The Best Party Vendors For Your Next Event!
As I mentioned in Part 1 of The Mint Chip Mama’s Party Planning Series, planning an event is a big deal – no matter the size.
Putting the very best party vendors in your room is a great place to begin. Hiring people on a recommendation is a surefire way to know you’re getting someone great. It is also an area where people can go a little crazy. Therefore, my advice is to call at most three-party vendors in each category, compare prices and vision and then make your decision. The fun part comes once the contract is signed.
Let’s Get To Party Planning!
Parties are very overwhelming to plan. But like all overwhelming things in life, you need to take a step back, exhale, and start somewhere to move forward. In truth, sometimes this is the hardest part.
Party Planning Series: Party Vendors
Welcome to the second part of my five-part series on party planning. These posts cover everything needed to plan an awesome party – big or small – and within any budget. You can find each part here:
Party Planning Part 1: Where To Begin
Party Planning Part 2: Party Vendors
Party Planning Part 3: Party Favors
Party Planning Part 4: DIY Party Décor
Party Planning Part 5: Party Dresses, Suits, Hair & Makeup
If you want to jump ahead to party planning finds, click on my Amazon store. This page is filled with party décor ideas, party favors, and even party dresses and party shoes for different themes and sizes.
The first part of this post is about the party vendors needed for a good party. Next, is the list of highly recommended party vendors we used.
Start Your Party Vendors Search With Music – The Most Fun Vendor!
I suggest your party vendors search begins with music. A good band or DJ books up quickly so as soon as your venue is signed, start looking for your music.
We attended a friend’s party and really loved her DJ. At the end of the event, I asked for a card and hired him Monday morning. Since I was going with a reputable (and popular) company I knew any MC they sent would be a good. Additionally, since we were party planning on a budget and our venue is very pretty, I opted for the basic package. As we got closer and our guest list grew we added in a dancer.
It’s also a good idea to have a call with your MC and venue contact a few days prior to make sure you’re all on the same page. This allows you to finalize your envisioned party flow so there are no surprises during your event.
Photos and Videos Help Your Party Live On Forever
Picking a good photographer and videographer was very important to me. As the host you’re pulled in so many directions you feel like you miss half of what’s going on. Having exceptional pictures brings it all together for you. We interviewed several party vendors and opted for someone who offered both services. The pictures we received far surpassed our expectations and we already hired her for another party. If you don’t have the budget for a videographer designate a friend to take your phone and film the most special moments of the event.
Next, we hired a photo booth and opted for single-printed images with my daughter’s logo. I loved that our package also included a photo book with each image taken by our guests. This book checked off needing a sign-in board (which inevitably would sit in our garage until the end of time) and gave us a little special end-of-night favor. As anticipated, we looked through this book as soon as we got home and happily relived the night.
You Need Guests At Your Party
Picking out invitations* is so much fun. It is your event’s first touchpoint for guests. Thusly, it is your opportunity to introduce the party, share its feel, and get your guests excited to celebrate. If you don’t know where to begin, start with your theme. This helps dictate the look of your invitations.
The first step is deciding if you want physical or electronic invitations and how your guests will RSVP. Surprisingly, the cost may not be that different. I wanted paper invitations but to gather responses electronically. This allowed me to have emails and phone numbers for each guest in case there were any last-minute changes.
We found a great company that created a QR code* for us which we put on the back of our paper invitation. Guests simply scanned it, tapped on the link, and it brought them to our party’s website to respond. We had lots of options for the design and tons of space to include additional event information. Even better once RSVPs were in we were able to quickly update our guests on party additions, send out event reminders, and do our seating arrangement.
Party Seating Arrangement
When it was time to set up the seating chart we opted to print and frame a big poster. This was easily done at a local printing shop, framed by us, and then placed on the restaurant’s easel.
Décor And Logo
Many people choose to include logo designing and décor companies as party vendors. We had a specific vision and felt we could DIY both so we did everything ourselves. We ended up adding in some floating balloon centerpieces from “Balloon Boy Steve” and it was perfect.
Let Them Eat Cake
Check with your venue to see if the event includes a cake. Since ours didn’t we got creative. I called my daughter’s favorite bakery and ordered their biggest cake. It was unique, pretty, and made her so happy. Plus, when you take home leftovers of your favorite cake it’s a win.
Just remember to hang on tight to every second of your party, it goes by so fast.
*Indicates a discount below
Our Party Vendors
Despite the trend to go digital, we wanted a paper invitation that we could design ourselves. Our theme was space and we wanted this to translate onto the invitation. Basic Invite was great, had an on-hand graphic designer to help, sent us proofs, and was excellent quality. Our invitation came out beautiful! We got so many compliments on it as well as the paper feel “Smooth Coated” was distinctive.
*Get 20% off and free shipping site wide by using the code in the image above.
After seeing a QR code on a friend’s invitation I had to have one on ours. From RSVPify’s backend, you could create all kinds of response options for your guests plus everything was customizable so you could easily stay on theme. Additionally, you could collect specific information from your guests. For example, since our event had two parts in two different locations, we needed two separate RSVPs. We also could add a map link to each location and collect dietary restrictions if applicable. Anytime we had a question their staff happily walked us through the process. Plus, let’s be honest – people thought it was cool. They do all kinds of corporate, personal, and ticketed events.
*Use code “MINTCHIPMAMA” for 10% off your upgrade to a selected premium plan (one-time fee plans only)
Kimberly Vernick Photography
What’s the point of a great event if you don’t have fantastic pictures so you can relive it over and over? I can guarantee you won’t find any photographer better than Kimberly Vernick Photography. Her pictures were perfection and boy is she lightning fast – at both the party and getting you the images afterwards! She was in so many places at once! I don’t know how she captured so many different things going on at the same time but I am so glad she did. I loved that she has a videographer on staff as well so she can oversee both. She is a pleasure to work with, an absolute professional, and already secured for my next party in three years.
Le Selfie Photo Booth
This was my third time using Le Selfie for an event. They have so many fun props and backdrops to choose from, including a green screen with endless possibilities. In truth, the stunning silver sequin curtain we choose added to our décor and was totally on theme. At the last minute, we added the selfie stick for some candid dance floor smiles as well. The photo book they provided was great quality and is big enough for us to add in the professional pictures from the event making it the perfect keepsake. We’ve been to a lot of parties and Le Selfie’s pictures always come out the best.
Once your guest list is finalized, and your seating chart is set, you need a way to show it to your guests at the event’s entrance. Merrick Printing did a fantastic job printing our seating chart poster – and brought our space theme to life with the background. They were super responsive, quick with ideas, a pleasure to work with, and produced the perfect sign for our party. They can do all types of printing including personal and commercial and are a full-service union printer.
Uncle Joey’s Rainbow Explosion
From the start my rainbow cookie-obsessed daughter asked for a rainbow cookie cake from Uncle Joey’s Rainbow Explosion. Since I am her cookie pusher, it was not a hard sell for me. We were worried their cake for 100 (the largest size they offer) wouldn’t be big enough for our 120 guests, but we ended up bringing half of it home! It is so delicious and so pretty. It was perfect.
ET Events Group
Without good music, your guests will be sitting down and not dancing. Our DJ from ET Events Group kept the party going and his music choices were exactly what we wanted. Our MC was right in the middle of the dance floor all night and the kids loved him.
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