Circus Chic

I'm not sure how it happened, but I'm chief numero uno captain in charge of planning all of my work special events. I mean, it might be because I volunteered to be on the events team when I first started my job, and then as people on the team left the company I sort of became the person in charge of the things. When I was a wee lass forced to choose my career path upon applying to college at age 17, I wanted to be an artist at first and then I changed my mind to become a wedding planner. Fast forward 7 years and I'm a graphic designer/event coordinator/creative BAMF (that's on my business card) who has technically planned one wedding. BOOM. Planning a Christmas party for around 100 people is basically like planning a wedding every year minus all that marriage BS, so I'm all up on it. Plus, I have a team to help.

The theme was carnival-faire-circus chic. The budget was manageable, but you can do more if you save more, so we went full-on dollar store for a lot of the decor. Yesterday I showed y'all part of the centerpieces we did, which included gold and silver spray painted circus animals and popcorn. Here's the final outcome:

It was a little bit difficult to photograph, but there are red ornaments and pine cones in the lantern with some white lights. The metallic popcorn was sprinkled loosely around the base with a couple of loose contrasting ornaments on each table with the spray painted animals and BOOM, circus chic instead of circus cheese. The lantern and lights were the venue's, and we had the ornaments and pine cones from years past. These centerpieces cost us less than $3 each.

The centerpieces in the game room were a little more light and fun. I found tiny hula hoops at the dollar store, so I rolled with that and it snowballed into fun semi-old-timey carnival food displays. We had the clear vases from last year's party when we filled it with ornaments, so this whole centerpiece cost less than $5. 

Plus, people totally stole the cracker jacks and suckers for nomsing, so it was a win-win. For the record, we had actual food too. It was upscale carnival themed and included popcorn crusted chicken and fried guacamole with churros and funnel cake bites for dessert. Catering is where we spent the bulk of our doll hairs, but food and alcohol are kinda important. I mean I don't even consider going to a party if they're not serving some kind of food.

We worked with what we had. We brought all the ornaments and decorations from years past and MADE IT WORK, PEOPLE. One of the reasons we chose the venue we did was because of the ceiling and uplighting options:

Could that be any more perfect for a circus themed party? We had food, dranks, dancing and several different attractions:

Green screen photo station

Making these signs was probably my favoring finishing touch on the whole event. I feel like I should give this one to the DPS to make it slightly more exciting to get your driver's license picture taken. Or maybe it would be better to hang in a guest bedroom or a creepy gas station bathroom.

We personalized everything we could, including the available backdrop scenes for the photos. No big deal, folks. Just making memories over here.

I didn't get a chance to get my fortune told, but I feel confident she would have said that in the next 6 months I'll undoubtedly become a millionaire with rock hard abs and a petite motorcycle. And maybe a puppy. And a nice tan. And Michelle Obama arms.

The caricature artist was by far the biggest hit of the party aside from a fierce dance-off to DJ Unk "Walk it Out". I initially didn't get one of these done either, but he stayed late for me which was so nice and unnecessary. One thing about planning events is that you're working during the event, so you don't really get to participate in all the things in the same way. It's totally fine by me, though. I'd rather plan parties than attend them all day long.

Signage is such an easy, inexpensive way to make a party more exciting. We had signs for each of the food items and two signature bar drinks, in addition to directional signs throughout the venue. My favorite of the bar drinks was the Cotton Candy Martini, which is just cool to watch someone make. It's just vanilla vodka, cotton candy and seltzer water.

In case you missed it on Instagram a few days ago.

So there ya have it, a circus chic Christmas holiday party brought to you by yours truly and my team of awesome, creative coworkers. 


  1. Super cute! I love a good theme party. Before pinterest I use to walk through Michaels and Hobby lobby for idaes put items in my cart and group together. It is a lot of work but so much fun.

    1. Agree! Throwing parties is my favorite except, people.

  2. This is super cute... In a way I wish out office (of 5) would do something fun like this but then again there are only 5 of us and how boring would that be. We just go to a fancy restaurant for dinner.

    1. You could do something fun with a themed gift exchange! Mugs, books, baked goods, etc.


Post a Comment