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When it comes to trend forecasting, we have a pretty good idea of what’s about to top the trend charts. How, you ask? Because we roll deep in the party scene. That being said, we are not without journalistic integrity. We do our due diligence and tap industry professionals for their opinions and look at search data (yes, search data) to determine what’s what. We take parties very seriously.
After putting in the research, here are the top 10 party trends you can expect to see in 2019.
You can’t go wrong with a black-tie cocktail hour, but the party themes that will be trending are light-hearted takes on pop culture moments. Like “Fyre Fest: Success Remix” (think: amazing music set to the tune of all the chic-ness Fyre Festival should have had, like pillow-filled bohemian tents and gourmet cheese finger sandwiches).
Or, how about a glow-in-the-dark “Get Lit” party? “We had a grand reveal of a glow party with the theme ‘AIS Gets Lit,’” says Chelsea Van Arnam of Lucky Day Events Co. “We conceptualized and built out a custom installation with over 700 glow-in-the-dark slinkies hanging above the holographic dance floor. There was a blacklight artist who painted on a life-size canvas while guests partied all around.”
“Balloon installations started trending in the wedding industry a few years ago, and we're seeing that translated into smaller installations at growing numbers of showers and birthday parties,” says Lauren Goldberg, founder of Electric Celebrations. We’ll be seeing more creative designs that really evolve past simple garlands and into complex installations with mixed materials like florals and bunting.
Reminiscent of millennial pink, but perhaps a more grown-up version, “living coral” is PANTONE’s color of 2019 and will be incorporated into endless color palettes. According to PANTONE, “living coral embodies our desire for playful expression” and symbolizes an innate need to optimism and joyful pursuits. (If you ask us, parties and celebrations are a pretty joyful pursuit.)
In lieu of the traditional floral arrangements, people are opting for long, flowing garlands. And when we say people, we mean a lot of people. According to Pinterest’s Top Trends for 2019, searches for “flower garland” have spiked 1,154%. The versatility of a garland is what makes it such an attractive alternative. Garlands can be draped over doorways, adorn railings, dress up a photo booth backdrop, create a focal point—the options are endless.
Bonus: Garlands also mean you don’t have to rent vases. The downside? Garlands are usually priced by the foot—and depending on the greenery and florals used—can become expensive quickly.
“This year, we'll see the term ‘family style’ taken to the next level,” says Jenna Miller, creative director of Here Comes the Guide. “Instead of individually-plated entrees or passed apps, savvy event hosts are setting up ‘grazing tables’ that invite guests to move around and socialize between bites. Think of an epic charcuterie board that's spread across the entire table—full of organic meats and cheeses, cut-up fruit, crudités, nuts, olives, crackers, assorted dips, and whatever else your heart desires. It's the perfect spread for a lively party that just doesn't want to slow down for a sit-down meal!”
According to Goldberg, catered food and sit-down meals will experience a decline in meat and poultry options. “We're expecting to see more parties featuring Mediterranean and Middle Eastern menus in 2019. The hearty vegetarian dishes of these cuisines not only accommodate various dietary restrictions of your guests, but they also provide great value for your catering budget!”
Boozy kombucha is now a thing. It was only a matter of time, right? “If you're going to get a buzz, you might as well get some health benefits to go along with it,” says Miller. “Kombucha is fermented and does have a tiny bit of alcohol present, but in 2019 you'll see companies upping the alcohol ante with flavored kombucha that rivals beer in its alcohol by volume.”
Goldberg is also predicting a shift away from stage performances. “Roving entertainers will be popping up everywhere. Think: Portrait artists and spontaneous haiku composers that delight guests without interrupting the flow of the evening. We've also seen an increase in entertainers hired to help create a desired atmosphere, such as mermaids and synchronized swimmers at pool parties.”
Mindfulness meets social wellness in this trend of mini-moment celebrations. There are plenty of reasons to be joyful, but sometimes smaller achievements are overshadowed by everyday stressors. This year, consider throwing a cocktail party for your friend who just launched a new business, or a dinner party to celebrate finally paying off those student loans. Celebrate moments that make you happy and connect with your nearest and dearest IRL.