Tall Centerpieces in Pinks and RedsEveryone loves a party! Planning one can be as much fun as attending, especially if you get a little help along the way. My favorite part of the party is the décor. As a floral designer, how things look are very important to me and set the ambiance of the party right from the first moment the party begins. Here are a few tips for planning your next party or event.

Whether it is a simple “at home” affair or a major event at a lavish venue, a few simple guidelines will help make the planning of the décor enjoyable.

First, pick a theme. You already have a reason to have the party, maybe a birthday, anniversary or just a way to get together with family and friends. Whatever the reason for the celebration, a theme will add not only a festive aspect but will also give you a direction to develop the party. A theme can be specific, such as a favorite movie, sport, story, and country or can be as simple as a color theme such as black and white, orange, hot pink and chartreuse or royal, turquoise and emerald. You’ll find that once you have an overall plan, the details become a lot easier.

Dinner PartyYour choice of venue will dictate some of the details. Now is a good time to also consider your flower and décor budget. Be realistic as to setting this budget based on the number of guests and the amount of detail you expect to provide.

A small budget is perfect for a limited amount of guests and a simple theme. As an event becomes more formal, elaborate and structured, the budget needs to get bigger in proportion to the plans. One centerpiece for a buffet table or a seated dinner table is quite different from 20 centerpieces for 20 guest tables.

For me, flowers are a very important part of any party. Often, it is one of the things that guests remember way after the event is over.

Here are some areas to consider when planning for floral decor:

  • Entrance or lobby
  • Cocktail area and tables
  • Escort or Seating Card area
  • Dinner tables
  • Napkin fold/Single flowers for each guest place setting
  • Buffet tables
  • Cake or dessert tables
  • Gift Table
  • Restrooms
  • Chair backs for guests of honor

Orchid on Place SettingWhen making plans, another consideration is how much you can or want to do yourself and where you need help. Your local florist can be a wonderful partner, as his experience in doing parties can work to your advantage. He can help you use your budget efficiently to get your best value. You may hear these tips and more from your florist:

  • Do what you do well rather than spreading your budget too thinly
  • A punch of color can go a long way
  • Choose graphic shapes and forms for major impact
  • Renting vases and props can not only save dollars but can give you a much wider range of choice to develop your theme
  • Explore table shapes and arrangements for an interesting layout
  • Your floral centerpiece(s) will be the focal point of your event so begin there when developing your theme

I enjoy entertaining as well as helping others plan their parties. It’s such a great way to enjoy family, friends and all the good things life has to offer. Maybe that is why flowers play such an important role as they remind us of all that is beautiful in the world around us.

What are some memorable ways you’ve seen flowers displayed at parties?