This is a post written by thewritingshopaholic originally featured on California State University, Fresno’s Public Relations Blog.
So for my 19th birthday, I decided I wanted to host a Parisienne dinner. I also wanted to do this on a budget. With my birthday being just two days before Easter, I was able to find LOTS of pastel candies.
The trick to having a low-cost beautiful outdoor dinner is doing as much shopping as you possibly can at dollar stores. Dollar stores, such as the Dollar Tree chain, usually carry an entire spectrum of party supplies, usually going at 16 plates for a dollar. I would buy whatever you need times two, if you’ve found it at the dollar store. The dollar store has awesome things like plastic wine glasses, confetti, candy, gift bags, candles, beautiful multiple- time use candle dishes, table cloths, plates, napkins, eating utensils, and usually small things that can be handed out as favors. I went to an old party store in the Tower District of Fresno and picked up a box of 144 French flag toothpicks, perfect to be placed into the fruit for a cute decoration. At the end of the party, the only things that could not be found at the dollar store were the ingredients for the pasta and potato bar (neither of which were Parisian in the least) the fruit, and the sodas. Ice tea is very inexpensive and quick to make, and a very popular spring favorite. If you want to get fancy, mix Tazo Hibiscus passion tea with some agave sweetener and ice for a near Starbucks-passion tea replica.
We already had Christmas lights, and the most work for the party was cleaning up our backyard which is full of flowers and plants, and even a fountain. Luckily my dad was awesome enough to do all of that for me, cause he’s nice like that.
Owning a photography business, of course I wanted to have great party photos. With my dad’s help (he’s usually pretty creative) we came up with the idea of taking our old green metal garden arch and getting some dark green twist ties. We used these to attach pastel pink and purple balloons into a balloon arch that went over the top of the metal frame. Down the sides we used fake pastel blue, pink, and purple flowers that we had purchased in mass at the dollar store. We placed the arch against a highly vegetated section of the yard and put one of our old rustic bicycles in the background for vintage effect.