We celebrated my friend Serina’s birthday this weekend. (Yes, we have the same name) and I thought it’d be fun to share the common challenges of decorating for a party at an event center when the location decor conflicts with the party decor and what can be done to make it work.

The venue where the party was held operates as a wine tasting room and is a bit dark inside, which conflicted with the party's color palette of pink, gold, and white. And there was artwork prominently displayed that we were restricted from taking down which didn't go with the palette either. Her husband said that she would want a lot of balloons and hoped for the party to represent her sparkly, glittery style. I immediately knew that a balloon garland would work really well for disguising the artwork.

It's really hard to gauge how many balloons to order for massive garlands. We went through about 400 and weren't able to fully cover the artwork but it was disguised enough and the balloons came across as really happy and festive:

The lounge area had a black sofa and dark geometric chairs so I covered them with some white & gold and pink & gold Lilly Pullitzer blankets I got a few years back at Target:

I rented pink tablecloths for all of the tables, which immediately provides a facelift to any venue and creates a very special feel. It's one of those elements just like in the design of a home (like a beadboard ceiling for example) that a person might not necessarily notice about the space, but they do notice that the space feels nice and warm. Tablecloths are a must!

There was a lot of pink and I wanted to make sure the party didn't feel like it was childlike, so I made pretty floral arrangements for all of the tables. I purchased a variety of clear vases from the dollar store and spray painted each one with gold glitter spray paint. I chose roses because they have a more sophisticated feel than say, daisies or zinnias, and gathered sage and lavender greenery from my yard and clippings from trees for filler. Clusters of glittery gold balls were added as a final touch to each arrangement. Already made candle votives from the dollar store were placed throughout and confetti was sprinkled on each table, along with personalized "Serina" confetti I special ordered. (See sources below for info.) It was fun and festive to match her personality, but not childlike.

I simply festooned the black colored bar with metallic fringe, attaching with removable doublestick tape:

We had mini cupcakes and mini donut cupcakes and had a special cake made that we could sing happy birthday with. I wanted to make sure it was dripping in gold and topped with glittered macarons because the birthday girl is dreaming of a trip to Paris in the future. It was a very happy celebration for a sweet friend.

Tips:

I learned to make the balloon garland from The House that Lars Built. You can watch their tutorial here. I adapted the instructions by attaching the balloons to a balloon strip rather than chicken wire, and used an electronic balloon inflator. The balloon garland was A LOT of work and required A LOT of balloons. To get this one built, I had one person inflating balloons, one person tying balloons, two people creating balloon clusters and one person attaching the clusters to the balloon strip. It took about three hours for completion.

A couple of the tiny tables in the venue were too small for table coverings so I simply sprinkled them with confetti. I covered the coffee table in the lounge area with leftover metallic fringe trimmed from the bar covering.

Sources:

Balloons, metallic fringe, gold glitter balls for bouquets: Amazon

Tablecloths: Event Rents

Vases and votives: Dollar Tree

Spray paint used on vases: Krylon

Roses: Fred Meyer Supermarket

Birthday cake: Sweet Frostings Blissful Bakeshop

"Serina" confetti: Party Perfect Boutique

Confetti: JoAnn Fabric& Paperboy Party

Glittery "40" numbers: JoAnn Fabric

Marquee lights: Heidi Swapp

Venue: Nectar Tasting Room

MEET SERENA!

Stay-at-home mom, Serena Thompson, dreamed of creating a fun and happy little event to sell her vintage and handmade goods. In 2002, she and some friends held the first event in her neighbor’s barn. The sale became wildly popular and began attracting visitors from across the country and recognition in national magazines. Today the event fills the Spokane County Fairgrounds and features hundreds of creatively and carefully curated spaces filled with vintage and handmade goods. Many describe it as a bucket list event, magical, inspirational, and the best vintage & handmade fair in the country. Serena describes it as the happiest on earth.

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