Picture Perfect by Kristen Ruby

Images courtesy Jim D’Angelo Photography.

When it comes to party planning, not everyone will hire a professional event planner or PR agency to make his or her event a success. If you are planning a party on a budget this summer, steal these tricks from me: 

Leverage social media

If you have already chosen an event theme but need more ideas for bringing the party to life, search under relevant hashtags on social media. For example, search “Tutu Baby Shower” on Pinterest, #TutuBabyShower on Instagram or the full phrase on Facebook. 

Make it experiential 

Think about how you can make the event more Instagrammable with user-generated content. Turn the event into an experience that people want to share on social media. Add visual elements to make the party pop, such as a flower wall, a balloon wall or even a colored background. People crave shareable social experiences, so think about how you can create this for them. 

Create a custom hashtag

One of the best ways to capture photos is to create a custom hashtag that guests can use on social media. Be sure to make the hashtag visible with signage at the event. You can follow the hashtag on Instagram to keep up with all of the tagged images so guests can see all of the images post-event. 

Don’t forget the swag

The best part of any PR event is always the swag bag. You can create your own custom swag bags and include branded items with the name/details of the event. For example, if you are planning a baby shower, you can give guests custom-branded lip gloss that says “Jessica’s Baby Shower.” If you don’t have a printer or graphic design skills, you can have these custom-made for you on Etsy. 

 

Think visually

Sometimes the most beautiful ideas can come from simple elements that you already have in your home. Make a splash at your next event with three simple elements — a silicone ice cube tray, distilled water and fresh flowers. Simply pour the fresh flowers into a tray, fill it up with distilled water and allow it to freeze overnight. Consider using an extra-large silicone ice cube tray if you want to fit a full rose in there as well. You can display the floral ice cubes in a large ice bucket with a large bottle of Champagne for a stunning display that will wow your guests.

Create a ‘Momosa’ Bar

“Momosa” Bars are all the rage at baby showers. To create your own pop-up “Momosa” Bar, buy two dozen pink baby bottles and cut the top of each bottle open. Insert pink and white straws and tie the tops of the bottles with ribbon. Serve cocktails such as pink lemonade or pink Prosecco in the bottles. Top off the bar in true “Momosa” style by offering guests fresh fruit in large glass canisters. 

 

Minimalist centerpieces

If you want to wow guests, consider making centerpieces out of three simple household items — Champagne flutes, roses and ice cream cones. Cut the fresh roses and insert them into the ice cream cones, then put the cones into the Champagne glasses. Line up several flutes in a row for a dazzling effect. This simple trick can be used for anything from a baby shower to a kid’s birthday party or even a private dinner party with friends.

Tulle is your friend 

Tulle can be used for everything from a dessert table skirt to beautiful chair skirts. It can also be used on water bottles to create a “tutu” effect. To create your own, simply get tulle, elastic and satin. 

Cover the floor with mini balloons

One of the most overlooked types of balloons are actually the mini ones that are between two to five inches. You can turn the gift area into a pink-and-white wonderland by blowing up 200 mini balloons and covering the floor with them. This creates a stunning effect and also looks great in photos, too.

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