Wordless Wednesday: 8 Party and Event Planning Tips & Tricks From the Pros

As a party, event, and wedding planning pro, Sarah Sofia Productions is dishing out party planning tips and tricks that will make your party stand out and run smoothly.

Party Planning Tips and Tricks || Sarah Sofia Productions

1. Determine your budget and get organized with a party planning check list. These two items will be the most important element to keeping you on track and looking like a pro.

Sip and See / Housewarming || Sarah Sofia Productions

2. Choose a color scheme and or theme. Whether your throwing a cocktail party, holiday party or kids birthday party the colors and theme set the tone of the party, like the colors of the Sip and See/Housewarming party.

3. Food selection and preparation. Determine if you will be hiring a caterer or making the food yourself. The menu selection will be determined by the type of party your throwing i.e. brunch, wine party, dinner party and the date i.e. time of year.  Scallops are a perfect appetizer to serve for spring and summer parties. See Surprise 50th Birthday Party for details.

Party Planning Tips and Tricks  Sarah Sofia Prodcutions

 

Who doesn’t love Pinterest? However, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the delicious and beautiful recipes. Plan on making a few items well and buying the rest. Food bars are a hot trend, so why not take the work off your plate and set up a bake potato bar or taco bar for your guests.

Wine Tasting || Sarah Sofia Productions

4. Use fun and special occasion serving pieces. There’s no better time to use all those 3 tier food platters, china, or fun serving dishes you received as wedding gifts! Varying the height and size of your food display is one of the tricks the pros use to make the food table look beautiful, like in the photo below from a Summer Cocktail Party. Don’t have a punch bowl, cupcake stand or enough place settings? Ask a friend if you could borrow it for your party or rent them for your local party rental company.

Summer Cocktail Party || Sarah Sofia Productions

5. Décor and flower arrangements. Once you’ve decided on your color scheme and or theme, it should be woven into your party through the invitations, table linens, food, serving dishes, flower arrangements and decorations.

Party Planning Tips and Tricks || Sarah Sofia Productions

Pictured above are some of our favorite flower arrangements from Tying the Knot Bridal Shower, Easter Celebrations, Valentine’s Day Sneak Peek, and Summer Wine Tasting! Flowers don’t have to be expensive or look like you just bought them at your local grocery store. Shop farmers markets or Trader Joe’s.  Arrange flowers in various heights and colors, use fruit as your vase, and use festive elements like candy.

Queen City Gala || Sarah Sofia Productions

Don’t have tons of money for flower arrangements or decorations? Use fruit in glass containers and home décor items such as candles and lanterns to set the mood.

6. Signature Drink. No matter what party your hosting, make it stand out with a specialty drink like the Moscow Mule pictured above from the Queen City Gala: Black Tie For Charity.

7. Entertainment. Don’t have a budget for a DJ or band, then make a party mix on your IPod or download your favorite party mix on your.

8. Be a guest at your own party. As a host of any party or event your busy greeting guests and making sure things run smoothly. However, make sure you take the time to enjoy it all. If you don’t have the time to get all the party planning tasks complete or don’t want to the extra stress, hire a party or an event planner and be a guest at your own party!

Credits

Style and design – Sarah Sofia Productions

Photography – Sarah Sofia Productions

Floral Arrangements – Sarah Sofia Productions

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Welcome to The First Wordless Wednesday of February!!! I dont know where the time goes, it was just Christmas!!! So now I would like to introduce you to the Ladies of February and your hosts for the month where your Links will be seen on 18 Blogs, Yes thats right!!! Wow we have been growing and spreading the word!!! The more the merrier!!!

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The February Oh My Heartsie Girls Wordless Wednesday
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When I was growing up sometimes Mum would put a note in my lunch box with a little picture. I loved it. It’s like getting a big hug from your Mum when you are at school. I have made some really cute lunch box notes to print out and put in your kids lunch boxes for when they go back to school. Find printable Lunch Box Notes
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Heart Shaped Shortbread Cookies: The Perfect Valentine’s Day Treat or Gift

Heart Shaped Shortbread Cookies A Valentine's Day Treat

We’re gearing up for Valentine’s Day with these fun and delicious heart shaped shortbread cookies.

Heart Shaped Shortbread Cookies: The Perfect Valentine's Day Treat

I received this Message Cookie Set by World Market in a Gift Swap and knew it was perfect for Valentine’s Day treats!

Heart Shaped Shortbread Cookie: The Perfect Valentine's Day Treat

Heart Shaped Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups butter, softened
  • 1 Cup white sugar
  • 4 Cups purpose flour
  • 2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pam cooking spray

In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar until fluffy and light. Stir in vanilla.  Add flour and mix with sugar mixture. Cover and chill for one hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two cookie sheets and chill. Use message cookie cutters and small heart shaped cookie cutters.  Dough might be fragile so use spatula to slide onto baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cookies cool for 10 minutes and decorate.

Heart Shaped Shortbread Cookies: The Perfect Valentien's Day Treat Heart Shaped Shortbread Cookies: The Perfect Valentine's Day Treat

I sprinkled just a little pink sugar over the shortbread cookies, but they really don’t need any additional decoration.

Heart Shaped Shortbread Cookies: The Perfect Valentine's Day Treat

Simply place in sailplane bags, and cute tag, tie with pretty ribbon and voila’ your Valentine’s Day treat, party favor, or gift for your kids teachers and classmates is ready to be served!

Heart Shaped Shortbread Cookies: The Perfect Valentine's Day Treat

For more Valentine’s Day inspiration check out our Valentine’s Day Inspiration Round up and Valentine’s Day Party Sneak Peek, with the big reveal coming soon.

Credits

Styling and Design – Sarah Sofia Productions

Photography – Sarah Sofia Productions

Flower Arrangement – Sarah Sofia Productions

Message Cookie Cutter Set – World Market

Gift tags, pink and gold tin bucket, and pink and gold pom pom banner – Target

White cake platter – Crate & Barrel

Gold votive – HomeGoods

White lanterns – Ikea

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Inspiration Round Up

Tying The Knot Bridal Shower Dessert Bar || Sarah Sofia Productions

It’s hard to believe Valentine’s Day is next month. I have to admit I’ve  been scouting out the stores the last few weeks to create something fun and festive for you this year.

However, today I wanted to share past Valentine’s Day party inspiration and recipes with you.

Valentine's Day Inspiration

Valentine’s Day is all about being with loved ones which can be your best girlfriends, your boyfriend, husband, or family.

Red velvet mini cupcakes and mini strawberry cupcakes are not only a fun activity to make with your family but are delicious and the perfect school treat!

Strawberry Heart Cup Out Cupcakes || Sarah Sofia Productions

Get the recipe and other easy heart cut out ideas in Valentine’s Day Treats.

Valentine's Day Treats || Sarah Sofia Productions

Throw a fun dinner party with your girlsfriends and make it GLAM with pink and gold.

Pink + Gold GLAM Bridal Shower

Get the look and the details for your girls night out here.

Make Valentine’s Day last the entire month with beautiful floral arrangements, cute signs, banners, and candles in an array of pinks and reds and some gold!

Valentine's Day

Elephants, coral and Robin's egg blue first birthday party

PlayPlay! Theatre Fundraiser

Get the looks and the details here, here and here.

Don’t forget easy ways to dress up your cheese plate, creative appetizers, and dessert bar inspiration. Be creative and use purple and reds in your Valentine’s Day décor and floral arrangements.

Tying the Knot Bridal Shower Heart Cut of Cheese Plate || Sarah Sofia Productions

Wine Tasting Bridal Shower Smoked Salmon Appetizer

Tying The Knot Bridal Shower Dessert Bar || Sarah Sofia Productions

Tying the Knot Bridal Shower Dessert Bar || Sarah Sofia Productions

Tying The Knot Bridal Shower Floral Arrangements || Sarah Sofia Productions

Tying the Knot Bridal Shower Floral Arrangement || Sarah Sofia Productions

Get the looks and details of these recipes and floral arrangements here and here.

We’re working on the details for a festive Valentine’s Day celebration coming in the next few weeks. Make sure you come back and get inspired!

It’s Game Day and Time to Party!

Today’s is the big day in college football and my Ohio State Buckeyes are up for the challenge against the Oregon Duck in the National Championship game!

Game Day Party Ideas and Recipes

 

In honor of the National Championship game and the upcoming Super Bowl I’m sharing some of my past football party ideas with you along with a few new ones like the instant download pictured above. Yes, I am born and raised in Ohio and by default and a huge Ohio State Buckeyes fan!

Born and Raised Instant Downloads GLory Designs

 

Do something creative with your tablescape and make your own table runner with chalk paper. Used color chalk to display team spirit and keep score. Here’s a creative table runner that can come in your teams colors by Linda’s Other Life.

Go Buckeys Table Runner Chalk Cloth

The FOOD is one of the best parts about Game Day besides the game of course! One of my favorites and most pinned recipes are these delicious stuffed bell peppers!

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Get the recipe along with our other top pinned side dish, twice baked potato cups in Super Bowl Eats Part 1.

Twice Baked Potato Cups

Another easy and favorite recipe that has been pinned a lot Football Shaped Pull Bread stuffed with corn beef. You can get this recipe in Super Bowl Eats Part II.Football Shaped Pull Bread with Corn Beef Recipe

I did a round up of my favorites for the Super Bowl in Super Eats Grande Finale with loads of fun and inspiration for any football party!

Super Bowl Eats: Grand Finale

It’s not a Buckeye game without the delicious buckeye candy! If you haven’t tried one, it’s a must! Here’s a recipe from Frugal Coupon Living that is hugely popular. There are other recipes out there without the shortening.

buckeyes-recipe-frugal-coupon-living-682x1024

We’ll have more Super Bowl inspiration in the coming weeks some come back.

Let’s Go Bucks!

Top 12 Posts of 2014: Parties, Event & Interior Design + 2015 Trends

Top Partiy, Event & Interior Design Trends of 2014 that are trending in 2015

Happy and healthy 2015 my friends! I wanted to share my top 12 blog posts of 2015 with you today!

Sarah Sofia Productions had a successful year in event design and styling! You will notice 9 of the 12 top blog posts are events or parties that were big trends in 2014 and continue to trend in 2015. The other 3 of 12 top blog posts are interior design and home décor trends that spill over into this year.

12. Wine Tasting and champagne tasting parties were hot in 2014 and continue to be in 2015. Tastings are one of my faves to plan because it’s an intimate affair with food and wine/champagne pairings. Get inspired with our Wine Tasting Party!

Wine Tasting

11.  Easter Celebrations and Easter Celebration Part II have some great décor elements and fun colors.

Easter Celebrations

10. Pink + Gold GLAM Bridal Shower was a fan fav and still is one of mine! Pink + Gold were hot trends in 2014 and continue to be in 2015. The elements of this GLAM bridal shower can be used for any party that needs a little sparkle! We were featured in two publications for this photo shoot: My Tru Blu and The Bride Link

Pink + Gold GLAM Bridal Shower

9. Coral, Robin Eggs Blue & Elephants themed 1st Birthday Party is whimsical and had hot trends like dessert and candy bar, coral and blue colors, and of course smash cake.

045This party is a good example of interior design and home décor trends that are making their way into party trends. The theme of this party was based on the coral, blue & elephant themed nursery.

Kasey Loftin Photography

Kasey Loftin Photography

8. Thrill of the Hunt Series was a hit with treasures from thrifting from my guests Dwell by Cheryl and Jennifer, Pure & Simple Organizing, along with my treasures!

Finding the Good Stuff

7. Black Tie Weddings and Events are classic and will always be in style! There’s something fun and glamorous about getting dressed up in formal attire that makes the night special. The Queen City Gala: Black Tie for Charity was no exception!

Queen City Gala

6. Brunch with the girls: Summer Entertaining continues to be one of our top archive searches for 2014! Despite the rain, there are fun punches of color and easy party décor elements.

Brunch Sarah Sofia Productions

5. Surprise 50th Birthday Party isn’t your typical backyard celebration! The attention to detail from the food to the simple and masculine décor made this party an instant classic. Burlap and navy were hot trends in 2014 and continue to be in 2015.

50th Surprise Party

4. One Room Challenge Spring 2014 Master Bedroom and Fall 2014 Big Girl Room drove a lot of new traffic to our blog and demonstrated that trends in interior design continue to overlap with weddings, events & parties.

High & Low Finds

Many of the home décor items in both ORC rooms came from our wedding, or my daughter’s birthday party décor.

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3. Fall Décor and entertaining along with our Thanksgiving Tablescape were both hits with readers and the interior design industry! We were featured in Southern Girl Blog Community’s Fall Round up, Festive Fall Crafts and Décor.

Festive Fall Decor Tablescap

Thanksgiving Inspiration

2. Sofia The First Birthday Party not only had a lot of views when it was first published in September 2014 but continues to be our second most popular search into 2015! Sofia The First Invitation

Sofia The First and Disney character themed parties were hot trends in 2014 and continue to be in 2015! This Sofia The First party incorporated boys by having them dress up like Princes and adding special touches in crafts and food labels.

Sofia The First Birthday Party

1. Our biggest month to date was December 2014 with all our holiday and Christmas posts such as Santa Claus is Coming to Town Party, Trimming the Tree and Christmas Décor, Family Traditions with Recipes and Cookie Decorating Party, Cozy Survival Guide for Winter Months, and Christmas Tablescape.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town Party 3

Merry & Bright

Holiday Traditions Cookie Decorating Party

We collaborated with wedding and event industry pros such as Classic Party Rentals, for Christmas Tablescape and were recognized nationally by Classic Party Rentals and in Southern Girl Blog Community’s Holiday Tradition Roundup, A Southern Girls Guide to Christmas Traditions.

Christmas Decor and Tablescape

Christmas Decor and Tradition

Cozy Surviival Guide for the Winter Months

However our most viewed post of December and of 2014 was New Year’s Eve Bash and Recipes!

NYE Bash

NYE BASH Recipes

Can’t wait to share more 2015 top trends in weddings, events, and parties in the coming months!