If anyone has ever done sorority Big-Little, been a parent on Christmas morning (…which I haven’t been, but who cares…), etcetera, you know the mixture of excitement and financial terror that fills your soul when pulling together a well-organized gift spread. Some Bigs/Parents take the more is more approach—placing quantity in front of quality, and buying a lot of trinkets. This makes for a visually full array of gifts. Others prefer to devote their efforts to one, more expensive present. I think both are great, especially if you’re planning on spending equally. It really depends on the gift-giver and the gift-receiver.
In that sense, one can use the same financial approach to planning celebratory décor for a cost effective get together or birthday party. My friend Emma turns 22 on July 2nd. (Incidentally, my half-birthday, which we both love to harp on.) Since July 4th celebrations will fall on her birthday this year, a Saturday night, it’s important to think about how best to plan her beach-birthday. How can we make Emma feel special amidst all that red, white and blue? In my mind, Em’s birthday will stand out more if we really dress up one table, at one point in time, rather than apportioning different activities throughout the day. So: my approach is to go all out on the evening of July 2nd.
How to do this? Well, I love the concept of combining a bunch of DIY projects, within a certain color scheme. …I’m thinking, gold/yellow. Gold balloons, gold table fringe, yellow and white M&M’s filling wine glasses, the works. I plan to purchase some yellow and white paper straws, a paper table
runner and yellow utensils. For our big floral arrangement/centerpiece, my mom and I will fill a vase with sliced lemons, water and some pretty, white flowers. If you break down these expenses, as long as I hit up the dollar store for the decorations, the table can totally be arranged for a reasonable cost.
The real stand out aspects would be a Sundae Bar and a Make-Your-Own Cocktail bar—lemon based, to go with our yellow theme! Sticking to DIY drinks and desserts as your food options completely relieves the hostess of cooking stress. (And, as a fairly shoddy cook, contrary to my college essay claims, I really value this quality in a party.)
I’ll be placing small bowls of fruits and candy-toppings on the table (M&Ms, sprinkles, gummies), as well as chocolate, caramel and peanut butter sauce in a buffet-like fashion. It’ll
be important to pack a lot of ice, to keep the ice cream and cocktails cool, but other than that, again, no-to-minimal sweat.
I’ve peppered this page with inspiration pictures!