Here at HubBub, we love a good party. And why not, right? Life can be hard and stressful, so when opportunities for celebration arise, go for it! Gathering with friends and family, recognizing milestones big and small, enjoying a feast or a few special treats - these are the moments that help make life sweet.
Being the designated party planner, though, can be a burden. There are lots of details to keep track of, vendors to coordinate with, and guests to please. Chances are you will be in charge of organizing a shindig at some point in your life - if not a wedding, maybe a shower, or a graduation, birthday, or anniversary party. Even if you're the laid back type, this situation can add some pressure. Lifestyle-centric sites like Pinterest can give the impression that every single piece of the party should be absolutely precious, perfect, and handmade if possible. We get it! Most of us want the events we're in charge of to feel special, personal, and from the heart, and the little details are how we accomplish that. But it's no reason to lose your head.
We've pulled together some great parties in our time, and picked up a few cool tricks along the way that we're happy to share. So, instead of feeling like you have to DIY yourself to the brink of insanity, here are a few tips (dare we call them hacks?) to help keep party planning fun and frugal.
Some things you definitely can do yourself, even if you don't self identify as a crafty person. Save $$ and gain satisfaction by tackling a few party projects - you can do it! The internet is rife with DIY advice, but some is better than others. Here are a few resources we recommend:
Flowers: Fresh flowers really bring a sense of vivacious elegance to a party spread. They're colorful, nice-smelling and just add that little something something. Buying loose flowers from a florist and arranging them at home can save a lot of money. It might seem a little intimidating, but we assure you, it's not rocket science! We love these simple, straightforward tips on the Apartment Therapy blog.
To buy your blooms, head to your farmer's market or a local shop (we know Trader Joe's has cheap ones, but you can do better!). In Philly, we're fans of the vendors at the Headhouse Farmer's Market and Snapdragon in West Philly.
Vases: Speaking of flowers, even the simplest bouquets look festive in a cute vessel. You can pick up vintage milk glass vases at pretty much any thrift store for a dollar or two, and if you find a bunch that don't match, all the better! Mixed together, different shapes and sizes create a pleasing hint of texture.
Looking for something a bit more glam? Gold spray paint is your new best friend. Not sure which brand is best for your project? Peruse this handy round up on A Beautiful Mess, pick up a can or two at the hardware store, and watch how quickly the most modest containers (coffee cans, Mason jars, glass bottles, terra cotta planters, heck even cardboard boxes!) are instantly transformed into fancy pants vases.
Music: There are few fast and hard party rules, but here is one: tunes are essential. Music helps shape the mood, including steering people onto the dance floor. The quick and easy solution is hopping on Spotify and firing up one of their pre-loaded Party mixes (under the "Browse" tab). There are tons of these playlists, ranging from modern pop hits to 80's throwbacks to vintage jukebox jams. Spotify is also a great tool to create your own custom playlists or hop around between genres.
For weddings, many people choose to hire a professional DJ to take care of the music, as it is a big job. But if you love music and you have some time to dedicate to combing through songs and curating playlists, this is a fun way to save money and have more control over the vibe of your big day. This article on Pitchfork breaks down how to DJ your own wedding in a lot of detail.
Decorations: If the thought of hand making party decorations makes you want to freak out, fear not! You're not stuck with the generic stuff from Party City. There are a bunch of online shops these days where you can find cute stuff that looks crafty and special. Meri Meri and Oh Happy Day! are two of our favorites, with tableware in so many colors and motifs, fun favors, bunting, cake toppers, and every other kind of flair you can imagine. Emoji balloons, candy colored confetti, superhero masks, and cat-shaped cookie cutters are just a small sampling of the irreverent goodies you can find in these shops.
If you're in a jam, or under a time constraint and can't wait for shipping, you're not out of luck. Target actually has a great line of party supplies, on the cheap to boot.
When the party's over, don't just throw it all away! Yes, paper plates and cups can't be reused, but nearly everything else can. Dedicate a small storage box for party goods, and next time you've got a soiree to oversee, you can pull from your own stash before buying more.
Don't skimp where it counts: For the stuff that really matters to you (or the person you're throwing the party for), don't skimp. If your BFF has a sophisticated sweet tooth, cupcakes from the grocery store aren't going to cut it. If you are a wine aficionado, splurge on a few good bottles of real champagne for a toast. And if you love coffee, don't settle for the pre-ground stuff in a foil package that some caterers consider coffee.
HubBub has just debuted our new Event services, featuring a beautiful, hand built coffee bar with the option for full espresso service, our charming ColdBrew Trike, and the original HubBub Truck. Level up your party's coffee by bringing in our quality beans and barista expertise. Amazing coffee is at the center of all that we do, and we'd love to bring that passion to your party, whether it's a simple affair or an all-out bash.
We would be honored and excited to be part of whatever event you're working on, and to bring your guests a coffee experience they won't forget. For more info, visit the new Events Page of our website, or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope our list of tips has been helpful in pointing you in the direction of some good resources.
Good luck with whatever festive plans you've got in the mix - party on!