• Tell Your Friends

I enjoy reading about featured blogger Brian Patrick Flynn’s design crushes on Sarah Richardson and Kyle Schuneman. And as I can’t help but have crushes of my own, every month I’ll be sharing with Design Happens readers my favorite designers in the party/event industry. Today, I’m introducing you to Jennifer Sbranti, founder of the popular website, Hostess with the Mostess.

Jenn was literally my “first crush” when I joined the party blogging community. If you’re looking for inspiration, her site is essentially a database of beautiful parties by great planners, stylists and regular readers. It’s always a thrill to have my own parties and photo shoots featured on HWTM. So, I came up with a few questions for the lovely Jenn, and I think you’ll enjoy her answers, her hosting tips and a look at the latest party trend. (Move over cake pops!)

{1} What party or shoot that you’ve styled is most popular with your readers?

I’d have to say the Cirque Du Bebe Baby Shower is probably the most popular – the reason being that it definitely seems to be the theme that’s recreated the most (although Candyland is a close 2nd!). I think Cirque hit a high note with readers, because it’s very different than the typical idea of a baby shower. There are lots of colorful feathers, glittery details and bold patterns like diamond checks and black and white stripes (yes – black at a baby shower!). This theme definitely looks more “grown up” — it’s the whimsical, circus-inspired elements that still keep it baby shower appropriate.

sunshine and love baby shower

{2} On the flipside, what’s been your favorite party or shoot to create?

I really loved working on this Sunshine and Love Bridal Shower for a friend of mine. It felt very cheerful and carefree, with lots of “happy” elements like tandem bicycles, love birds, paper parasols, paper rosettes, candy-filled mason jars and extra-fruity sangria! The color palette was bright red and sunny yellow, and there were a ton of custom stationery elements (which is my favorite thing to work on for any party). The paper details had a whimsical, vintage-mod feel and included everything from place mats and favor tags to frames prints of the happy couple.


{3} What color schemes are hot right now for events and celebrations?

I’m seeing a lot of bright colors lately — especially a combo of Hot Pink + Turquoise or Aqua Blue. If you immediately think “baby shower” when you first hear “pink and blue”, think again! This Vintage English Garden wedding by Heather Ham is a fabulous example of Pink + Aqua done right. Another great example is this Feather Their Nest baby shower by Amber Karson Events.

{4} Tell me about a current party trend you are loving.

I’m loving the “push pop” trend right now. First, there were cake pops, now there are push pops… it seems that people love things in “pop” form! We just shot a really cute “S’mores Push Pop” treat display this morning — it tastes as good as it looks! I can vouch for that because we ate them after the shoot.

{5} Have you ever had a party disaster averted?

Yes… it was actually on the Cirque du Bebe shower! The 200-person event was held outdoors in the backyard of a home, and it was such a pretty summer day… at first. Suddenly, the wind kicked up severely about an hour before the party started. This was a pretty serious issue because the table centerpieces were tall feather trees!  And you know what they say about feathers in the wind. We were literally watching all of our centerpieces blow off the tables and onto the ground! We tried filling the feather tree vases (which are tall and very skinny) with both water and sand to weight them down, but neither worked. Luckily, the wonderful caterer that was working the party (Marley Majcher of The Party Goddess) introduced us to some “earthquake glue” that she had in her bag of tricks, which is basically a ridiculously strong sticky-tack type of product. We used it to secure the vases to silver charger plates to create a wide, sturdy base for them – and voila – they stayed put!

Hostess With the Mostess - Candyland party

{6} What’s the best advice you could give Design Happens readers who are planning an event?

1. Pick a theme, and choose one that really appeals to your sense of style. It can be as simple as a color palette or as specific as the pattern on your favorite dress. Having a specific theme to refer back to will make the entire planning process so much easier and more fun. 2. It really is all in the details, and they don’t have to be expensive! A simple glass vase filled with candy looks so much cuter dressed up with a wide band of designer paper or patterned ribbon. Wine looks even better when served in a glass that’s embellished with a paper “charm” or stem flag. Cupcakes look even cuter when baked in decorative paper cups and served on a plate lined with patterned paper. 3. Encourage a great flow at your party by setting up stations. Instead of putting all the food, drinks and desserts in one place, separate them into different areas of your home or venue to encourage mixing and mingling… and help avoid traffic jams. This also opens the party up and makes the space feel bigger.

{A big thank you to Jenn for participating in my first Design Crush interview. Keep an eye out for the launch of the new HWTM interactive website coming in late July. Lucky for me, I am part of the first test group to use the site and I can report that it is going to be fantastic!}

14 Responses

  1. Bowmanave says:

    Butterflies have been spotted by Ascending Butterfly yet again on Layla Grace, LOVIN it!

  2. Carla Aston says:

    Nice work! I'm doing a great give away. The 8 ft. round Flokati rug I used in my Showhouse room! <a href="http://www.designinthewoods.blogspot.com” target=”_blank”>www.designinthewoods.blogspot.com

  3. shaunyloo says:

    I never knew what her name was.. But, I have been following her site since earlier this year.. She is my absolute fav too! I am now enjoying going through all the older post! Thanks so much for all of the eye candy, keep them coming!

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