By Guest Blogger, Julia Crager
I don’t know if you all know this, but Karla, besides designing amazing stationery for Sky of Blue Cards, is also an excellent party-thrower. I thought I would get her to divulge some of her party-planning secrets to help you all with your up-coming holiday parties, or to inspire you to throw one.
Julia: What are the go-to basics every party must have?
Karla: Fresh flowers. Food (you need less than you think). Alcohol & ice (you need more than you think). Camera (if you can remember to take pictures). Very important – something fun that ties the event together, whether it’s something guests take home, or something fun you can do at the party.
J: Do you have any tips for the invitation process?
K: We all know the invitation sets the tone for the whole entire event – it gets people excited for the party. So, I always tell my clients to envision their event and how they want it to look and feel. Picture everything from what you want to be wearing, to whether you will serve dinner, or just pass hors d’oeuvres, or whether you will you use paper plates or china? Then make a guest list. If it’s less than 50 invitations, we can get very crafty and use all sorts of stamps and layer paper, etc. If it’s over 50 we think of our printing options. Should we print letterpress or offset? I always then go through the “Who; What; Where; When; Why;” so we don’t leave out any important information.
J: What are some party-planning tips that people might overlook?
K: On party day have absolutely NOTHING on your calendar other than setting up and preparing for your party. You have no time to go to the store that day, no time to get a mani-pedi, no time to take your kids to soccer practice. You should have everything you need for your party in your home and if you have kids or pets you should ask for help with them that day. Time never flies as fast as it does on party day. You are going at warp speed. My family actually likes to clear out of the house. I’m having fun, but I’m moving very quickly.
J: What was your favorite party that you ever threw?
K: Wow. That’s hard. They’re all so fun. Okay. My husband’s 40th birthday a few years ago would have to be one. And, a few weeks ago I threw a “Holiday Cocktail Party, Mad Men Style”. Everyone got dressed up 1960s style and it was very festive. My girlfriend Theresa helped me organize that party because it was so big. Since all they do on Mad Men is smoke non-stop and nobody we know actually smokes, we thought it would so much fun (and very non-PC) to put candy cigarettes all over the house in little bowls. We found one local candy store that still sold them. People loved them like crazy that night.
J: What was your most disastrous party-throwing experience, if any?
K: I had a dinner party a few years ago. I was so deep in the weeds… so desperately behind, that I made my poor husband call each and every guest to tell them to come an hour later. So embarrassing.
J: Any last words of wisdom?
K: Turn on some music, kick off your heels and clean up everything before you go to bed. You will not want to see it in the morning.