnny Cheng Photography

Tip #4: Always add gold (metallic is a bonus)

If you don’t already know, gold is my favorite color. But who doesn’t love gold? I carry a can of metallic gold spray paint with me to make anything elegant. And really, that’s all you need.  For a circus birthday, we painted animal figurines like the photo below and they became an instant centerpiece. Other amazing ways to incorporate gold are balloon tassels, vases, piñatas (my favorite here), flatware, or using a gold sharpie on just about anything.

greenweddingshoes-pastel-wedding-gold

via Green Wedding Shoes

Tip#5: Add a statement piece

One statement piece can take a party from “okay” to gorgeous! These focal points usually come in the form of floral arrangements, garlands, photo backdrops or art. Whether you purchase your statement piece or make it, this is where you want to spend your time/money. They also provide the perfect photo op for your guests!

Birthday Party 2

via Prospect Goods 

Tip #6: Set the table with real dishes

Sure, paper products are easy and inexpensive. However, the simplest way to fancy up a party is to set a table with real dishes, silverware and glasses. (Technically, it’s also the cheaper/free option because you already own these items – granted you can’t throw them away when your guests leave but washing dishes is cardio, right?!) Then, all that’s left is to add a centerpiece and voila! There’s no substitute for a stunning tablescape.

Phoebes-Half-Birthday-Party-21

via Camille Styles

Tip #7: Location, location, location

Location is everything! Even if you follow all of these rules and execute everything just right, you can’t fix a bad location. Likewise, a good location styles itself and doesn’t require much to make it fabulous – the catch being that these locations can cost a fortune. But there are some ways to achieve this without breaking the bank. I love parties thrown at your home because they’re so intimate and representative of your style. Or reach out to small, locally-owned restaurants/coffee shops/delis/bakeries to see if they offer private event hosting. Public parks are also worth considering. Either bring a bunch of beautiful blankets to picnic on or cover a couple folding tables with tablecloths or kraft paper.

stylemepretty-outdoor-lunch

via Style Me Pretty | Photography by Jordana Hazel

More Inspiration 

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