Every major milestone in life is deserving of a fabulous celebration, and it seemed only fit to host an extravagant event for my sister’s graduation from high school. For over a month, I’ve been planning a party for my sister Marisa at our residence using Lauren Conrad’s new book, Celebrate, as my guide. I’ve spent hours pinning, online shopping, curating music and finding a visual center for the party. Every minute of planning led up to a gorgeous gathering that I’m so proud to have given to my sister as a graduation present.
My vision for this party centered around one color: pink. I knew I wanted guests to feel almost overwhelmed by the amount of pink in one space, an overload for all the senses. The color pink found its way not only in the decorations, but in the food and activities as well. Of course, as Lauren Conrad would agree, you can’t have everything in your celebration be pink (no matter how much you love the color), so I added gold and white to the color palette.
The focal point of this party was our dining table, which I dressed with overflowing pink peonies from Pike Place Market in our collection of antique and original mason jars passed down from my grandmother. I spray-painted some of these jars gold and tied twine or ribbon around the others. Candles placed in the remaining jars cast an ethereal glow, especially when placed upon chic gold wrapping paper I repurposed as a table runner. Above the table and throughout the family room, I hung paper decorations from Martha Stewart’s party collection. I loved how these decorations mimicked the form of peonies and filled the open space with beautiful texture and color. I added small doses of classic party staples like streamers and balloons to complete my design scheme. Outside, I kept the decorations to a simple string of lights, white tablecloths and large pieces of gold confetti.
Organizing the menu to include pink foods was a natural continuation of my rose-hued theme. Marisa and I created vanilla-strawberry pink cake pops (which were an instant hit among her friends) and pretzels hand-dipped in pink white chocolate to supplement a traditional sheet cake. We created a bagel bar, which included several cream cheese flavors like salmon and strawberry. By offering salami, Italian cured meats and melon wrapped in prosciutto, we continued showcasing the color pink in an elegant fashion. Rosé, prosecco and pink lemonade served with fruit accruements made for an excellent pairing.
For me, the success of any party hinges upon the attention to detail. I wanted guests to remember this event for weeks, months and, ideally, years to come. I turned our living room into the perfect setting for Instagramable photos by hanging pink and white tassels, a string of balloon letters and plenty of cascading streamers in a playful wall arrangement. Then I set up my professional lighting kit so that every photo would be flawlessly lit. Using props like a pink feather boa and a crown and glasses I painted gold, guests could make each picture fun and unique. Once their pictures were taken, partygoers could then print them out as polaroids using my Fujifilm Instax Share Smartphone Printer.
To make this a celebration nobody would truly forget, I created a Snapchat geofilter implementing the graphics from the invitation I designed on Vistaprint. Guests could add this filter to their images while at our house and share them on their Snap Story, or with their friends. In the family room, I wanted guests to feel empowered to choose their own music by leaving my laptop open to a Spotify playlist that Marisa’s friends could freely add songs to. I wanted Marisa to recall this event as fondly as her friends would by creating a photobook her friends could sign with pink gel pens throughout the party. I made the photobook with Chatbooks to include the highlights of her time at Bellarmine as originally seen on her Instagram.
I could tell Marisa and her friends had an amazing time at the party judging by their beaming smiles and infectious laughter that ensued all day long. Seeing all of our work come together for one magical afternoon was completely worth it all. It’s safe to say that the amazing achievement Marisa has made was celebrated with an equally amazing event.