Ok so it’s still freezing here in New York (I know you’re sick of hearing that. I’m sick of saying it) but last weekend, my friend Natalie, an amazing event planner here in the city, brightened up the drab weather by throwing a mid-day spring fling party at her gorgeous Brooklyn home. Let me tell you, it made me feel like I was in another city, a sunnier city.
I asked her if she’d share some of her party-planning special sauce with me for spring fling success. Read on for some serious spring-spiration and to see what I learned!
When planning a party, where do you start?
I think that in order for a party to be successful it should have a couple of key elements: good music, great food, festive cocktails, and the design should reflect the tone and purpose of the event. Those are the details that I focus on first.
Where do you find your design elements? Those green table pieces are so interesting.
All over! I am always on the lookout for unique pieces that will set my designs apart from other party planners. For instance, the ‘vases’ I used for the coral spray roses are actually votive holders that I found at Target on sale for $1.99 each! I just lined them with plastic prior to adding water and the roses.
And how do you decide on the design? There is so much to think about!
Sometimes my base point for designing an event will be a color scheme. But what I really like to do is create an overall look and feel. For instance, for this party, I wanted it to feel like I had brought spring indoors and so I used a mixture of vibrant fresh flowers in bright, spring colors, as well as potted plants.
Do you have any other design tips? You’re a pro, teach me your ways, lady!
Mix and match price points for your decor items for a unique and overall elevated look. Just like fashion stylists, I like to incorporate more expensive pieces, like the crystal butterfly jars, with less expensive items like the votive holders from Target.
Do you style your own flower arrangements?
For smaller scale events, like this spring cocktail party, I did arrange the flowers myself. But for larger parties or weddings, I work with a number of fantastic florists who I can rely on to create beautiful flower arrangements.
What’s your cocktail of choice?
It depends on the season. During the spring and summer I like to make fun, bubbly cocktails with fresh fruit. And when it is cold outside, I like to serve hot toddies or boulevardier cocktails (similar to a Negroni but substitutes bourbon for gin).
What’s the deal with favors these days?
I think it is always a nice touch to give guests favors. If I have the time, I will bake my own cookies or sweets and package them in bright paper bags or individual boxes for guests to take with them when they leave. Favors are a sweet reminder of your event and they indicate how appreciative you are that your guests could join you.
Photos by Rebecca Dale Photography.