[This insanely wonderful post is written by the uber-talented and creative Marian. Reading this will make you want to have FIVE parties come Valentine's day, trust me.]
It is a yummy pleasure for my fashion, beauty and culture site mariankihogo.com to guest post for All Women Stalk. All Women Stalk is such a delish site so this guest post is a total honour.
Darlings, Valentine’s Day is up ahead, here are 9 fab party ideas to make sure you have a great time. I do so love a yummy party/celebration and think a fab do does not have to take a lot of effort. For each party idea, there is a suggested outfit to suit that theme.
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A Romeo + Juliet Party
Many say Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is the greatest love story ever told. Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 Romeo + Juliet movie (starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes) is such a beautiful adaptation of this tale! The stunning movie sees the tragic love story set in present day Suburbia, with a modern soundtrack. The wardrobe is a mix of the slightly medieval and modern day (think Hawaiian floral print shirts, armour, ethereal gowns etc). For Valentine’s Day, why don’t you have a party inspired Baz Luhrmann’s beautiful Romeo + Juliet?
The Invite - Send a star crossed lovers invite to all your friends. This Valentine’s party is perfect for both your coupled up and single friends. The singles never know, they just might meet someone at the do over a cocktail or a canapé.
The Decor - Create an enchanting lovers' world. String amber lights up around your room, you can get these for cheap at your local home depot store. Also light a multitude of candles (varying sizes work best for effect, right from cathedral large to small) both on candelabras and in clusters all over the room to create drama and an intimate feel.
The Dress Code - Set a ‘Medieval Meets Modern Romantic’ outfit code. Have fun with this! Wear a romantic ethereal floaty dress like the Notte by Marchesa's above. Pair with chain mail and metal armour inspired pieces. Falconiere's silver, gold and brass-tone chain-link epaulets worn over the shoulders would be perfect! Throw on some ethereal accessories like the feathered Jimmy Choos and Giles & Brother wing earrings. Bedeck your head with a decadent piece (wear jewels or brooches in your hair, metal headbands, crowns or tiaras) like this Oscar de la Renta twisted metal head band. To finish, make like Juliet (as played by Claire Danes) in the above image and wear an ethereal pair of wings.
Have the guys do like Romeo and his Montague crew by wearing a mix of anything from Hawaiian prints, armour inspired pieces, suits, relaxed shirts worn with no ties etc
A Fairy Tale Party
We all love a great fairy tales with a happy love filled ending! This Valentine’s Day, why not have a pretty fairy tale party? Let tales like Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Snow White, The Princess and the Pea, Sleeping Beauty etc be your inspiration. Draw ideas from photographer Eugenio Recuenco's fairy tale Vogue Espana editorial as above.
The Invite - Send a charming invitation to your friends. Make it pretty, something a Princess would be proud of. A sweet castle pop up invite with fairy tale characters would work just a treat.
The Decor - Turn your place into a fairy tale wonderland. Fairy tales always have starry skies, so hang glittery oversize stars from the ceiling. Add gold foil painted apples ala Snow White. Buy cheap mirrors and decorate with well known lines such as “mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” You can also create small displays as odes to different tales; for example, a cluster made of a pumpkin, broom, clear slipper, fake mice would be a lovely Cinderella display!
The Dress Code - You and your guests can have fun with this! Tell them come dressed as a fairy tale character. From charming princes, to pretty princesses, dwarves, evil stepmothers and so much more! Why not be the belle of the ball and be Cinderella for the night? This beautiful Marchesa dress is fit for a modern princess and there are many vintage or high street designs that will work just as well. Wear with an endearing tiara or other head ornament. The Louis Mariette's Eternal Love’ headpiece equals love. Do shimmy your feet into yummy girly heels like the above Lanvin ones. Marie-Hélène de Taillac's rose quartz earrings and Oscar bib necklace are delightful; let them inspire your outfit.
The Black & Ivory Cocktail Party
For New Year’s Eve my friend threw a chic ‘black party.’ She had chic clusters of black balloons, delish black cupcakes and etc. Ditch the traditional cliché red this Valentine's Day and make like my friend with a black & ivory cocktail party. This colour theme is super elegant and will be the talk of all your friends for a long while after.
The Invite - Make your invite super chic, go for a minimalist sleek feel. A black and white stripe or flocked baroque invite would scream elegant!
The Decor - Hang black and ivory paper lanterns from your ceiling. Alternatively you can tie black balloons in fab bunches with black ribbon. Display an assortment of pretty black cupcakes; these are great for adding to the decor. Burn chic black candles, votives and tea lights.
The Dress Code - Chic cocktail wear is the dress code! Have the gentlemen come looking dapper. The ladies can have fun with the black and ivory theme. This satin D&G cocktail dress is gorgeous! Rupert Sanderson’s heart cut heels are perfect for Valentine’s Day and this theme. The Valentino crystal bracelet, Lanvin glass pearl earrings and necklace are delish final touches.
The Winter Wonderland Party
Above collage: Images from weddify.com.
Outfit images from net-a-porter.com.
An all white winter wonderland party can be a fab and fun way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
This party can be thrown inside or out. If you have had snow and have access to external heaters, why not take the party outside? If not, bring the party inside and it will be lots of fun decorating!
The Invite - Send guests to be an elegant winter wonderland inspired invitation. Palette wise go for winter whites, icy blues. Let things like snowflakes, ice sculptures, a snowy landscape and so much more inspire you. The invite will set the mood of the do.
The Decor - Hang clusters of willow branches bedecked with snow (get artificial snow from your local hobby & crafts store or party shop). You can also hang clusters of paper snowflakes from your ceiling to create a delightful view for guests. Throw white faux furs over chairs for a chic cosy effect. Embellish your table with mini snowmen, snow bunnies, chic igloos, artificial snow, and icy blue glitter. String up white lights around displays or even mini white Christmas trees. Draw inspiration for the fab winter wonderland party decors in the above collage. I would have loved to be a guest at either of those dos! Remember to use an all white and icy blue colour scheme with decorations, food (frosty white cupcakes, egg nog, icy blue cocktails etc) to create a yummy wintry wonderland effect.
The Dress Code - Set an all white dress code. Sean Combs (aka P. Diddy) has a much anticipated white party annually. Most of the fun about this party is the all white dress code. So guests will have a ball with this! From chic white cocktail dresses, to long white glam gowns and even delish white separates. This white sequin long sleeve dress by Ashish paired with Louis Mariette's crystal head piece and the Camilla Skovgaard heel is perfect for the icy winter theme. The 18K white gold ring bedecked with a stunning diamond by Solange Azagury-Partridge is amazing and works well with the theme. Guys can wear sleek white suits or white slick separates. Have fun by setting a winter inspired prize for best dressed couple and single.
The All Dressed up inside Dinner Party
Last year the hubby and I decided to spend Valentine's on our lonesome at home. Oh I do hope this is not conjuring images of us in our PJs on the couch because it was anything but! We wanted to celebrate in style but we wanted to do so both on our own and minus the usual rushed feel at most venues on Valentine’s Day. So we got all glammed up and celebrated with a five course meal at home. The yummy thing about this is if you are single it works too! Get together with a single friend or three that you adore. Get together with your beloved other single friends, dress up and dine like royalty at home. The best part of this party? You won’t have anyone rushing you to wrap up because other guests need your table!
The Invite - Send your partner or friends a yummy invite saying that for this Valentine’s Day you are dressing up and dining in!
The Decor - Glam things up! Darlings, just because you are choosing to dine in, does not have to mean you do so with a tray on the sofa! Set your dining table, make it look delish and it will set a yummy mood. Create an eye catching hanging display of clustered red lanterns. Set a mood by lighting candles, set out delish place settings, display gorgeous flowers which smell and look great. Have a ball by leaving a gift at your partner/friends place setting. Turn your dining table into one that would rival a table at your favourite restaurant! When hubby and I had that 5 course delish dinner last year we had it catered. If you feel like cooking, why not? If you don’t, why not have it catered? You will be shocked that it sometimes cost less to do this than to eat out! Do remember to shop around price wise.
The Dress Code - Let your invite say “No PJs, casual apparel or home loungewear allowed! Get bedecked in your finery!” Go all out, have fun with it. Wear your feel good favourite frock, those heels you know you adore but don’t wear quite enough. Throw on your favourite accessories, get dressed to the nines and you will have a wonderful time doing so. I love this Catherine Malandrino jewel tone dress! Its ruche contouring design is super flattering. How amazing are these multi coloured suede sandals Christian Louboutin heels? They are named the ‘Straratata 140’ sandals and just scream ‘buckle up for good times ahead!’ Do not get me started on the Erickson Beamon ‘Disco Swarovski’ earrings! Wear your glammest outfit, unwind and let the good times roll...
Pure Romance Party
Remember, it's Valentine's Day. There's no better theme than pure romance. Even if you're celebrating with other couples, it's a day to celebrate love. To that end, this is something you can invite your parents to as well, along with your siblings and their significant others. Invite your single friends too, and see if you can make some kind of love match. This isn't about being classy, necessarily, or all glammed up. This is about being in love.
The Invite – Think lots of red and pink. Consider invitations decorated with roses, or perhaps include some lovely, velvety petals in the envelopes.
The Decor – Again, it's all red, red, red. Choose red roses for your centerpieces and make sure the wine glasses sparkle. Pull out your best dishes, the linen napkins, and plenty of sparkle. Go all out with your place settings, perhaps including a little verse at each seat. If you're feeling whimsical, include some candy hearts or small chocolate boxes as gifts for your guests.
The Dress Code – Simple elegance saves the day! Make like the inspo above and channel Audrey Hepburn. Go for a classically romantic ensemble, even if you can't afford Chanel and diamonds. A lovely little black dress with some signature accents will make you stand out. For the gentleman, nothing less than a suit and tie will do.
Great Gatsby Glam
Above collage: Images from queensjournal.ca.
Outfit images from fancy.com.
Jay Gatsby built a house for the women he loved. That's a simplistic view, of course, but there's still nothing better than a 1920s party. Why not let Baz Luhrmann inspire you again? The decadence of this decade is perfectly suited to a Valentine's Day dinner with your friends – just make sure you invite the party animals. You have so much inspiration here in the way of dress and decorations. May I also suggest hiring a chanteuse, if possible?
The Invite – Make it art deco, definitely. Think gilded accents. Look for an Art Deco typography and keep all the lines clean and elegant. Include an entreaty for your guests to start thinking about a truly epic toast.
The Decor – Keep the Art Deco theme going in the decor. You need lots of gold and silver, plenty of feathers, and ornate accents. Don't skimp on the champagne – let the bottles stand in as decoration. If you can incorporate pearls, feel free.
The Dress Code – It's time to get flapper fabulous. Put on your prettiest strand of pearls and slip into sparkling shoes – much like these delish Louboutins. If you don't want to wear a traditional flapper dress, at least go for drama. You need to glitter. The fellows need to take some inspiration from Leo yet again – you might be asking him to wear a three-piece suit, but at least you aren't asking him to stare at your blue light forever.
Tea for Twosomes
Above collage: Images from bestparty-ideas.com.
Outfit images from pinterest.com.
Valentine's Day parties are always so serious, when in reality it's kind of a whimsical holiday. Is there anyone more impish than Cupid? If you want to skip the traditional dinner, choose a theme that's a bit more lighthearted. A tea party for grownups is a wonderful way to celebrate the day, plus you'll get more than your fair share of sweets. Consider throwing a brunch. The lads might grumble about cucumber sandwiches, but really, it's just one day a year. (However, if they grumble too much, consider going dramatic Alice in Wonderland with your tea party, or try a steampunk variation.)
The Invite – Flowers and pastels! Keep it soft, sweet, and simple. Creamy white, perhaps a touch of gold or silver, and a bit of mint green, light pink, and lavender will get the point across quite nicely.
The Decor – Bunches of lovely flowers, silver tea settings, tiny teacups … this is a wonderful opportunity to go a bit vintage. Mismatched cups and saucers will keep things from being too stuffy, and you can fit them into the decor as well.
The Dress Code – Full skirts, fabulous hats, Mary Jane shoes … what could be more magical? If you choose the steampunk route, the dress code gets a little gritty but still gorgeous. Keep to the pastels if you stick to a traditional tea. Otherwise, take some inspiration from the Victorians – that goes for the guys and the girls.
A Parisian Soiree
Above collage: Images from blog.hwtm.com.
Outfit images from pinterest.com.
Paris is the city of love, you know. Can you imagine a theme more elegant, more perfect, more suited to Valentine's Day? In addition to succulent French cuisine and wickedly delicious pastries, you have the chance to make the whole mood romantic, refined, and just simply lovely.
The Invite – Damask is a perfect print for your invitations. Black, white, and pale pink make a perfect palette. It needs to be opulent but not overdone. When in doubt, add a fleur de lys.
The Decor – Black and white will stand you in good stead here as well. It makes a stark, classic backdrop for all the pinks and reds of Valentine's Day. I'm loving these stripes in particular. Given the occasion, roses make an ideal centerpiece. I suggest decorating with champagne bottles and macarons as well – complementary, yet delicious!
The Dress Code – Soft, classic, romantic. Avoid matching the decorations too much by choosing a scrumptious burgundy. Matched with gold earrings and creamy pearls, you'll be a true vision. Conversely, an elegant LBD or Chanel-inspired frock would be extraordinary. Gentlemen in attendance can go French casual – just look at the street style of Parisian men for inspiration.
Aren't you ready to throw an amazing party? Let us know which theme speaks to you!
This article was written in collaboration with editor Lyndsie Robinson.
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