12 Big Party Trends (go from drag to fab)

tiffany & co bag with coach sunglassesSince the age of Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr, parties have gotten more creative and well, fancier than ever. See my Pinterest Effect blog post, I wrote a few months ago about all those fancy parties and designing yours on a budget. But for the rest of us trying to keep up with these elaborate setups and designs is a big task. Hence, my main purpose for this blog, stylish designs without breaking the bank.

But don't fear my friends, adding the right design touch can elevate your event from drag to fab. So what exactly are those special touches that will change your status from hostess to event connoisseur? It's as simple as balloons or props. Remember don't over do it on the design aspect. Be careful and watch out for money pitfalls, like expensive out of season flowers and hiring a DJ AND a band. I was never a fan of over-the-top themes. By that I mean the polka dots napkins with the matching aisle runner. The right placement of props and designs will be enough to elevate your event.

So with that being said, I did the research for you. I checked all my social media feeds, the blogs I follow, the leaders in the event business, and here are the big trends of 2015-2016. The trends range from very affordable to well, a little on the pricey side, but as if with any party, check your budget and make sure there's room for the extra.

1. Vibrant textures and colors
vibrant tablescape and floors
Beautiful pops of pinks, greens, cobalt blue, and yellows are all the waives. The point is don't be afraid to mix your colors and patterns. When done right, you will end up with a vibrant and lively room decor.

2. Stylish Paper Goods
decorative paper plates and styling
Think paper plates are just for kids parties or comes in plain boring colors, think again. Check out the picture above. How cute are these? Not every party calls for the fine china. For example, a cute outdoorsy dinner party on the patio under the moonlight, is a great setting to have these cute paper plates. And, it makes for easy clean up.

3. Naked Cakes
naked cake without frosting
Let's get naked! Okay I don't really mean in your birthday suit. I'm talking about naked cakes. The idea of naked cakes is relatively new but growing into a crowd's favorite. All it is, is a cake WITHOUT the fondant or butter cream coating we are used to seeing. Naked Cakes is the way ALL cakes look at the beginning. What some people are doing is adding garnishes, flowers, or cute toppers to bring out this chic idea. I personally love the idea. I'm not a big sweets person in the first place and I found that some cakes are too sweet, and this way, you eliminate the extra layer of sugary sweets and not to mention taking away the extra calories. So yes, have another slice.

4. paper flowers
paper flowers
Love flowers but don't like the price tags, here is an alternative. Paper flowers are great. You can use them on your backdrop, the back of your chivalry chairs, and even on walls. I have to honest with you friends, these can get a little pricey, but they are so worth it. You can check out etsy.com or potterybarn.com. Prices can range from $29 each to over $400. So do you due diligence and make informed decisions.

5. Edible flavors
krispy kreme donuts
Gone are those days of receiving candles or 2x2 picture frame you're never going to use. The new thing to do is have edible favors. The great thing about this trend is edible favors costs a lot less than those little picture frames and your guests will love them more. Look at the picture above, a nice box of Krispy Kreme as your guests leave the party. I bet the donuts won't make it home. You could serve cookies, brownie bites, or just set a candy station. Great trend. But in case you need more conventional ideas check out this blog post about Unique Party Favors.

6. Chic balloons
love balloons and dessert station
Photography: Gia Canali Photography; Wedding Planning: Yifat Oren & Associates
Another great trend. Now we have an excuse to party with balloons and not just for the kids. This chic trend comes in many different shapes, sizes, and wording. Look at the setup above, if this is the only place you have the balloons, then you have achieve total chicness. Watch the snaps of cameras.

7. Paper Straws
drinks with black and white stripes paper straws

8. Calligraphy
Calligraphy is an old visual art form dating back to 600 BC. But, its usage have surfaced again and going strong. Calligraphy is being used on wedding invitations, menus and programs. Calligraphers use a special pen to write. The art itself is not expensive but service may be. I follow so many calligraphers on my Instagram. That is a great place to look for one.

9. Event Hashtags
instagram hashtag
This is a fun trend, an event hashtag. A newly married couple might use the hashtag, #SmithUnion. You know your guests will be posting pictures on social media and everyone knows of hashtags. So this is a great way to collect pictures that your guests have taken. It would be fun to see all those casual hashtags.

This works great in the corporate world. A company trying to raise brand awareness or fundraiser, can implement an event hashtag to generate leads and reach a broader audience. A great prop is an Instagram frame prop with your hashtag written right on there. Check out Quickprints Instagram account for more examples.

10. Eco-Friendly Decorations
green table design with eco-friendly menu
With more awareness to the environment and our planet, couples and the corporate world are turning their events more Eco-friendly. But this trend does not mean boring or over-the-top greens. Check out the picture above. The menu serves a dual purpose, a menu and favor bag. Use wooden cutlery, sage on your folded napkins, green hanging amaranthus, or green fern leaves. Add small pops of purple orchids and Voila! Eco-Friendly without the fuss.

11. Wedding Drones
drone camera
No I'm not talking about a government takeover. Although technology is moving into scary areas. Notwithstanding these concerns, enter the camera drone (dum dum dum). A fancy overhead camera that takes aerial shot of your event. Not a cheap extra and not all photographers have access to this trend. Depending how easy this makes you feel, this is an interesting trend. I mean look at the picture above, great shot right? What do you think?

12. Peonies
Courtesy of Jessamyn Harris Photography
Peonies are the new black in the flower game. I love the fluffy-look to this flower. It just screams elegance and romance. But here is the catch, Peonies blossom in the late spring and early summer. A short season. So if your wedding is in December and you insist on having Peonies at your wedding, expect to pay extra to have them there. Taking care of these beauties are easy and they can last up to week and still look fresh.  Would you prefer them over roses or the hydrangeas?

So there it is. 12 trends to help bring your party from drag to fab. Which of these would you implement at your next event? Which is your favorite? Drop us a note.

I hope you enjoy this post as much as I enjoyed writing it.


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Welcome! First thank you for taking the time to stop by my little corner of this world. This is the place to be if you're a bride-to-be, hostess, wedding & event planner or anyone who loves the art of entertaining. You can expect to find great posts from industry professionals, as well as my own designs and all the tools you need to plan your perfect event. You can always reach me via email at judith@eventsojudith.com. Don't forget to subscribe and share this blog around.

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