Choosing a Theme & Staying Focused

I asked my Facebook friends to suggest a topic for the blog since it's "Write it Wednesday" and childhood friend Aiesha Simpkins suggested, "How to Choose a Theme and Follow Through, Without Going Overboard."  Thank you for your suggestions Aiesha!  Great topic!  My initial thought was, "Ha!  I have no idea how NOT to go overboard!"  However, as I got to thinking, I must give props to my hubby for always keeping me on track.   Staying Focused is VERY difficult when planning my own events; I am much more careful when spending a clients' money.  However, birthday parties have gone from just cake and ice cream to special themes with coordinating gift bags, favors, place cards and customized cakes.  If you are not careful, you will definitely go overboard.  Here are a few tips to help you stay on task:

1.  Choose your theme - Sounds easy, huh?  Well, unless someone has hired you to create decor for a 'themed' event', you're gonna have to come up with one on your own.  I guess it all depends on the type of occasion.  If you're planning your child's birthday party, an easy way to agree on a theme is to simply include the child and take his/her ideas into consideration and allow them to help you execute it!  You'd be surprised what they'd come up with.  A holiday theme can be quite easy.  You can go the traditional 'red & green' route or you can choose to color outside the lines [much like I do] and create a holiday theme that is unique and a reflection of who you are.  Last Thanksgiving I decided to ditch the orange and brown for something more lively and more inviting of what was to come, "Christmas", so I went with the teal and red. I thought the colors were vibrant and different - not what you would expect for a Thanksgiving table and that is always my goal - the unexpected. If you are still stuck, Pinterest is a GREAT tool for inspiration.  Your search can be very specific and yet yield a wide array of results.  For instance, type in "Kids Themed Birthday Party Ideas" and you'll get hundreds of great pictures to inspire you and keep you up until 4am.  If you are planning your own celebration, perhaps choosing a theme based on your favorite things would work.  My advice would be, don't be afraid to think outside of the box and take some risks.  Do what you love so that you can love what you did!

2.  Once you've chosen your theme, create a budget....oh and stick to it!  What's the use of creating one if you don't adhere to it?  Defeats the whole purpose!  If you commit to sticking to your budget you will stay focused and not go overboard.  Your budget is the key to staying on task.  When I create customized decor for clients, the types of budgets vary.  I've had clients who say, "sky's the limit" and others who say, "this is all I've got, work with it!"  I love working with both clients and both types of budgets can be challenging, believe it or not.  

3.  When you've chosen your theme and know what you can spend, stay in your lane and build from there. I like to make lists and write down my ideas, I even have a dedicated book for all of my ideas.  As I write down the ideas, other ideas come to me, so I write those down too.  I also enjoy 'pinning' inspirational photos from others on Pinterest to my own personal boards.  It's great to have everything in one place, categorized and easily accessible for future use.  As I mentioned before, try to think outside the box, for example, instead of a boring, "everybody does it" guest book, why not spice things up a little and create a coordinating photo book on Shutterfly with a little extra space for guest signatures and best wishes?   You're guests will really dig that!

Well, I really enjoyed writing this blog entry.  I hope that you find it not only interesting, but helpful.  We'd love to hear from you.  Please feel free to share your own tips and post your event photos on our FACEBOOK page.  Thanks again, Aiesha for the great topic suggestion!  :-)

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