My partner Phil and I got engaged last year. So of course we had to have a party. Or, more accurately, of course Pass The Party had to plan a party!
Luckily Mum and Dad’s rental property was vacant at the time, which was great because our house is far too small! So we had our venue, which we decided would comprise of a series of party spaces; the main living area, with the kitchen serving as a bar, the garage, and the master bedroom which would be the kids’ space. The benefit of a vacant house was that it was a blank canvas. The drawback? We would have to bring everything in. Including the fridge.
Lori’s brilliant idea became our theme: XO. As in, a kiss and a hug. Also as in the name Phil and I gave to our home bar. It was different, but then we love things that are unique!
Along with the theme we needed a colour scheme. The material for the bunting was our inspiration, I chose a gorgeous velvet with burgundy flowers, and in keeping with my love of all things spooky, skulls! Subtle skulls, though. You know, classy-like.
Armed with our colour palette of burgundy, black and gold, along with the mood board we created, we worked up a list of all the areas we’d need to decorate and the elements we’d need to do this with. Of course, being a rather special Pass The Party family event, the list was fairly extensive…
- Backdrop – black fabric, gold hoop with burgundy flowers and ivy, gold ‘XO’
- Main table – trestle, black tablecloth, gold bottles, burgundy flowers, votive candles, cake with topper
- Living room – bunting, gold bottles with burgundy flowers, candles, red couch and side table, trestle and chairs, bar leaner
- Bar (kitchen) – seed lights, light up BAR sign, XO sign and candles, silver serving tray with champagne saucers
- Garage – black draping fabric, light curtain, XO bar, bar stools, bunting, fairy lights, floor rugs, wicker couches, café setting with lantern
- Kids room – blankets, cushions, rugs, telly with DVD player, kids goodie bags
And that’s just the main elements! We had to bring in everything from the napkins to the glasses to the couches to the rubbish bins. We even brought the home bar down.
We made goodie bags for the kids which included popcorn, coloured pencils, slinkys and ring pops (it was an engagement party, after all). They had a room to themselves which we furnished with comfy rugs and cushions, and set up movies for them to watch.
Being Christchurch in July, we had to make sure the garage was nice and cosy, and ideally make it look a lot less like a garage! We patchworked the floor with rugs and draped the garage door with black fabric and a light curtain, and strung fairy lights across the ceiling. I knew we had done a good job when later that evening a friend from work exclaimed ‘Oh I didn’t realise this was the garage!’
All in all, the blank canvas was definitely the right choice, it was a lot of work but it was also the most elaborate and most amazing party I’ve ever been to. What made it even better was being able to celebrate our engagement in our own style, with our favourite people.
Now, on to the wedding planning!