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Eye Candy: Real Parties -- Let's go wild


Let's go Wild!

This super roar-some jungle safari party was so much fun to style.  Starting with a blank canvas, this client was excited to see what could be created with this adventurous idea. 

Where to Start 

Call me old-fashioned but I love paper invitations and thank you cards.  Printed cards give you the opportunity to create anticipation and excitement with guests.  It sets the tone of the event, and gives you the opportunity to add a fun surprise inside (even little things like confetti, a balloon, or a sprinkle of sand) would be a great way to already begin to engage your guests in your event. 

With Paperless Post you can now also upload your own invitation designs to keep your party personal.  We love the benefit of tracking RSVPs as well as automated reminders.

Creating a Focal Point

When planning your party, look for opportunities to weave your theme into different aspects of the event.  For this safari-themed party, pith hats, binoculars, extra large furry jungle animals, and a face painter added to the adventures. 

We also love creating a focal point in the space so that, if budgets are limited, you can center attention on main attraction.  In most cases that's the dessert bar/candy table (which can include other yummy snacks like bananas and grapes, in this case).

When planning bigger events with many little guests, we like to have both a cake and cupcakes.  Handing out cupcakes is much faster than cutting a cake.  This is especially important when, like in Hong Kong, there is a time limit to some party venues.  A tall cupcake tower also adds needed height and variety to your dessert table creating a better visual centerpiece.  When thinking about tablescapes, we like to apply the rule of three levels: the highest level (the chocolate cake), the middle level (cupcakes on vintage boxes), and the bottom level (cookies and bananas on wicker platters), shown below.

Another important tip when applying the 'three levels rule' to tablescaping is to ensure that there is about the same distance between each level.  In this case, because the cake is very high, the visual balance is achieved with a 3D elephant on the right, and the gold lantern on the left.  This look achieves a visual stair step effect creating a more cognitively appealing table layout.

We also like to have a balanced feeling between the left and the right so tend to keep the visual weight equal.  If you have something on the left, balance it visually with something on the right. 

Sweets and Treats

If budgets permit, why not create custom cookies and cupcakes that extend the party theme?  We are in love with these interestingly-shaped personalized cookies brushed with gold luster dust.  Notice how each cookie looks aged to match our vintage vibe.  Love!

Fondant character cupcake toppers are the ultimately indulgence and look sooooo amazing on a dessert table.  Use these amazing mini art pieces as table decoration and place them accordingly. 

A little secret: you only need a handful of these super fabulous (and expensive) little gems.  The rest of the cupcakes can be a more budget-friendly style since they are not centerstage.

Don't you just love these fabulous safari animals with their adorable little party hats?

....and a word about cakes. 

I am all about cake.  The more cake the better, I always say.  You can never have too much buttercream frosting in my world!  

Cakes can get expensive, however, especially if you order fancy fondant layer cakes.  Instead of ordering your next cake, why not try a home-baked cake?  If you are like me, however, I can bake a yummy cake but when it comes to professional looking frosting, my skills often let me down.   To create an instagram-worthy cake, why not decorate with accessories?  My normal go-to move is gourmet sprinkles.  Copious amounts of sprinkles hide a plethora of buttercream mistakes. 

But for this party, the guest of honor requested chocolate.

In this simply-frosted, budget-friendly, chocolate cake below, we crafted a little tiny banner using the same animal print paper found through-out the party room.  We lined it with gold glitter cardstock, and strung it with jungle jute twine to two gold party animal swizzle sticks.  We then purchased mini safari animals and hot glued miniature matching party hats with fuzzy pom poms.  Result? Insta-success!  (Adorable and for a fraction of the cost.)

Where to Splurge

When decorating a large space, value for money is important.  Our go-to decoration is the humble balloon. The variety and size has dramatically improved in the last few years.  We love the versatility of this simple decoration.

We apply the same 'three-level rule' to decorating space.  Helium balloons can serve as the high-point (and take up lots of visual space) and balloons filled with love (your hot air) can serve as the low-point when bumping around the room on the ground.  The middle space is then open to your imagination.  This space is often taken up by tables: dining tables, dessert tables, gift tables, etc.  

We splurged on extra large, near life-sized fuzzy jungle animals to extend the jungle safari theme through-out the room.  The beauty of this little purchase is that the birthday girl gets to keep them when the party is over.  (A big, happy surprise for her!)

Love the look of this safari party?  Shop the look here.  Go wild!