2/27/12

weekend celebration: k&k

Though I'm no expert event planner, I love to throw a party... especially when it involves a celebration of a sweet, sweet friend.  I was over the moon excited to throw an engagement party for a beautiful couple (love to K & K) over the weekend.

As I was preparing for the party, I felt it absolutely necessary to share a few cost cutting tips, as well as some of my favorite details that just happen to be frugal finds.  

Invitations...
When hosting an event, I generally create my own invitations and print them on card stock.  I try to stockpile envelopes and always buy odd shaped envelopes that are marked down.  Since I make my own invitations, I can design to fit the envelopes I have on hand.  Here's the invitation I created for the engagement party...


The Door...
The door not only gives guests a first impression, but it also provides the perfect venue for adding a personal touch.  I used a thrifted embroidery hoop (found several months ago for only $1), some fabric I already had, and a 9 1/2 inch "W" ($1.99 from Hobby Lobby) to create the door hanging.  K squealed when she rounded the corner and saw the door, adorned with the W she will soon be taking as her monogram.
The Bar...
Though this party was of the BYOB variety, I wanted to create a DIY cocktail bar.  I took two trays (that generally live on my ottomans) and used them for the spread of mixers and liquors.  I then took a thrifted pewter bowl and filled with mini bottles from my liquor cabinet.  I placed bar tools and limes in  a couple of (again thrifted) silver footed pieces and a small silver bowl so that everything would be within easy reach.

The Table...
Don't be afraid to ask for help.  Throwing a party is a lot of work.  I happily enlisted the help of a close friend of mine (shout out to KG) to do some of the cooking.  We settled on just deserts.  To create an easy centerpiece, I used a wood framed mirror (found at a Goodwill in January), mason jars wrapped with burlap and filled with candles, a pair of metallic birds (from a resale shop), and Anthropologie-esque knobs, each marked with a K, that I picked up at Michael's.  I  used chalkboard tags (also from Michaels) for food and drink labels and will no doubt reuse them over and over again.



Favors...
Chocolate chip cookies are the bride-to-be's favorite.  So I baked several dozen, wrapped them up, and placed them in brown paper bags that I had stamped, "K & K."  I used raffia from my gift wrapping basket to finish off the favors.  I placed them in a chalkboard bucket that I had already monogramed.

A Personal Touch...
Gigi did well when she picked up this shadow box and pair of skeleton keys at "her store."  Though she had no project in mind, she knew these finds were too good to pass up.  I compiled Gigi's finds to create a "Keys to a Good Marriage" gift for the couple.  Guests shared their well wishes and the couple left with a cherished memento.



In Summary...
  • Go to the thrift store before you go to the big box store to look for party pieces.  
  • Invest in items you will be able to reuse at future events. 
  • Check clearance bins for envelopes, paper products, etc. even when you don't have a need in an effort to inspire and stockpile supplies for future events. 
  • Ask for help. 
  • Make it personal.