It’s February 2017 and I am throwing my FIRST Galentine’s Event for the special ladies in my life (because everyone deserves a night away from their spouses!). For those of you that don’t know what Galentine’s is, it’s a holiday normally celebrated on February 13th with your closest lady friends. This year is special though my very best friend Patrick and my friend Elizabeth are all driving down to Florida at the same time! So I thought to myself…how can I make this weekend perfect?
What goes better with Galentines than Glamping? (Glamping = Glamorous Camping) I booked two campsites in the Big Scrub Campsite in the Ocala National Forest. Slowly my event gained momentum; we were up to nine people coming with four large tents. Planning any event large or small can be difficult; I’ll share with you some of my tips and tricks to throwing the perfect small event! (You can check out some of my larger parties – like my wedding right here on my blog!)
Normally I stay away from Facebook (with all of the politics/arguing lately I try to just steer clear). With this small event it was easier to create a Facebook Invite for everyone invited to see updated itineraries. You normally can snag an adorable invite banner right off of Google Images or use a Facebook pre-made version. I normally send this invite out a month or even two months in advance, so I can see immediately how many people are attending. (Facebook even sends guests a notification saying “RESPOND NOW DON’T BE RUDE” or something like that….)
Finally when I have a guest count, two or even three weeks before the event, I start a group text! I already have a menu picked out; along with decor ideas and schedule. I group each food section in a list; s’more’s items, drinks, dinner items, etc. I then assign each group a number and send a group text to my guests. Each guest then can grab a number and assigned food group to bring items to the gathering (this works well with supplies too! Who is bringing tents? Chairs? Blankets?). It looks something like this:
- Glamorous S’Mores (pick up waffle cones. marshmallows, fruit and chocolate!)
- Campfire Packets (your choice of meat and veggies)
- Drinks (lemonade, tea…your choice!)
- Appetizers (meat and cheeses!)
- Wine. Wine. Wine.
Now that food items were assigned, I focused most of my attention on decor. The camp site has already two small picnic tables, but they were not large enough for everyone to sit together; so I picked up four outdoor rugs from FiveBelow for $20 and covered them with throw pillows. To set the mood I also purchased small glass mason jars from the Dollar Tree and picked up fresh flowers the morning of. I also picked up a pack of tea light candles from IKEA ($5 for 24 you LITERALLY cannot beat that).
I also purchased valentines themed paper plates, fun patterned napkins and utensils. To make each place setting personal I grabbed 9 glass coke cups from the Dollar Tree (I know, I basically live there).
To add a classier touch, I picked up garden hooks at Target (a pack of 4 for $20). One hook was placed at the entry to our campsite with a small metal bucket filled with bug spray and sunscreen. The other three were placed in front of each tent with a small metal lantern; I picked these up from IKEA! Each lantern cost me $4 and was well worth the personal touch! I picked up battery powered tea light candles from the Dollar Tree for the lanterns, to be sure they lasted through the night and everyone could make it to their tents safely (after drinking all the wine).
I covered each table with a pink plastic table cloth I picked up from the Dollar Tree. A while back I picked up a Mason jar drink dispenser from the Goodwill, along with this large metal tub both for drinks. I have used both at every party; they are definitely worth the expense if you can find them! I filled the drink dispenser with a homemade cocktail and filled the metal tub full of ice and drinks.
While I picked up and gathered the supplies for the event, my first purchase is always an organizer tub. Normally I pick up or reuse a plastic storage bin months before a party, this way while I slowly pick up supplies I can store them neatly in one place. This also helps my husband not be too angry, since we do live in a one bedroom apartment!
It took us around an hour to get to Big Scrub campground and another hour to set up camp. A perfect night filled with my best lady friends, no technology and plenty of wine! We loved the campsite area! It took us a while to get to the location (with no cell phone service) but all night we had an uninterrupted view of the night sky.
Just a few more notes – don’t be afraid to delegate and ask your friends to help out! I am a control freak mixed with an over planner, do what you can but always delegate your friends and family to pitch in.