How-To Plan An Intimate Event, Part Three: Décor

An event isn’t an event without the decor! Decorations can really help pull together the theme of the event and set the mood. When the guests walk into the event space, they should immediately feel the right vibes. They should feel like they have shown up for a special occasion because they have. Below, I share a few decor tips for event planning. 

Tip #1: Theme 

Remember your event theme when you are looking for decorations. Items that fit with your theme can flow seamlessly throughout the event space and will enhance the experience. For example, a kid’s firefighting-themed party is enhanced by decorations such as fire trucks, flames, fire helmets, shields, and even water guns. It is not enhanced by beach balls, sun visors, umbrellas, or other decor items completely unrelated to the theme. We definitely stuck to the Animal Safari theme for my sister’s baby shower. We chose the following decor: 

  • Green Palm Leaves for the tables 
  • Green Ivy for the tent walls 
  • Animal inspired balloons 
  • Animal Backdrops for photo opportunities 
  • Peacock chairs for regalness 
  • Brown rope for the chairs and tent poles 
  • Large Green Palm Leaves for the peacock chairs 
  • Wisteria Garland for the peacock chairs 
  • Gold palm leaves for guests 
  • Animal/Jungle like centerpieces 

All of these items centered around the Safari theme.

Tip #2: Centerpieces 

Centerpieces can be challenging décor items. A centerpiece is a show piece, and although you might want it to stand out you do not want it to detract attention from everything else. Centerpieces that are too big can look overwhelming or gaudy, and will make it difficult for guests to converse across tables. However, centerpieces that are too small or the lack of centerpieces can leave the tables looking bare and even awkward. Most people opt to use floral arrangements as centerpieces. There are many benefits to using the right flowers at an event. They can provide the right frame of color for the aesthetics of the event, the right smell to elevate the event space, and the right references for discussion amongst guests. If you decide not to use floral arrangements, try to find centerpieces that fit the theme or the color palette of the event. This will help the centerpieces tie in with the rest of the décor.

For my sister’s baby shower we chose home-made centerpieces that fit the theme and drew attention to the natural feel of the event. The centerpieces were medium-sized, natural looking, and tied in with the event space as it was outside. I searched through Pinterest for inspiration on the centerpieces and showed a few ideas to my sister, who then picked out elements that she wanted in her centerpieces. My mother took all that we presented her with and she purchased the items she needed to create the centerpieces. In addition, my sister and I made the centerpieces for her table. The table for the guests of honor should always have centerpieces that stand out from the other tables, but that is definitely a personal preference. I had two green wine bottles that I had previously used for lighting décor in my house (I’m randomly crafty), and I thought they would make nice centerpieces. I filled the bottle with sand and large palm leaves, and I wrapped the outside of the bottles with rope and gold leaves. Finally, my sister wanted to incorporate her son’s initials into the décor, so she painted the initials green and we used them as part of her centerpieces.

Tip #3: Miscellaneous Party Items Can Form Your Décor 

Pick décor that fits into your color palette. Usually, people pick about 2 – 3 main colors for an event, and the color of the décor often fits into the chosen color palette. Popular palettes are red and black; red, silver and black; light blues and white; blues and yellows, and more. You can use almost anything related to the event in the colors of your palette. The color of the table linens, the color of the place settings, the colors of the dinnerware, window curtains, wall panels, and more can all be used as décor when they match the color palette for the event. In addition, those miscellaneous items can also match the theme of your event. Whether they match the color palette or the theme you will end up having more décor than you realized. 

We created table signs for the food at my sister’s baby shower, and the signs match the Safari theme. In addition, the candy table, dinnerware, and party favors all matched the color palette – golds, greens, and jungle tones. Even the jugs for the drinks gave off a safari/jungle vibe because they reflected kaleidoscope colors reminiscent of a rainbow in the jungle and they had natural-toned wood lids. We also had a small white backdrop with gold and green leaves hanging down which matched the color palette of the event. Finally, the dinnerware matched the color palette and theme of the event. My sister found a set on amazon that was a natural blue-green with gold trim. Those minor details and miscellaneous items can all contribute to event décor so be cognizant when choosing these items.

*Disclaimer: Event photos were taken by vendors and downloaded from They were edited for this post*

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