Planning a celebration for someone special to you is a beautiful part of Creating a Life You Love. However, ensuring that the event feels truly personal and intimate is no small feat. For pointers, we reached out to expert Sarah Reese, a Pennsylvania-based event designer who understands that a successful celebration is all about the details.
Follow along as we apply her insights just in time for a Cinco De Mayo themed birthday bash!
Designing an event is so much more than choosing the best colors, creating the biggest backdrop, or finding the perfect party favor. All of these things are important and a fun part of the process, but an event that leaves guests in awe is one that inspires a deeper understanding of who they are there to celebrate. The event should tell a story through every aspect of décor, from the grand entrances and seating charts to centerpieces and personalized favors.
Ironically, the guest of honor (GOH) is often the one person who gets left out of the planning process. Yes, the GOH may have a say in what they like and don’t like, but it’s important for the host to consider who they are. What do they like? What makes them unique in this world? Why are we celebrating them? What qualities about them make the rest of the world smile? All of these answers collectively can encourage and inspire the design of the day. So many of us get caught up in making the design look just right in all of the matching details that we forget to highlight our guest of honor in every way possible. Sharing the story of the one we are celebrating can turn any event from a nice party to one that becomes a wonderful treasured memory.
Here are some quick ideas on how to incorporate personalized details throughout your party and craft an event that doesn’t just make a statement but shares a story:
Create a welcome sign that highlights some of the GOH’s favorite things or best qualities. This could be in the shade of a favorite color or in a font that reflects their personality. Instead of the normal chalkboard sign, try creating an oversized opened book for the book lover.
Create a guest book that can become a keepsake for the GOH. If the GOH likes music, why not have guests sign old records with metallic sharpies that can be stored creatively? Or, if the GOH loves balloons, have guests fill out a slip of paper with a note and insert it into a balloon to be inflated…and then popped at the end of the party!
Create a centerpiece that reflects who the GOH is. For the balloon lover, create a beautiful hot-air balloon display with a basket at the bottom. It’s sure to blow guests away!
A successful and unforgettable celebration is all about the details. It’s about creating an atmosphere with components which, when viewed individually, may go unnoticed but when viewed collectively create a memorable experience that sends the guests off feeling like they know their GOH just a little better—and delighted to have been part of something truly unforgettable.
Sarah Reese is an Event Designer and owner of Story By Design Events. Born and raised in the Lehigh Valley, Sarah graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Public Relations. She admits that when she sees something colorful and “out of the norm,” her heart skips a beat. While her personal style influences her work, it is always secondary to the unique, personal stories of each of her clients.