This past year’s parties featured long, winding tables, creative (and sometimes personal) charcuterie, amazing arches, and experiential photo ops galore. Some of last year’s trends will continue into 2020 (people will still need pics to post, after all) and will join a host of other exciting innovations we’re seeing crop up at celebrations. Whether you’re planning a wedding, birthday party, Bar or Bat Mitzvah, or gala, you’ll want to be in-the-know on what’s new so you don’t miss out on incorporating fun trends like dueling stages and interactive centerpieces into your next celebration.
1. Glamorous 20s-themed Celebrations for a New Decade
Jazz-Age Jump & Jive
When it comes to celebrating the 20s, the music has to be hot and the dancing cool. This party included siren singers, hopping brass, and flapper-clad dancers that kept guests on their feet. See more photos to get inspired by period-perfect theming.
photographer: Cage and Aquarium | floral: Soulflower Design Studio | venue: de Young Museum | entertainment & lighting: Love in the Mix | caterer: Jane Hammond Events | rentals: Bright Event Rentals | ambient entertainment: Earth Circus Productions | bar: Bartenders Unlimited | coffee: Steamship Coffee Co | photobooth: Smile Booth
2. Wellness Activities Bring Healthy Elements to Decadent Events
An Early-Morning Rave
First we yoga, then we dance. DAYBREAKER, a morning movement community of more than 500,000 members in 28 cities, brought yoga, fitness, and happiness to this pre-work corporate event. Floor-to-ceiling windows offered breathtaking (and meditative) views of NYC, while participants stretched in the dark and danced at dawn.
photographer: AP Images for LG Electronics USA and Luis Antonio Ruiz | planner: LG Experience Happiness Project | venue: ASPIRE at One World Observatory | partners: Life’s Good, Daybreaker, and Donté Colley | entertainment: Darrell Thorne
3. Dueling Stages Create Twice the Fun
A Musical Face-Off Means More Entertainment
Chicago’s most recent Wish Upon a Wedding gala featured a dance floor flanked by opposing stages. Supporters of the nonprofit — which gifts weddings to couples who face life-threatening illnesses — were treated to performances that hopped between stages and musical styles (rock ‘n roll and swing) for an immersive entertainment experience where no one had a bad spot.
photographer: Tuan B & Co | décor: Ashland Addison Floral and Event Decor, Atmosphere Events Group, Flowers for Dreams, Revel Decor, Taylor & Co, Yanni Design Studio, Vale of Enna, Willrett Flower Co., Zuzu’s Petals, and Ella & Rose | venue: Revel Fulton Market | rentals: BBJ Linen, Blue Peak Tents, Bowery & Bash, Hall’s Rental Service, Inc, & Nuage Designs | entertainment: BeatMix Music | av & technology: Frost Chicago | videography: Hunter Floyd Films | caterer: Dipsy Desserts, Limelight Catering, & Vanille
4. Event Palettes — Like Fashion– are Going Monochrome
This show-themed birthday celebration was held in honor of Dear Evan Hansen’s producer. The over-the-top fête featured moody blue lighting that mimicked the tech glow of the stage production, as well fonts and cake design inspired by the emotionally-resonant Broadway success.
photographer: Simon Luethi | planner & caterer: Tom Orlando Events | design, decor, + floral: The Style Marc by MWD Lifestyles | venue: Manhattan Movement + Arts Center | furniture rental: High Style Rentals | custom dance floor + bar: HITECH Events, LLC | lighting: Robert Stark Lighting
5. Luminous Iridescent Details Brighten Parties
Click to see how to Add Sparkle to Every Event — Iridescent Décor is Here to Stay
This celebration featured so many innovative touches that it’s hard to focus on a single element — unless that element happens to be luminescent bubble-like balloons that made the dance floor into a teen dream. See more photos to check out the coat-check-as-entertainment moment and the surprise sweets shop disguised as a giant gift.
photographer: CONNOR STUDIOS | event planner: Evoke Design & Creative | décor: Event Revolution | venue: InterContinental Washington D.C. – The Wharf | entertainment: Electra Entertainment | desserts: Bella Christie | balloons: All About Balloons | coat check experience: Tryon Entertainment
6. See Your Self(ie) at Every Event
Click to see 7 Selfie Party Fun Ideas You Have to See.
Toast to Yourself — with Yourself
This modern, corporate holiday party offered branded cocktails, yes, but also super-personal sips adorned with photo-booth snaps of guests. See more photos for the over-the-top red and silver tables featuring gorgeous lamé linen and and painted palm centerpieces that make a big statement (we think they’re saying, “pull up a ghost chair and enjoy!”).
photographer: Andrew and Ada Tran Photography | event planner & designer: Mandy Marie Creative | florist: Avant-Garde Floral Studio | venue: Scottsdale Hangar One| caterer: M Culinary Concepts | rentals: Bright Event Rental , Prim Event Rentals, & Blue Media | tabletop: Bright Event Rentals & BBJ Linen| linen: La Tavola Fine Linen & Connie Duglan Linen | menu: Artifacture | entertainment: Blake Smith – DJ Ascension | games: Vegas 2 U | lighting: Avant-Garde Floral Studio| red carpet: Bright Event Rentals
7. Sustainable Catering Makes for Greener Celebrations
Big Love, Low Eco-Impact
Guests of this New York-set wedding were wowed by delicious dishes like chilled strawberry soup and petite sweets, before ending the night with a fun Philadelphia cheesesteak station. The eco-conscious cuisine was crafted from only the freshest local ingredients, adding a seasonal touch for the celebration as well. A partnership with local farms is just one of the ways the right caterer can create social events without an environmental impact.
photographer: M2 Photography | planner: Secretariat | floral: Brandis Blooms | venue: Winterthur Museum | rentals: Party Rental Ltd. | caterer: CxRA | band: Untouchable Events | cake: The Master’s Baker | makeup: Tribe Beauty
8. Tassels & Tinsel Are the Swiss Army Knife of Events
Grand Entrance at a Grand Celebration
Tassels and tinsel add sparkle and fun and make the statement that it’s party-time. From wow-worthy ceiling installations to shimmery backdrops, they’re flexible and beautiful. We adore how long strands of tinsel were utilized to add gold glam as room dividers and grand entrances at PartySlate’s own 4th anniversary celebration in NYC.
photographer: Fred Marcus Studio | event planner: Gourmet Advisory Services | design/décor/floral: Dejuan Stroud, Inc. | venue: CNVS Events | entertainment: Jordan Kahn Music Company | hotel partner: InterContinental New York Barclay | hair & makeup: Beautini | invitations: Alpine Creative Group | av: AV Workshop | caterer: Neuman’s Kitchen | games: Creative Games Inc | videographer: Hart Studios | rentals: Taylor Creative Inc. & Luxe Event Rentals
9. Interactive Centerpieces Liven Up Tabletops
Herbaceous (and Delicious) Décor
We love when décor details do double duty (see tassels above). Not only is the tabletop at this event professional gathering gorgeous, but it’s functional too. Amid the lovely pastel florals and greenery sat little pots of fresh herbs for guests to snip — with sweet little gold scissors, of course — and savor with their meal.
photographer: Phillip Van Nostrand Photography | planner: Ali Barone Events | floral, décor, & styling: Adam Leffel Productions | venue: Glenmere Mansion | catering: OnTheMarc Events | video: Joseph Edwards Films | rentals: Luxe Event Rentals & Party Rental Ltd. | menus & invitations: Ceci New York | harpist: Erin Hill Harp | music: Jarrell Entertainment | hair & makeup: Samantha Agostino Makeup
10. Menus are Popping Up in Unusual Places
Ditch the Bread Basket
Another hard-working party element has earned a spot on our top trends list; this one acting as place card, menu, and appetizer. First of all, we love any soirée that gives each guest their own loaf of bread, but the menus cleverly printed on the wrapper is simply inspired. The idea is elevated even further by the rustic-chic place cards directing guests.
photographer: Braedon Photography | event planner: Bash, Please | floral: Atelier Joya | venue, catering, lighting, & linen: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering & Events | entertainment: EVER Music Group & Brian Moran & Delores Alston 7
11. Place Cards That Not Only Direct, But Engage, Guests
A Telephone that Tells Your Table
Speaking of inspired ways of letting guests know where they’re sitting, we are wowed by the creativity at this corporate celebration. Arriving guests were greeted by a wall of vintage rotary phones which they used to dial in for their table assignments at the James Bond-themed party. See more photos to get a peek at the cool geometric backdrops and glittery projection mapping at the conference celebration.
photographer: John Cain Photography, Love Life Images, Paul Morse Photography, & Phillip Van Nostrand Photography | planner: Emily Clarke Events | décor: Wildflowers Events and Occasions | venue: Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, SLS Baha Mar, Rosewood at Baha Mar, & Baha Mar | rentals: Nuage Designs & Signature Chandeliers | invitations & print: TPD Design House | entertainment: Élan Artists
12. Creative Caterers are Letting Partygoers Catch Their Own Bites
Donut Grow Up
Why should kids have all the fun? We love this neon-themed tech event with all of its glowing décor, geometric installations (trend alert!), and playful fare. Pick a pack of popcorn from the popcorn wall (then say that 10 times fast), or better yet, catch a donut hole at the end of a sugary slide for a sweet bite.
13. Inspired Product Launches are Experiential
Arcade Prizes Actually Worth Winning
An industrial space was the perfect dramatic setting for an army of mannequins sporting Kappa USA fashions for guests to roam between at this modern product launch. We love how guests interacted with the fashionable offerings via a claw machine full of chic branded Kappa items.
photographer: Eye-Catcher Social | production: Vox Productions | venue & beverage: City Market Social House | rentals: Signature Party Rentals | furniture: Taylor Creative Inc. | catering: TGIS Catering | clothing: Kappa USA
14. Japanese-Inspired Florals Bring Minimalistic Beauty to Parties
Minimalist Designs for Maximum Beauty
Ikebana — the art of Japanese floral design — is all about appreciating the shape, color and style of every individual bloom. This 70th birthday celebration allowed the stunning, wild beauty of diverse florals to shine. The modern and masculine celebration featured totally unique arrangements on every table, set among cool copper elements and luxe velvet and leather seating.
15. Events with Signature Scents
Engage Senses with Scents
The right smell can transport you to another place in your memory; what if that place were an amazing party that allowed you to create your own signature scent? That’s what guests at PartySlate’s Washington, D.C. launch experienced (in addition to a gospel welcome, a drag queen monk, and an innovative gif photo spot).
photographer: Theo Milo Photography | event planner: Magnolia Bluebird design & events | décor: Syzygy | greenery/ foilage: Twigz Studios | florals: White Magnolia Designs | venue: The LINE Hotel DC | entertainment: Élan Artists | videography: Monachetti Weddings | lighting: Frost DC | rentals: Emerson James Rental | liquor: The Liquor Laundry | linen: La Tavola Fine Linen| invitations: Saima Says Design | photo booth: Snap! Entertainment | calligraphy: Meant to Be Calligraphy | scent: Blue Flower | hair: Bridal Hair by Remona & Noufal HairColor Studio| makeup: Nour Kazoun, Makeup Artist | alcohol: Mezcal El Silencio & Kikori & GH Mumm & Absolut Elyx & District Distilling
16. Brunch Celebrations Let Guests Get to Bed on Time
Chic Lounge Areas Make Midday Cozy
Roc Nation hosted a brunch party in what feels like a perfectly-decorated living room, but what is actually a super-versatile event space boasting expansive city views. Comfortable, yet creative, lounge furniture was strategically placed throughout the flexible space in a way that allowed guests to mix and mingle, while still relaxing and enjoying their brunch.
photo courtesy of & venue: ASPIRE at One World Observatory | design & décor: Stonekelly Events | glassware rentals: Party Rental Ltd. | furniture rentals: Taylor Creative Inc. & Luxe Event Rentals | lighting: LEVY | NYC | a/v: ESM Sound
17. The Progressive Dinner Concept is Moving into the Event Scene
Each Room, A New Scene
The 1970s saw the popularization of progressive dinners — meals with courses served across several homes throughout the course of a single evening. That concept has moved into the event scene for beautifully surprising experiences. For example, this company anniversary celebration took guests on an immersive journey through multiple spaces, including cherry blossom and lavender coves. We love how each space featured its own themed entertainment with a mariachi band, ballet dancers, gospel singers, live mannequins, and more.
photographer: Kent Drake Photography | event design & venue: HMR Designs | florals: Food For Thought, AJF Wholesale, Fleurametz, Delaware Valley Floral, Hilverda De Boer, & Kenicott Brothers | décor: Nuage Designs | caterer: Blue Plate Catering & The Grand Bevy | linen: BBJ Linen & Tailored Elements | entertainment: BeatMix Music, Élan Artists, & Entertaining Company | lighting: Frost Chicago | rentals: Hall’s Rental Service, Inc & Marquee Event Rentals Chicago | paper goods: RedBliss Design
18. After-Parties as Elaborate as the Parties Themselves
Click to see 5 Steps for Hosting the Perfect After the Wedding Party.
After-Party for “Drunk in Love” Couple
What do you get when you take cool neon lighting, add creative catering displays of breakfast cereal, and a dash of nightclub vibe? A wedding after-party that keeps guests partying till sunrise. A DJ kept the dance floor filled all night before guests collapsed into luxe silver velvet lounge areas, tired and happy.
photographer: Roey Yohai Studios | planning & design: Evantine Design | venue: private residence
19. Geometric Party Elements Add Chic Angles
New Kind of Party for a New Year
This corporate New Year’s Eve celebration employed triangles, circles, and other shapes too complex to name. The effect was pure magic. Lighting amplified the angles, and projection mapping added even more interest. We’re wowed by how the many patterns and visuals collided for a truly sensational sensory experience.
20. Super-Personal Swag Can Be Created On-the-Spot
It’s not easy to combine agate theming, effusive florals, and sneakers into a seamless experience, but this celebration does it. Featuring a live art station that resulted in super-personal swag was an inspired touch; we could watch this painter create custom kicks all night long. Except we need to leave to hit the dessert table for a slice of that stunning agate cake.
event photographer: Kari Otero Photography | décor photographer: Gustavo Campos | event planning & design: Florie Huppert Design | florals: L’Atelier Rouge | venue: Tribeca 360 | graphic design: FHD Invites You | caterer: Thomas Preti Events to Savor | entertainment: Total Entertainment | lighting: AV Workshop | linen: BBJ Linen | furniture rentals: CERF | ice bar: OKAMOTO STUDIO Custom Ice | raw bar: The Lobster Place | calligraphy: Anne Robin Calligraphy