2) What a whirlwind month?! Holy moly. I feel like I am finally sitting down and able to take a breath and while the month of May was pure amazing, nonstop CHAOS... I am thankful for things to slow down (a bit).
If you follow me on the gram, which hopefully you do, you probably saw all the details of my Great 28 birthday bash.
It. Was. Freaking. Epic.
I can honestly say I would love to relive that night over and over again... I would like to think that Gatsby would be VERY proud at how well I pulled off the theme + party.
***I would also like to note that I had to get a legit IV the next day (the dramatics), I was hungover for a solid week straight and I will never be able to look at a tequila shot again without gagging. But hey... ya only turn 28 once, right? YOLO.
If there's one thing I am proud of, it's that I am pretty darn good at planning a birthday party? So I figured I would do a lil blog post breaking it down so if you ever feel like throwing an event (which you should because there's always a reason to celebrate), you know where to start!
PARTY PLANNING 101
1. Start with a THEME.
I love a good theme and I firmly believe that every party should have one. Who doesn't like dressing up?! I feel like it automatically elevates any party from basic to badass... and it's so easy to do. A theme doesn't have to be anything complicated but it's a way to get all of your guests excited and on the same page. Here's some ideas (I have a few things already on my mind for my FINE 2-9....)
- Great Gatsby: A CLASSIC. & so much fun to decorate!
- Decade Party: 70's, 80's, 90's...
- Space cowboy / Western: cowboy hats, bandanas, mechanical bull anyone?
- White Clothing Party (or pink, if you are me): an easy one... pick a color and roll with it.
- Luau: coconut bra's and mai tais!?
- Night at the Oscars: grab a ball gown & walk the red carpet.
- Y2k: break out the juicy sweat suits and flip phones.
SO MANY WAYS TO GET CREATIVE. Ugh, I love themes.
2. Hire a party planner if you can.
This was my first year using an actual event planner and let me tell you... WORTH EVERY PENNY. They are able to turn all your ideas into reality and you are able to actually enjoy your special day without having to worry about setting up, dealing with vendors, etc. It may seem like an expensive option, but if you are planning any type of party with a large group or you have multiple vendors to keep track of... find a party planner, people!
I was incredibly lucky and my amazing assistant, Mallory, works part time with a great party planning company so like... that worked out nicely for me?!
For my California people... check out The Fete Collective for decor & planning and Made By Mal for any and all signage needs (seriously, I was unaware of how big of a difference signage makes but WOW... it really is a game changer).
3. Find a good venue that works for your budget.
This was definitely the most expensive part of my party planning, but like... ya can't have a party without a venue and unfortunately, I live in Los Angeles and don't have access to a spacious backyard (dang you, 700 square foot apartment I live in).
An amazing website I use for SO MANY THINGS is called Peerspace and it's seriously amazing. I rent studios here for all of my content and photoshoots, and they have allllll sorts of different rentals, including homes and events spaces!
For my party, I rented a house for 5 hours and it ended up being around $2,000... which breaks down to around $400 an hour which is a little pricey, but once I saw the gorgeous views... I was sold.
Personally, I think the venue is something you should spend/budget more on because if your venue is cool, you don't need as much decor and extra things. Tip: Make sure there's room to DANCE!
Here is the house I rented for my party (if you are interested!)
4. Get the goods... AKA the booze.
My biggest fear for my birthday party was running out of alcohol... my friends can DRANK. I wanted to make sure I had a variety of beer, wine, seltzer's (Cutwater is my FAV), and also some festive signature cocktails. Personally, I don't think you need a whole entire open bar, but I do think it's a super fun touch to do 2 or 3 signature cocktails! Here were mine:
- The Fizzy Flapper (blackberry vodka spritzer)
- Millionaire Morga-Rita (blood orange spicy margarita)
- Old Sport (old fashioned)
Also, a SUPER fun touch for any event are these custom, party-ready Jello shots called Boozy Bites. Not sure how I discovered them, but I have them at every single party because hello, how fun?! They were a HUGE crowd pleaser and they have different flavors and you can add your own text. Big fan!
5. Food! Something sweet & something savory.
I was so freaking lost on what exactly to do for food. Do I bring in a food truck? Order pizza?! Ice cream truck? Savory? Sweet? AH. Too many options!!!
I ended up doing one savory and one sweet (Food vendors are PRICEY AF, I learned). If you are looking for an EASY way to feed a large group of people that requires no servers... charcuterie. I found that a grazing table was the best & easiest way for people to snack and munch throughout the night and it didn't take up any space besides a 6 foot table. I did a taco cart in the past and while it was delicious, it was kind of a hassle to get set up, especially if you have a smaller space. Plus like... everyone loves meat, cheese & crackers. The company I used was Charcuterie LA & if you are in the LA/OC area... I cannot recommend them enough. A 6 foot table is PLENTY of food for at least 50 people (or more) and the cheeses were 10/10.
For my sweets, I wanted something that was different than the normal ice cream truck so I came across gourmet... mini... pancakes. MINI PANCAKES?!? These were truly such a hit with my guests and I will absolutely be using Mila's Mini Pancakes again (I wish they would cook me this for breakfast daily...)
Between the two vendors, you can expect to spend close to $1,000 or more which does seem pricey but remember... no one wants a hangry guest. So I always think it's important to budget more for your food!
6. Entertainment + Photo Opps.
Balloons. Marquee Letters. & A backdrop.
You need those 3 things to have the best photo opp! Now, if you are crafty (I am not) you can easily make this with a helium tank, some plywood, paint and lightbulbs but like... that sh*t seems hard. Here's the vendors I used for my backdrop set up:
Balloons: Bash LA (can travel for you!)
Marquee Letters: HM Marquee Letters.
Backdrop: Made by Mal Designs (this is my assistant Mallory's company and she's soooo talented!)
Now, if you want to go ALL OUT with the photo opps... get a freakin' 360 photo booth. Seriously this was THE BIGGEST HIT OF MY PARTY. Who needs a band or magician to entertain when you have a spinning camera that captures all your memories and sends your photos directly to your phone? Mic drop. I used SoCal 360 photo booth and it was such a great experience. They set up and tear down and also design a custom graphic for your event photos. So. Much. Fun.
If you are on the fence about party planning just remember... life is too short to have boring parties ;) Hopefully the blog post helped you break down your planning into categories and give you some ideas for your next birthday bash (Can I be invited?)
Have any other fun details that I am missing out on? Message me on Instagram and let me know! Less than 350 days until my 29th birthday and the planning begins...
Until next time..