Gather ideas from this party for your next special event.
Spring is a season of new beginnings, and there is no better time for a get-together with friends to honor a family's newest
arrival. Artist Julia Azar of Memphis designed the invitation for this event, which established the party's theme, as well
as the favors distributed to each guest. Let this serve as inspiration for your own special occasion as Julia shares tips
to plan the perfect party.
Keep in mind that invitations set the tone of a party. Sometimes people come to Julia--who creates whimsical watercolor artwork, note cards, personalized stationery, announcements, and invitations--before they even have any idea of what the theme of the event will be. "You can get great ideas by just flipping through invitation books," she says. "Once you've found an invitation that catches your eye, then think, 'How can I personalize this?'" Adding something with dimension, such as dried flowers or ribbon, to a plain card creates a unique look without a lot of effort. You can also cut costs by using mass-produced cards and embellishing them with a personal touch.
Left: Mark the occasion with a unique invitation.
For this baby shower, a variety of roses and tulips were arranged in a collection of sterling baby cups and silver goblets by event designer and friend Sally Shay. Using the baby cups reinforces the theme. Petite arrangements make a big impact when grouped together; they also require fewer flowers than a larger arrangement. Selecting a container for your centerpiece will determine the amount of blooms that are needed. Don't limit yourself to goblets or vases. You could incorporate a variety of teapots and teacups.
Remember how you loved the favors that were handed out after birthday parties when you were a child? The brightly colored bags filled with candy and goodies were so much fun to open. That's still true for adults. Favors are a thoughtful way of thanking your guests for attending. For a special keepsake, Julia often prints a scripture or a favorite quote on decorative paper, laminates them, and ties a bow at the top. You don't have to spend a lot of money; it's the thought that counts. For this shower, the new mother selected a special scripture verse to give to her friends--a simple detail that makes a lasting impression.
Another important element of any party is, of course, the food. For ease, create a menu of items that can be prepared a day
or so ahead. This will give you time to attend to all the other details. After the menu is set, distribute the recipes to
other hosts to prepare. Be sure to select dishes that are tried-and-true. This isn't the time to experiment.
So start working on your guest list, it's time to have a party