Okay, so maybe you’re not marrying a century-old vampire. That doesn’t mean you can’t throw a party like you are! We met up with Tammy Polatsek—that’s right, the party planner to the stars who designed that ah-mazing wedding scene—and she had some great tips for throwing a bash (think graduation day) on a not-so-Breaking Dawn budget!
Don’t know where to start? Pick a theme. Sometimes you can find inspiration in the most obvious places. Tammy says, “You have to think about the scenery—the colors, the location. I find inspiration by looking at different pictures of events.I always want to find something that is unique. You can find amazing things by just looking on Google Images!”
Take Tammy’s advice. Head to google.com and try searching for different key words—we got some great results by searching for our favorite movie titles. Find pictures that inspire you, print them off and start an inspiration folder. Don’t be afraid to mix themes to come up with something completely unique.
SETTING THE SCENE
Now that you’ve found your inspiration it’s time to decorate! “The décor is one of the most important things because it sets the tone for the whole party,” Tammy shares.
“When you’re thinking about a theme, choose something that is easy to do. You can use items from your backyard for the decorations, and then you don’t have to spend a lot of money,” she says.
OUTSIDE THE ENVELOPE
Think outside the box when it comes to invites. Tear pages from old books or make your own using scrapbook supplies. Tammy says, “Making your own invitations is creative and a great way to save money. I planned a Vegas-themed party and used $1 lottery tickets as invites. It was creative, worked with the theme and it’s less expensive than ordering invitations. Or if you’re planning something rustic, it could be fun to burn the edges of the paper. It makes it more fun and interesting.”
Paper invitations aren’t the only option. Send an evite. We love paperlesspost.com, as opposed to a generic Facebook invite, because you can tailor the evites to reflect the theme of your party, keep a guest list, track all the replies, and did we mention
it’s completely F-R-E-E?
“First of all, the food is the most important. People love food, and they will stay as long as there is food!” Tammy says. But a big menu doesn’t have to mean a big budget.
Nothing kills a good party vibe like people just standing around. Tammy suggests creating opportunities to start your guests mingling. “A great way to get people to socialize is to create stations. For example, people are more likely to chat around a food station.”
Set up a popcorn bar or a taco bar. Provide lots of creative toppings and guests can mingle while they’re filling their plates.
Tammy says, “It’s also good to have something fun and funky at your party that will get people talking. I went to a party once where a guy had mirrors attached
to him; he was a human disco ball! People were just gathering around him to talk and dance. It was really fun and it got people talking.”
You may not have a human disco ball, but you can create fun activities for your guests! Photo booths are always a big hit and they cost practically nothing! Just set up a digital camera on a tripod and provide guests with props. You could use pompoms and jerseys in your school colors or perhaps props that work with your theme. Following the party, post pictures online.
Oh, and don’t forget the music! Since a DJ might be a bit on the pricy side, Tammy suggests creating a CD. You could even burn enough copies so that each guest can take one as a favor when they leave.
No matter the occasion or the theme, now you have some stellar tips for throwing a celeb-worthy bash!