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  • Writer's pictureJenny Platt

Ultimate PARTY STYLING guide!

The word 'PARTY' can make you giddy with excitement! Although, if you're the host of the party, it can be the word that fills you with an overwhelming fear that it could make or break your child's love towards you!

Well at Florriemae Events, we know a thing of two about parties and can help guide you to creating a show-stopping event that will have your children shouting from the rooftops about what an amazing parent you are!

Take a look at some of our tips on how to create that 'WONDERLAND' celebration!

1. Plan, Plan, PLAN!

Planning is not emphasised enough! PLANNING IS KEY when it comes to creating a show-stopping event. Plan everything - from the larger things (will you be hiring a bouncy castle?) to the very small details (will you be creating a playlist?), it's imperative that you make list after list of what will be needed on the day, the details for your party stylist and the contact details of any hire companies to ensure everything runs smoothly on the day.

Planning should be done MONTHS in advance! Believe it or not, the best parties are those that have been in design for more than four weeks. Booking a venue, party stylist and any hire equipment must be done well in advance or you risk them, and your preferred guests, not being available at short notice.

I previously worked in a cake decorating shop and there were a staggering number of customers who would come into the shop expecting to be able to order a cake with less than a weeks notice - sometimes ON THE DAY! Many party companies - especially the good ones - will not be readily available one or even two weeks before your event!

Your planning doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply break the event down into the major components – guest list, food, games, decorations, party bags etc. and then make a list of things to do for each component. Breaking it down like this will make the whole event seem much less overwhelming and make it easier when shopping!

To start the process, the first things you need to decide are:

  1. The date and time of the party

  2. The venue

  3. The guest list

  4. And most importantly - who will be able to help you?

2. Enlist help!

Whether it may be a family member, a group of friends or a party styling company, you need to ensure there will be someone to help you hang up decorations and unfold your amazing event. Tasks such as filling party bags, blowing up balloons and laying out the tableware can all be delegated out to family members or willing friends. It makes for a really fun event when everyone has been involved.

A few extra pairs of hands can make all the difference to how much YOU enjoy your kids’ parties. The easiest option is to enlist a couple of the guests' parents or adults that will be attending the party.

3. Beauty is in the DETAILS!

Once you have decided on the particulars of the party, you can move on to the creative (and dare I say fun) stuff. Pick your party theme.

This can be tricky. Some children will be able to tell you exactly what they want, but if your child is young, you may want to simply choose a colour palette to carry through your party decor.

For those who do pick a theme - maybe its your child's favourite book character or tv programme - it's still not always easy to buy party tableware and decorations in the desired theme, particularly if the theme is not a popular one that can be found in the cheaper party shops (remember the Frozen craze?). In this case, you could consider buying a themed PARTY BOX from a company that will be able to put together everything you need in the matching theme - everything from the plates, cups, straws, balloons, decorations and party props in the same theme or colour palette.

Carrying your theme throughout the party decorations and tableware can make your party look more eloquent. Matching the colours of the balloons to the colours of the dessert plates creates cohesion and its these small elements that can help your party stand out from the rest.

4. Create a focal point

All good parties have an area of the room that draws the attention of the guests and makes them say "WOW!". It may be corner of a room, the back wall or even the centre ceiling - the idea is to pick one area and decorate it completely with a balloon arch around a dessert table, for example.

Other ideas could be:

- A present station

- Photo backdrops

- Dinner party table(s)

Not only will it look beautiful (and provide the odd photo opp or two) but it ensures you won't go over budget trying to style the whole venue and spreading out your decorations too thinly - let's face it, parties can be expensive if you let them be.

5. Let them eat CAKE!

Who doesn't go to a party expecting stuff their faces with CAKE?! It may be the only staple dessert that can make any celebration all the more meaningful.

If you love to bake, this is the perfect opportunity to show of your culinary skills for your child's party. But if you are one of the many of parents who has unfortunately inherited the 'burn everything you bake' gene then there is still hope!

These days you can head out to any food supermarket and buy a ready made celebration cake in a range of themes that are relatively cheap and have a good shelf life. However, if you're looking for something larger, or a bit more personalised, then there is an abundance of cake decorating shops out there with some fabulous bakers who can help create the perfect cake to compliment your party theme.

Cakes are the centrepiece of most events and can be a challenge to get right. There are many things to consider - the size of the cake, the flavour of the cake and the filling, any dietary requirements, and most importantly, how it will be decorated. This can all be determined by the baker if you choose, as long as you have picked a good one.

But there are so many to choose from so how do you pick?

My advice is to do your research. Ask around. Find out the names of some local bakers on the internet or from family and friends. Head to their website and social media pages to see their portfolio and always, always read their reviews. Some bakers will be better at models and some may be better at fondant flowers. Some unfortunately may be some that are no good at all and no one wants to be disappointed on the day of their child's birthday party when Tinky Winky's head falls off or the Unicorn cake you ordered looks a little more unique than you wanted!

You can get a lot of inspiration this way too and maybe even have more of an idea of how you would like it decorated to present to your baker once you have found the right one.

Always get more than one quote. The best bakers will be more expensive but there is nothing wrong with a little comparison among the intermediary. If you have a budget, tell them and they will let you know what you can get for your money.

6. Get fancy with food

The perfect party food can definitely win a crowd over. It doesn't matter if you're looking for 'finger food ideas on a budget' or some fancier bite-sized food options, there are heaps of ideas and recipes available.

You can enlist the help of your family and friends or even hire a caterer to provide your guests with some fabulous food but there a few things you will need to decide:

- Will the food be hot or cold?

- Will it be savoury or sweet (buffet or dessert table)?

- Will you be feeding just the kids or the parents too?

Some of this can be decided by the venue or the number of guests (think cramming four pizzas into your single oven at home!) or the availability of the food (there will be more buffet food options available in supermarkets around festive periods). But mostly you can decide on the types of food you can do yourself and the types of food you will buy in or get catering for simply by your capabilities (or the size of your fridge!).

You can make some things in advance and simply refrigerate (or freeze) them until nearer the time. For example mini quiches can be frozen for a couple of months and even sandwiches can be stored for a few days in the fridge (trust me, you don't want the hassle of making them on the day!).

For more inspiration and tips on creating a show-stopping party visit our social media pages and other blog posts.

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