Last Monday night my team and I threw a party for some of the other bloggers who live in my state of Utah. It was so much fun getting to know everyone, not to mention the delicious food and the fun prizes! My assistant Kaitlyn planned and executed the event to perfection and my social media manager Britta handled all the technical aspects of the night. The three of us teamed together to make DIY thank you gifts that each person took home. It was a group effort and it really paid off! I must have heard a dozen times that this was one of the most fun get-togethers they had ever been to.
Here are a few of the highlights of the evening…
Food, glorious food! We held the party at my nephew Cameron’s new BBQ restaurant…BamBam’s BBQ! On the menu…pork and beef sliders, coleslaw, baked beans and potato salad sides, and ice cold bottles of soda pop! The dessert table was as delicious to look at as it was to eat!
After everyone’s tummy’s were satisfied, we brought in some special guests to provide some media training for these up and coming bloggers on how to present themselves well on television.
We even had a local television news station show up and shoot some interviews.
Finally, there were LOTS of fun prizes to give away! (Please see the list of sponsors who donated prizes at the end of this post.)
Since the night was such a huge success, I asked Kaitlyn if she could share a few of her party-planning tips!
-Pick a theme. We went with a vintage/country theme since we had the party at a BBQ restaurant and it made it so much easier to pick out all the decorations and make everything look cohesive.
-Pick a color scheme. I actually just read a blog post about not picking a color scheme for your wedding because it boxes you in and sometimes ends up looking a little too coordinated. But we decided to stick with Jill’s blog colors for the party and since she has five of them, I don’t think it looked too matchy, matchy. It helped to keep me from getting overwhelmed with ideas. Especially when I walked into our local party supply store and saw soooo many options for décor. I knew that I only wanted to buy things in certain colors and it narrowed my choices waaaaay down.
-Make lists! I am a major list maker because it helps me stay organized – I also love the feeling of crossing things off my list 😉 When we first started planning I sat down and just wrote out everything that needed to be done and planned for. I kept lists of vendors we needed to contact, who was doing what, companies we were contacting for giveaways, our guest list etc. The night before the party I wrote up a list of what time things were being delivered, what needed to be picked up that day, and what I needed to remember to bring with me. Lists are truly your best friends when it comes to party planning. I especially liked using Google Docs to keep everything accessible online and organize my lists in an excel document that our whole team could access.
-Organize a game to get people talking. We played an awesome game called Minglo that everyone seemed to love! It was an easy way to break the ice and get the party going.
-Photo booths are always a good idea. We paid for a company called Smilebooth to come, but it’s a little pricey for something other than a corporate event. But it’s super easy to just set-up a camera on a tripod, throw up a cute background, and grab some goofy props. That’s what we did at my wedding and everyone had a blast with it. I think the Smilebooth was packed just about the whole night.
-Don’t be afraid to DIY. We didn’t do a lot of DIY décor for this particular party because we didn’t give ourselves a lot of planning time. So we ended up paying more to rent things and have someone else do things for us. But one thing I DIY’d were some cute lace table runners. I couldn’t find what I wanted premade so I just bought some lace fabric at Joann’s and cute it to size. I made sure to check that the edges wouldn’t fray so I didn’t even have to hem the fabric. It probably took me an hour and just a few bucks to make four table runners.
Another thing we DIY’ed were our gift bags and I’m so glad we did! They were much more personal than they would have been if we’d just bought random stuff to stick in them. We made Jillee’s Homemade Dry Laundry Soap, Gardener’s Hand Scrub, English Muffin Bread, and Honey Butter Ambrosia. It was representative of Jill and our company and I really think the guests liked the personal touch.
A simple way to add some pizazz to your party is getting someone with lovely handwriting to make up some cute signs to put up at the food and drink tables. Since the place we held it at already had a few chalkboard-painted walls, we took advantage of those too. It really dressed up the event.
-Check and double check details! I failed to do this with two of our vendors and found out very late that I had booked the wrong thing with one vendor and had the wrong things delivered with another. Everything got worked out in the end, but if I had just double checked everything in advance I wouldn’t have had to deal with major problems a few hours before the party.
I hope you enjoyed our little tour and maybe picked up an idea or two for YOUR next party! We would LOVE to see some pictures! Post them to Instagram and tag @byjillee
One last note: Don’t be afraid to reach out to would-be sponsors. Even if it’s just a small gathering….you’ll never know if the shop around the corner would be willing to provide some prize, etc. in return for a little free advertising unless you ask!
Here is a list of the incredible sponsors who helped us make the night a smashing success! Please look over the list and if you feel so inclined…take advantage of some of the coupon codes they are offering OGT readers for a limited time only!
JILLEE BBQ SPONSORS:
Alice Lane Home
A furnishings boutique and interior design firm.
Anna Gleave Photography
Anna Gleave is an award-winning photographer based in the western U.S. 15% off for any readers who book by the end of July.
The Awful Waffle and Sixth Street Pizzeria
Gourmet Belgian waffles, crepes, frites, hand-crafted Italian pizza and more! Mention that you read this post and get 20% off until July 31.
From Balanchine to Bournonville and Petipa to Tharp, Ballet West boasts a rich and varied repertoire, elegant and versatile artists and an American style and legacy that’s as dynamic, expansive and unexpected as the Rocky Mountain region it represents.
Bam Bam’s BBQ
Grand Champion Pit Boss Cameron Treu serves up authentic central Texas BBQ.
Whether you are a culinary novice or a seasoned chef, Blendtec blenders make your life in the kitchen easier and your life outside healthier.
Online shop specializing in women’s vintage clothing & accessories that fit into the modern wardrobe. Use code JILLEE for 20% off your order
Online pop-up market that showcases individual companies and their freshest items.
Dream Catcher Baby
Handmade dresses and bow-ties for your little dreamer!
Handmade brass color-blocked necklaces and more. Use code JILLEE20 for 20% off everything through the end of July.
Freshly Picked Moccs
Handmade, 100% genuine leather, soft-soled moccasins for infants and toddlers.
Gigg is focused on discovering the greatest musicians in the world while allowing fan participation in the discovery process through a series of online competitions.
Glass by Lisa
Handmade stained glass window ornaments and unique hand-printed stump prints. Use code JILLEE for 20% off your order.
Go Make Play
Project kits that provide everything you need to assemble toys, games and more with your kids.
Handwritten pieces from a girl who can’t keep her doodles in the margins of her five star notebook. Use code JILLEE25 for 25% off your order.
One of the top visited attractions in Utah – the zoo is spread out over 42 acres and its natural hillside terrain and meandering tree-covered pathways enhance the visitor experience as you discover the wonders of the natural world.
The Home T
Super soft, simple t-shirts that say one thing: “home.” The company donates a portion of all proceeds to Multiple Sclerosis Research.
Handmade hair accessories for your little ones. Use code SUMMER20 to receive 20% off all orders placed by Friday July 19th.
Their patent-pending design with various colored interchangeable side arms, rubber soft-touch finish and full UV 400 protection lenses will rock your world and boost you at least two points on the cool scale.
One of a kind handmade crafts – bow ties, stuffed animals and more. Use code ONEGOODTHING20 for 20% off your purchase.
Handmade, unique swimsuits to help you show off your individual personality.
Livy Love Designs
Unique prints for your home to decorate and inspire. Use code HELLO to receive 20% off your purchase
Your Cup of Cake
Lizzy Early appeals to your sweet tooth with delectable recipes for cupcakes and other delicious treats.
Recipes for the cupcakes we had at the party:
Chocolate Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes
Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes
Made by Jewls
Adorable handmade fabric covered button earrings and other cute accessories!
MelissaEsplin.com is a creative process and DIY blog focusing on calligraphy, sewing and DIY where you can find loads of tutorials and printables along with her one-of-a-kind online calligraphy workshop. This week only (through July 19, 2013), download her popular printable “You are my favorite” PDF for FREE, by using the code OGTJILLEE at checkout.
Textiles for baby and home.
Handmade turban headbands for babies, kids, and women. Use code ONEGOODTHING for 20% off your order.
Pink Parlor Designs
Shop owner Amy Twitty sells darling play tents for kids in order to raise money to adopt a second child.
Pinned Pretty is an online boutique featuring up to date women’s clothing, handmade makeup and cosmetic bags and brush holders in fun, designer fabrics and also a small selection of jewelry.
Use code JILLEE10 for 10% off your order.
Family owned bakery specializing in delicious donuts, pastries and other sweet treats. Use code JILLEE for 10% online orders.
Provo Beach Resort
A truly one-of-a-kind facility, with more than 50,000 square-feet of attractions and entertainment for the whole family.
Salt Lake Bees
The AAA team for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, providing an old time baseball experience in Salt Lake City.
Specializing in designer home décor items as well as fun and creative party supplies. Use code ONEGOODTHING for 10% off your order.
Boutique specializing in women’s clothing and accessories, home and beauty products, and clothes and products for your little ones.
We love making housewares with personality! Use code OGT15 for 15% of your order.
Taylor Design House
Taylor Design House is here to bring you fresh, clean, and tasteful design for all of your paper wants and needs. Beautiful business cards, invitations, prints, logos, cards or announcements for any and every event in your life!
The Grand America
Salt Lake City’s only AAA 5 Diamond Hotel – inspired by the world’s grand hotels of the past, The Grand America Hotel has the allure of Old World craftsmanship, charm and hospitality, with every modern convenience at your fingertips.
Utah Symphony & Utah Opera
Utah’s premier orchestra preforms classical favorites at the Deer Valley Music Festival in the summer and at Abravenal Hall in the Fall and Winter.
Voulez (pronounced like voo-lay) means “want” in French. The shop specializes in handmade earrings. Use code Jillee13 for 10% off your purchase.