14 Feb A Party Planning Expert Shares Her Best Valentine’s Day Celebration Tips
|Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, but there’s still time to plan a lovely, cupid-inspired soirée! Whether you’re celebrating with a group date night or with your favorite gals, Valentine’s Day is an excellent excuse to throw a themed party with all the people you love most. |
To help you plan your last-minute heart-filled celebration, we spoke to Parties under the Palms co-founder Talia Roberts. Below, she’s sharing her best party planning tips and tricks for hosting a memorable Valentine’s Day gathering – from how to create beautiful floral arrangements at home to how to set the mood with festive beverages.
To start, can you share a little bit of background on yourself and Parties under the Palms? What exactly do you do, and what inspired you to start this business?
Parties under the Palms is a full-service event planning company based in Delray Beach, FL that specializes in boho picnic parties and magical outdoor experiences. Founded by Lindsay Resnick and Talia Roberts, two female entrepreneurs (and former California girls) with backgrounds in marketing, events, and visual merchandising, Parties under the Palms was launched in November 2020 to help people start socializing again in a safe yet super memorable way. Our first picnic was a backyard birthday party for our best friend’s 40th. We hadn’t seen most of our friends over the past year and knew we needed to do something special to celebrate this, but also understood that our crew was still hesitant to socialize in large groups. We came up with the idea of doing a socially-distant boho picnic-style party in my yard and luckily everyone was up for it. The party included roomy pallet picnic tables (built-in my driveway by Lindsay’s stepdad, Bob), individual charcuterie boards, personalized wine glasses, as many floral arrangements, candles, and boho accents as we could fit, and live music — all outdoors under the twinkling lights and stars. Dreamy doesn’t even begin to describe the evening, and afterward, everyone asked if and how they could hire us, so we thought we might be on to something.
As part of our new business, I was finally able to pursue floral design which has been a lifelong dream of mine. I was super nervous — and believe me when I say this is totally out of my comfort zone — but I worked up the nerve to cold call an incredible local sustainable florist (Ashley with La Seed Floristry) to see if she might need support. She didn’t at the time, but a few months later she called me back and we’ve been working together on a regular basis ever since. I’ve learned so much from her and am so grateful she has been so willing to share her knowledge and skills, and I’m so happy I made that call!
Why do you think it’s important for people to consider sustainable, non-toxic resources and florals when planning their events?
For me, this is a no-brainer. Floral foam (which most florists use in insane quantities) is highly toxic — for us and the planet. It doesn’t biodegrade, is non-recyclable, and contains 10 times the plastic as one plastic bag. It contains carcinogenic ingredients which are highly toxic to our skin and respiratory system. I truly can’t understand why this stuff is still so widely used. Sure — it’s easy to use, it’s everywhere and it’s cheap. Luckily there are so many alternatives now available. I just think it will take education and a little bit of practice for more floral artists to come around to the idea of sustainable floristry.
Valentine’s Day is around the corner. What’s one thing that every great Valentine’s or Galentine’s Day event should have?
I have to say florals and a delicious bottle of organic rosé! (Bodvar is our go-to brand.) I know balloons are a huge trend right now, and we love them for certain parties. I just die for the organic, nature-inspired, and outdoorsy vibe that fresh and dried florals always bring to the table (literally).
Do you have any go-to DIY decor tips and tricks for creating a beautiful ambiance for a Valentine’s or Galentine’s Day party?
Florals don’t have to be crazy expensive. If you have a solid budget, you can certainly spring for a more expensive arrangement, installation, or centerpiece. Everyone is dying for peonies and ranunculus right now, but those can be $5/stem or more. You can often get the same look with roses for much less. My latest trick for saving money on florals is to line the table with bud vases placed on wood rounds and make a “runner” using clips of eucalyptus. The bud vases hold just a few stems, so you don’t need a ton of flowers to make an impact. We also love sprinkling candles and votives in with florals down the center of a tablescape for a super romantic and magical look.
Florals should be fun! I enjoy myself the most when there is no particular palette in mind for a party and I can put different types of florals and shades together that I find at the flower mart. You often have no idea what you will find, or which flowers and colors will speak to you that day. Sometimes you come up with something totally unexpected and stunning that totally blows you away!
Any tips for creating gorgeous sustainable flower arrangements at home?
I use chicken wire, floral frogs, and a product called AgraWool (a sustainable, non-toxic version of floral foam) to make my arrangements. Chicken wire is so easy to work with once you get the hang of it. You just cut it to size (2x the size of your vessel) and stuff it into a vase. It allows you to lock in stems and create wild and ethereal 360 degree styles. Floral frogs are so much fun to use and create a really beautiful airy look. And the best part is, you don’t have to worry about hiding your mechanicals! AgraWool is super versatile. I make these beautiful floral runners using it, which look like flowers exploding off the table with no visible vase. You can use it the same as you would floral foam, and it’s not expensive. If you are a beginner, a vase with a smaller mouth is your friend. You can play around with the height of the flowers to create a stylized look.
What food and drink options would you recommend for a fun and festive Valentine and Galentine’s get-together?
Charcuterie boards are a huge trend right now, and we add these on to most of our picnic parties. There is very likely a charcuterie company in your area, or have fun making your own! Actually, a charcuterie board or floral arrangement DIY class would be an amazing idea for a Galentine’s party!
For drinks, I would stick with the vibe and go with rosé, red wine, or a sparkling pink cocktail.
Planning a party can be stressful. What are your tips to help ensure the party planner is able to relax and enjoy the party along with their guests?
This might sound silly, but kick off your shoes! Especially if I’m hosting a party at home, I’m barefoot 99% of the time. It just sets the mood and makes everything feel naturally relaxed. My other suggestions are to meditate the morning of the party, or have a drink before the guests arrive to calm your nerves — whatever works for you! Also, if you can, hire help! Even someone to help clear and clean dishes so you aren’t left with a huge mess to deal with in the end makes a huge difference.
Looking for delicious homemade treats to serve at your Valentine’s Day event? Check out our recent blog post about delicious vegan Valentine’s Day dessert recipes.