Welcome to Party Tip Tuesday! Today I’m excited to introduce you to Dawn with Not Just a Mommy. Dawn is a mother to 2 boys and a proud Marine wife who has a passion for party styling and planning. One of the things I admire about Dawn’s party ideas is that she tries to show you how to plan a fabulous party while staying within your budget (it is possible!). Today we’ll get to learn a bit more about Dawn and hear some of her advice for party planning, budgeting and creating a memorable event for all your party guests.
1) How would you describe “Not Just a Mommy”?
I would say “I like parties, I like to craft, and I like to go fun places and that’s what I blog about”. That’s what my tagline is…I love sharing my finds and ideas with my readers. I started off as a party blog and now it’s evolved into entertaining, crafts and design on many different levels.
2) When did you first know you had a passion for parties?
I didn’t start getting into parties until we started celebrating my boys’ birthdays. I’ve always been a creative person and I love playing hostess. Then, I didn’t stop there and even our playdates became “glorified playdates” as I called them, mini parties to try out some of the ideas pinging around in my head. When other people started asking for my help and ideas, I knew it was more than just crazy but a legitimate skill.
3) When it comes to planning a party, what are your best tips for staying within your budget?
Start planning early. I can’t stress that enough…you’ll have time to find items on sale, use coupons, make things. It never fails that if you leave things until the last minute you won’t find what you want or end up spending way more than you should have.
Some party themes can be naturally more expensive. Disney’s Cars’ products will cost more than generic race cars. If your little man insists on Lightning McQueen, have a few items to set the tone (like the plates and cups) and use solid colors to round everything else out.
Trim the fat…keeping your guest list small is a good way to minimize costs but if you do have a large guest list, look into options like local parks and community centers. Many community centers have full kitchens, tables, chairs and are usually next to a great park so you can spend less money on crafts and items to keep your guests busy. Does your friend have a great yard or a basement you could use? It never hurts to ask.
4) When designing a party, what are your best tips for inexpensive party decor?
I want to shout it from the rooftops…invest in a party stash of reusable party items. White cake stands and platters are classic pieces that can be dressed up with ribbon and scrapbook paper to match any theme. Here’s a post on affordable pieces that I use over and over again at all of my parties.
Clear glass pieces can be found everywhere, even at the Dollar Tree. At our Colorful And Glittery New Year’s Eve party, all of the glass candle holders are from Dollar Tree. I just dressed them up with glitter tape.
Start collecting hanging decor like Chinese paper lanterns and tissue fans. You can purchase them inexpensively at craft stores or in bulk at online party stores like Oriental Trading. For about the price of a dozen balloons, you can have the same amount of tissue fans that can be used over and over again.
Keep an eye out, especially after holidays when things go on clearance that can be used for future parties and get togethers. For example, after Christmas red tableware can be used for Valentine’s Day or 4th Of July or for the above mentioned Cars party. I live at the Dollar Spot of stores like Target and Michael’s. They rotate through themes and you never know what you may find.
5) How do you manage your time on the day of a party (creating a beautiful party and still finding time to enjoy it)?
I am a list keeper. I start a list of things to do from the moment I start planning a party so I can keep myself on track with my very limited time. I do the same the day of – I’ll even put down a rough estimate of time. Time for guests to arrive, when I should start the crafts, when we should start eating, etc. Then I know I’ve got a built in time to relax and take a breather. No matter what, I always seem to be running a little behind so I try not to stress too much…more times than not, the guests won’t even know what is amiss.
All photos featured here are courtesy of Dawn with Not Just a Mommy.
We’d like to send a big Thank You to Dawn for being featured in this Party Tip Tuesday! Be sure to check out the links to her social media accounts (left hand side of the Not Just a Mommy blog) to keep updated on all of her fabulous & budget-friendly ideas.
Do you have party related questions that you’d like me to ask an expert? Do you have a favorite expert that you’d love to see featured? Please contact me to let me know!
For more birthday party ideas, head over to our Birthday Party page. If you’re looking for adorable party supplies, check out one of my favorites – Birthday in a Box and save 10% off on all orders over $50 – Use code BDAY10 (a Moms & Munchkins affiliate code).