The Event Lover’s Guide to 2020 and Beyond
All the extroverts and social butterflies among us will know that 2020 has been a difficult year in more ways than one. On top of concerns for our safety and health, and being separated from our families, we’ve also had to miss out on so many special celebrations that we normally have to look forward to throughout the year.
Honestly, I’ve really struggled with the lack of social interaction this year, but I’ve also missed styling and hosting events too. My family are all big on celebrating special milestones, and I’m honoured that they always call on me to help plan and style all our family get-togethers.
While they’ve been pretty rare in 2020, we did have the opportunity to hold a few family gatherings while it was still safe to do so. This year I even branched out to offering event styling to my clients for the first time, and was lucky enough to secure my first professional event styling project (despite my timing!).
So today I wanted to reflect back on the events we did get to enjoy this year, share some styling inspiration with you, and some ideas for events that we can all still enjoy (even without leaving the house).
Why event styling matters more than ever
Since our social calendars are so bare nowadays, I feel it’s more important than ever to make every little gathering extra special, even if it’s just for your family at home!
A lot of us have had to forgo birthday party plans, miss out on long-awaited anniversary dinners or even graduation ceremonies, so if we can only celebrate at home, then we may as well make them all celebrations to remember.
And beyond being in the midst of a pandemic? I’m just a social butterfly and I absolutely love entertaining; gatherings for family and friends are my favourite thing to do. I love to bring people together, share good food and drinks and of course, I can’t do that without style and a touch of sophistication!
As an Interior Designer, I see event styling just like home styling; when you have a big outcome in mind (like impressing guests or creating a memorable day for your loved ones) then it’s always so much easier to achieve when you have a concept and a plan.
So where do you start? Let’s take a look at some of my own at-home event ideas you can steal for yourself.
Intimate event ideas you can hold at home
The guidelines on events and gatherings are being updated regularly, so be sure to check out your local regulations here before making any plans.
Birthday High Tea
If a normal birthday party is out of the question, consider holding a mini High Tea at home with your closest friends and family. We created a High Tea for my Mother-in-Law, Lyn’s, birthday this year and it was such a fun (and delicious) morning.
You will need:
- A variety of tea
- Fresh juice
- Plenty of champagne
- Sandwiches and other savoury finger foods
- Scones, tarts or another favourite dessert
- Some delicious-smelling candles and/or fresh flowers
- A beautiful set of silverware, china and a matching teapot (of course)
This is a fun one that you can try with a small group for a special occasion, or even just to switch up Tuesday night dinner with the family! I also love this as a birthday idea for young children or anyone who likes a more relaxed vibe.
Even if you don’t have much outdoor space where you live, you could still set-up your picnic inside too, or even head to a nearby park if restrictions allow.
You will need:
- A picnic rug and/or cushions
- A low table to sit at
- Some great casual food that is easy to share (think: home-made pizza, tacos or burgers)
- A delicious punch (or sangria for the adults!)
- Fairy Lights for a night-time picnic, or an umbrella for the day-time.
This Easter, things were just starting to quieten down, but we still managed to have a beautiful celebration at home. I try to make Easter a special event every year for my boys, and we still managed to do that in 2020.
You will need:
- Easter baskets for each guest
- Sweet decorations in pastel colours
- Fresh flowers – it’s all about new life!
- A decadent meal to enjoy together
If you’ve had to try explaining to your young ones why they can’t have all their friends at their birthday party, then you’ll know how confusing and disappointing it can feel for them to miss out on the big day they might have been hoping for.
Lots of guests might have been out of the question this year, but my solution was to go all out with the things that we could have control over – theming and food!
As always, I love to let my boys be involved in the process of planning their special days, so they can develop respect for the work that goes into their parties (and I can make sure they’re getting what they want out of the day – even if a little expectations-setting is needed).
You will need:
- A theme! Kids will always have crazy requests for their party, but if you can decide on a theme together, there is always almost a way to make it work.
- An amazing cake
- Plenty of snacks (the less messy, the better)
- A few game ideas ready to go
- Props to take some fun photos with, so they can remember the day for years to come.
Hopefully, some of these ideas are sparking your imagination! Once you get into the planning phase for your next event, you’ll probably realise one of two things; you’ll be a complete natural, and enjoy every second, or you’ll realise there is a lot of work and you really don’t enjoy the process at all.
Either way, it’s okay, and if you fall into the second option, then you’re right in the same position as my clients. So don’t worry, that’s why event stylists like me are here to help. If you still want to hold an incredible event for someone you care about, but without the stress, feel free to reach out and let me make your life a whole lot easier.
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