Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Seven Trendy, Thrifty Holiday Event Ideas from Event Solutions Magazine

Thrifty, trendy holiday event planning ideas for parties, corporate events and more from professional event experts around the industry. Photos from an actual "Simply Perfect Peace and Designs by Shay" Event

PR Log (Press Release) – Dec 04, 2008 – “We’re in a recession,” is starting to sound like a broken record. The gloom and doom surrounding us all can easily take the excitement out of even the most festive occasions.

But it doesn’t have to! Throw a real holiday bash on a budget this year, even if you’re feeling the squeeze. Here’s how, from the experts in the business.

From the November 2008 issue of a professional event planners magazine:

1. Think non-perishable and streamline color choices. Flowers might not make it for more than a few days.

[idea] Consider mini live evergreen trees, bowls of Lady apples, ornaments or beautiful fat candy canes. By limiting your color choices, you’ll create more of a visual statement with lots of impact.

2. Create an inspiration board or binder for your party to collect and organize thoughts as well as build tons of excitement. Think of it as your own personal “Design on a Dime” that demonstrates how to create your look for less. Look at the big picture and see where you can borrow from your own stash, your neighbor’s or a colleague’s to create something drop-dead gorgeous.

[idea] Tear out photos from magazines and advertisements, pull ribbon and fabric swatches and use paint chips to organize your color scheme. Take a few days and look at your visual plan and edit it. Determine whether or not you have to actually buy or rent everything you’ve flagged for inspiration.

3. Create edible centerpieces. Individual sweets on a pedestal in the middle of each table double as décor and dessert.

[idea] Picture candy apples dipped in caramel or chocolate and then individually wrapped in cellophane with beautiful ribbon and nested among evergreen sprigs. Not only will the centerpieces look festive and eye-catching, guests can either eat their candy apples for dessert or take them home as favors.

4. Invest in clear cylindrical vases to use for flowers, as buffet risers, to hold décor and other party necessities. Glass vases are economical because they can be used repeatedly for many events and can deliver lots of style for not a lot of green.

[idea] Fill them with battery-operated white lights, pine cones spray-painted silver or gold, ornaments or other holiday-themed items.

5. Stop and think.

How can you come up with great décor options for little or no money?

[idea] Need evergreen boughs? Christmas tree lots are a perfect option because they trim trees to attach water receptacles and eliminate extra branches. These branches (from all different types of trees) can act as the base of your buffet, as garnish for your platters and festoon the center of your tables. Also talk to friends and co-workers to see what they might have to loan you for your event. Someone might be hosting a blow-out the Saturday before yours and have no problem loaning you some key pieces.

6. Think multi-purpose.

Make every aspect of your event work double-time.

[idea] Place-card holders should be fun and festive enough to glam up the table, while also letting guests know where they will be sitting.

7. Create vignettes.

Remember not all of your centerpieces have to be identical. If you’re using what you’ve got on hand, arrange décor elements that complement each other but are not necessarily exactly the same.

[idea] Only have 10 clear glass vases but 20 tables? No problem. Use the 10 you have on hand and 10 others in different heights or in a material with your overall scheme. Don’t be afraid to mix up table sizes either. As long as you make a bold, intentional statement, your guests will never know the difference. If you’re not doing a formal, sit-down dinner, consider arranging existing couches and chairs in seating vignettes and using smaller tables and chairs in different areas to create a club-like feel without a matchy-matchy look.

It’s easy to be creative when you’ve got tons of money to throw around. The true test of ingenuity comes when you’ve got to use your brain instead of just your pocketbook. So think dual-purpose, brainstorm with friends, pool your resources, ask for help, and your event will be thrifty and rock-star fabulous in no time flat!

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Sharon Patrice, Owner
Simple Perfect Peace Events
Designs by Shay

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