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The Secrets of a Party Planner

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Planning a party takes more work than throwing glitter in the air and putting a delicious cake on the table.

The Party Connection is a Canberra based blog that aims to provide information, inspiration and ideas on putting together a magical event – from weddings and birthday parties, all the way through to alternative events. If you want to plan a party and aren’t sure where to start, then The Party Connection is here to help with the release of the brand new eBook Secrets of a Party Planner.

Secrets of a Party Planner is a useful eBook that will assist readers in developing the ideas and skills that are needed to plan your own memorable events, from managing a budget to decorating the party, and can assist you in staying organised and focused in the party planning process.

The eBook – available now at The Party Connection blog – has been split into four sections to provide an in-depth look on party planning, and includes Getting Started, The Details, The Finer Details and The Countdown to the Party. As a HerCanberra exclusive, check out this excerpt from Secrets of a Party Planner’s chapter that focuses on the finer details and the decorations for your event.

The Decorations

This is my absolute favourite element! Luckily when it comes to parties, you have complete and utter freedom when researching, buying, planning and setting up the decorations.

Once you have decided on a theme, go through magazines, blogs, websites, video tutorials and applications like Pinterest to discover all the decorations that other people have made that may go with your theme. Go shopping at party stores, do an online search for items to buy and check out handmade crafts on online stores to find the perfect decorations.

Once you have started making a list of the decorations you want to get, and you have checked out your venue and drawn up the floor plan, have a play with setting out your party to determine how many table and room decorations you need, envisioning them along the way.

I like to think of the party decorations as if you are looking at a painting in an art gallery. When you look at a piece of art, there always has to be a focal point and something that will draw your eye. Usually, good art pieces use lines, paint strokes or other imagery to draw you from the focal point around the rest of the painting, so that you then take in the full picture. Good event stylists will do the same thing with their decorations – as a guest when you enter the party there will be one main focal point that your eyes will go straight to (be it a centrepiece, a cake, a display, a background, anything) and then the rest of the decorations will draw you from that main focal point to take in the rest of your venue.

Creating party decorations that look like fine art may seem daunting, but it is actually a very simple process to follow using key elements in certain orders. Some of these key elements are:


This is the main focal point for your party, so it needs to be big, loud and on point when it comes to theme. When thinking about centrepieces you need to first think about all the surfaces that are going to be at your event. Will you be using small cocktail rounds? One large dessert table? Round or square large dinner tables? This will determine how many centrepieces you need, as well as how big they need to be.

Once you have decided, go shopping and research your centrepieces. Centrepieces can be anything from a stuffed toy, a giant monster or fake cemetery, a celebration cake, a huge vase of flowers, a giant skull, a birdcage, some balloons, large martini glasses, a Christmas tree, a circus tent, and giant glitter letters just to name a few, depending on the theme of your party. Set your centrepiece on the appropriate tables in the middle and then cover the space around it with smaller elements to draw the eyes of your guests to the rest of the decorations.


These smaller elements are items that are going to take up space around your centrepiece, strengthen your theme, and keep the tables moving and flowing together. They will act as those paint strokes and lines do, drawing the eyes from the main focal point and taking them on a journey around the room.

For the smaller elements you can use items like tea light or votive candles, diamante or confetti scatters, rose petals, small starfish, candy baubles, glitter, lights, long table runners, chair sashes, or any other items reinforcing your theme. Scatter them along your tables in a less-than-perfect fashion for careless cool and lay them out to lead your guests to your next element.


Hanging items from the ceiling and walls of your venue is a great way to lead your guest’s eyes away from the tables to take in the entirety of the venue, and to wonder at the event that you have created as a whole. Hanging similar coloured or shaped items near the main centrepiece means that the eyes will be drawn upward quite quickly, so the effect will take place almost instantly when the guests arrive.

To do this, make sure your hanging elements fit in with the colours and shapes of your centrepiece and your overall theme and decorations. You can use paper ball lanterns, tissue paper pom poms, balloons, streamers, wall backgrounds and decals, bunting, letters, hanging cardboard cut outs and long decorations. Make sure to hang them up consistently from the main tables and around the venue to continue drawing the vision line to each one.


Next, you can add in a few surprises that guests will discover as they continue to take in your party. It could be a small table in the corner with goody bags on it, the colour napkins on the dessert table, a sparkly tablecloth, an intricate background or wall hanger, or even a candle in the bathroom. Chances are while you are searching for the perfect party decorations, you are going to come across a million other small items that would just be perfect as a little element, so make sure to include them. Just because it’s too small to be a centrepiece and too large to be a small element, doesn’t mean you can’t use it to add some more pizazz to your party!

If you want to read more about putting your party together, and learn the tricks of the trade, you can purchase Secrets of a Party Planner at The Party Connection for $5.99, and have it delivered to your email instantly.

So start your party planning today!

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