Home & Family
Party Trends for any Celebration
3/1/2019 12:00:00 AM

Artistic Cookies aren’t going anywhere. Cookie bakers offer platters of cleverly-designed frosted sugar cookies that are almost too beautiful to eat. Letter or Number Cakes customize your party with confections designed in the shape of letters or numbers.

Parties are all about making memories. In lieu of a guest book, buy a blank jigsaw puzzle and have each guest sign a puzzle piece. Or buy a blank matte to frame a portrait of the honoree(s) and have guests sign the matte. Advice cards are also a useful way to remember who shared your special day with you. Photo booths are still mainstays of social gatherings but are increasingly being replaced with video booths that allow guests to relate well-wishes to the happy couple or birthday boy/girl. 

Balloons have been regular features at parties since the early 1900s, but the trends have evolved over the years. Balloon-twisting began as an art form around 1940. Foil balloons came on the scene in the 1970s. In 2019, expect to see giant orb balloons, huge balloon sculptures, and balloon clusters used for garlands, archways, or to mark pathways. Move aside table magicians. This year, you’ll see unique types of party entertainers such as tarot card readers, poetry writers taping away on old typewriters, and mobile escape rooms. Unicorns are out, so say the party trend gurus. Party animals for 2019 include llamas and swans.

Look for curvy winding tables as an alternative to the standard round or rectangle. Festive wreaths built on the frames of hula hoops are showing up at events for any occasion. Drone videography is replacing hand-held videography devices for any occasion. Play zones encourage children as well as adult guests to engage in fun, interactive ways. Include a variety of age-appropriate games and crafts."Branding” your party is a thing this year. Pull it off by staying true to your party theme and color scheme from invitations to take-home party favors.

Wondering what this year’s IT-color is? Living coral! Smoke bombs at parties are especially trending this year on Instagram. Cold fireworks, or cold pyro displays, allow you to add spark to your special day without the hazards of traditional fireworks and can be used both indoors and outdoors.Want your party to be more eco-friendly? Reduce your celebration’s carbon footprint with digital invitations, botanical table centerpieces and other decorations, reusable plates, cups, utensils, and napkins, and locally-sourced food.

Other parties lend themselves to more specific trends. Here’s what’s new (or in some cases, re-newed) for 2019.Children’s birthday parties have evolved considerably over the decades. There’s nothing wrong with a big mouse and some pizzas, but sometimes kids just want to get outside and run around. Plan a backyard party with old-fashioned games like Red Rover, Duck, Duck, Goose, and kickball – always with a Plan B in case of inclement weather. Organize a scavenger hunt – kids love following the clues and solving mysteries. The Enchanted Forest is a popular party theme this year, complete with fairy garlands, gnomes, elves, and toadstool chairs. Expect to see many movie-themed parties featuring Aladdin, Captain Marvel, Joker, and Dark Phoenix.

Bridal showers are seeing a trend towards co-ed showers that include the groom and his friends. Or as an adjunct to a bridal shower, a "bro-dal shower.” For eats – a highlight of any shower –  consider sweet treats such as mini-cakes decorated with edible flowers or donut holes threaded onto heart-embellished skewers. While not exactly a brand-new trend, DIY "bubbly bars” are still a guest favorite. Set out glasses, champagne, several varieties of juice, and an assortment of fruit. Showers that include an activity, such as flower arranging, wine tasting, or hiking are gaining in popularity, as are destination showers to a spa, beach, or vineyard. Fancy food and attire, shower games, and opening a mountain of gifts not your scene? Some couples prefer something a bit more low-key, for example jeans and t-shirts at a favorite brew house or a relaxed backyard barbecue with donations to a charity in lieu of gifts.

Gender reveal parties are a relatively recent phenomenon, starting as early as 2008, but thanks to YouTube, gained significant popularity around 2017. Whereas expecting couples once relied on a simple sonogram to discover the gender of their baby, parents-to-be now slice into a cake or a lasagna, or watch hula dancers shoot out plumes of pink or blue (or both!) smoke from their gyrating hips, surrounded by friends and family. Other options include piñatas, fireworks, or throwing darts at balloons for a pop of a surprise. It all adds to the excitement of the pending birth of a child, which is certainly something to celebrate!

Family reunions are unique opportunities to bring together multiple generations and family members you may not have seen in ages. Back in the day, family reunion venues included a social hall or large pavilion at a nearby park. Kids would play on the playground while adults would sit in folding chairs and reminisce near picnic tables laden with food. Today’s family reunion often centers around a destination vacation such as Disney World, a beach resort, or an amusement park; with matching t-shirts for everyone. The key to a successful reunion is to find ways to have people interact; young, old, and every age in between. Games that appeal to all ages are perfect, such as giant varieties of Jenga, Connect Four, lawn dice, bowling, corn hole and washers. Use spray paint to create Lawn Twister. Use blank paper table covers and put crayons, markers, and pens on each table for family members to draw or write down memories. Decorate with mini-trees adorned with family photos from all generations.

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