Years ago, when my career path took a turn from fashion design to product management, I needed a creative outlet.  I started making greeting cards for friends and family, and when they asked me if they could order some for themselves, my little stationery business was born.  When our kids came along, I made their birthday party invitations with matching decorations. To date, I have thrown 32 homespun birthday parties!  I don’t make handcrafted invitations anymore, but I coordinate plenty of creative endeavors, from dances at my kids’ schools to corporate gifts for my husband’s company.  After 16 years of family event planning, I’ve learned a few tricks which I’ll share with you today…


1: Make A Striking First Impression With Your Party Invitations

 While it’s convenient to send electronic party invitations,  I have found that they convey a casual, non-committal vibe.  As a guest, I automatically hit the “maybe” option.  As a host, that option makes me crazy!  For special occasions, I prefer to send an invitation in the mail, with a firm R.S.V.P. date, so I that know who’s coming.  I’ve found a great company that makes unique invitations:  Basic Invite.  Their celebration invitations can be customized down to the finest detail.  You can choose from hundreds of designs, 5 luxurious papers, over 180 colors, and over a hundred font styles. 

This Pretty Posies invitation is one of my favorites.  Not only can you change the color of the text and the background, but also the 21 colors in the floral design! Match the flowers to your guest of honor’s dress, the centerpieces, as well as the decor in the room.  

Pretty Posies Celebration Invitation

There are hundreds of other elegant birthday invitations on the Basic Invite website.  Once you’ve created your design, Basic Invite will send you a sample of your actual invitation.  (I once approved a PDF version of some custom gift tags for my husband’s company, only to realize that the text on the actual tags was much smaller and ridiculously hard to read!)


2: Build Your Own Theme 

I love a good party theme, especially a unique one.  I try hard not to buy the typical 16-piece movie character birthday kit that comes with cheap goody-bags.  When my daughter wanted a Frozen birthday party, we used the  Frozen Fever mini-movie as inspiration (well before its party supplies arrived in stores).  For her Beauty And The Beast Party, we set the table with gold and white tableware, so that her friends felt like they were guests in the castle.  She also had a fashion show party, where her friends designed their own t-shirts and headbands.  

Frozen Fever & Beauty And The Beast Party & Fashion Show

Pinterest is a fantastic resource for ideas, including theme food and crafts.  I find custom-made accessories (like the sugar sunflowers on the cake) on Etsy.  

For your own unique theme, choose your daughter’s favorite colors for this Ice Princess invitation.  

For boys, create your own superhero party,  outer-space party, or school of rock party.

Super Hero Invitation

Outer-Space Theme

Music Partt


3: Add Metallic Accents 

There’s something about metallic colors that make an event much more special.  Party invitations with gold or silver foil just look so much more elegant, especially for adult birthday invitations.  Add gold or silver charger plates to dress up the dining table, or toss some gold confetti for an inexpensive way to add shine.  

Adult Birthday Invitation

Metallics work with any color so choose your favorite, and add gold, silver, rose gold, or bronze accents.  


4: Use Re-Usable Decorations And Table Wear 

The eco-conscious side of me cringes every time we toss out piles of disposable plates and wrapping paper.  Thankfully, there are now many options for compostable paper products and washable plastic for when we can’t use our dinner sets.  

We’ve also bought cases of inexpensive wine glasses which we use over and over again, even at kids’ parties.  Mason jars also work for beverages, and later for food storage.

Paper lanterns are my eco-friendly substitute for balloons.  

I think fabric tablecloths look much more elegant than plastic ones and they don’t take much storage space.  


5: Give Memorable Thank-You Notes And Giveaways 

I try to send our party guests home with a book or game rather than a goody-bag of candy and dollar store-toys (which usually end up in the garbage).  

For adult birthday celebrations and anniversary parties, I always give away a small consumable item or send guests home with leftovers.  Add a  gift tag with a heartfelt thank you for a perfect end to an unforgettable party.   

To send your party invitations and thank you cards more easily, use Basic Invite’s address capturing service. (For Christmas cards this address service is free).  Then you can focus on the message rather than the chore of writing out addresses.  

Thank You Cards


Let me know if you use any of these party planning tips for your next event! 

Discount Code For Your Next Celebration Invitations 

If you order your invitations from Basic Invite this month, be sure to use their discount code 15% off with coupon code: 15FF51 .  

Please note, that this is a sponsored post, but all opinions expressed are my own.  (Please see my disclaimer in the sidebar for more details, and feel free to e-mail me with questions).  As always, I’d love to hear your comments below.  



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