I can’t remember the last time I got together with my gal pals for Galentine’s Day but I’m pretty sure it was before the hashtag holiday even came to be or Instagram was even a thought for that matter. It simply comes down to “such is life.” Things get busy. Schedules don’t click. Work, getting married, kids, and relocating can all run interference in getting together to celebrate our friendships with our besties.
In my life, moving to Los Angeles has meant some long-distance relationships needing more love and prioritizing new friendships and connections as I build a home and business in L.A. That’s why I was more than thrilled to set aside some much needed girl time this year when I was invited to a Galentine’s celebration hosted by HoneyFitzEvents at the Fairmont Miramar hotel here in Santa Monica, Los Angeles. I invited my friend fashion influencer Jennifer Avina and fellow Style Collective bloggers and friends Rebecca Hartzler of Style Nav and Kate of Married at Sea, plus we made a few new girlfriends too, for a day that was one for the books, or blogs for that matter! And because HoneyFitz Events so lovingly takes care of every exquisite detail as a full-service events planner, I was able to pick up some behind-the-scenes tips for all of us on how to plan and host your very own off-the (heart-shaped)-chain Galentine’s celebration. Prepare yourself for some major inspo ahead…
❤️ Step 1) Pitch in and Plan: Make a list to define the details and assign everyone an area to cover from decorations to sweet treats. Get creative by tapping Pinterest for inspiration for cool ideas on games and decorations. I love the idea of a signature cocktail. Or, choose a pretty bottle of wine to match the decor, or champagne always sets a celebratory tone. Some sparkling rosé was simply perfect for our gathering as we enjoyed the scenery by the fire at the hotel’s restaurant FIG. We were lucky to have the photographer for this blog, Tyler Chase Glass there to capture every sweet moment. But you can make your own photo moments happen by bringing props for some fun photo styling. Make it special and get creative with decor as HoneyFitz did with Lark Farnum Design by dangling single roses over a cupcake bar, this one provided by Vanilla Bakeshop. Then grab all the balloons you can, like ours from Balloon Concepts and create a Valentine’s Day diy-banner to hang, or go pro with the details like hand-lettering by Song & Pen.
❤️❤️ Step 2 ) Name the Venue: Out on the town or Girl’s Night in? Take a vote to get the mood of the group and plan accordingly, whether it’s a fancy hotel stay, potluck at a gal pal’s home or a group dinner at a restaurant. For me it was exciting to discover a new restaurant and gorgeous spot to relax by the water in my new home of L.A. You too can be a tourist in your own backyard so to speak. Getting together with your girls is also a great chance to scratch off some bucket-list items together. Of course, costs are a major consideration to take and should be agreed on to accommodate all. Getting out in nature can provide some of the best bonding time. Consider hikes if you’re somewhere warm or ice skating if it’s colder where you are. If you are new to a city or out to make some new friends MeetUp and BumbleBiz are two great ways to find a girl gang, with self-organized groups that often happen over holidays.
❤️❤️❤️ Step 3) Dress for the Occassion: Now here’s my favorite part. Set a dress code if you like and be as formal or as informal as you want. PJ party, anyone? Of course, if you know me, you know my message here on Artfully is to dress up any chance you get and the style options us girls were provided did not disappoint! While I bought a new red dress from one of my favorite designers Alice + Olivia for the occasion that I couldn’t wait to wear, there were plenty of glamorous options from Rose & Sage. And I know from speaking to all the girls each and every one of us felt beautiful. Our day began at Glam & Go situated on the ground level of the Fairmont which I say is one of the most convenient salon experiences I’ve had for the reason the name implies: maximum glamour in a flash. Then it was off to our hotel room overlooking the Pacific for wardrobe and jewelry from Atelier by Edward Avedis. It was my first time wearing yellow diamond earrings and rings and I must say it felt like a fashion fantasy come to life.
Plan your own a pre-party outing to primp for your day and totally maximize on bonding time. Beauty apps like Glam & Go, who provide services direct to your home, or nails and a massage out at a spa to relax and unwind, can be a treat in and of itself. What makes a place like Fairmount Miramar so perfect is all the amenities are right there waiting. Prep at the spa, get ready in your room and head down to the restaurant, bar or outdoor dining. And The Fairmont is just a few minutes from the beach. Location, location, location.
❤️❤️❤️❤️ Step 4) Set the Mood: Flowers, small mementos and gifts as a place setting adds a thoughtful touch. We just loved how personalized our place setting felt. The tablescapes by Borrowed Blu and L.A. Best Rentals with La Tavola linens adorned in ranunculus and roses from Lark Farnum with two of my absolute favorite flowers couldn’t be lovelier. And a small bouquet of the blooms awaited each of us at our place setting fashioned with a deep burgundy ribbon with our name in gold. And we each brought home the most darling heart-shaped ring dishes I now have on my bedside table. Which brings me to…
❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Step #5) Gifts for Your Gals… A favor for all to commemorate the day or a photo can be an extra-special touch, whether it’s a small bottle of wine or a photo.
For me, working with HoneyFitz Events and their amazing partners taught me a lot about hosting and designing a party to please, down to every detail. But you to can certainly pull off a stunning celebration all your own and I hope with these tips and inspiration you will. Or, just hire HoneyFitz to get every gorgeous detail done for you! No matter how big or small you go with your gathering, it’s obviously all about time with your girls. Our styled shoot provided an amazing chance to partner with some impressive brands and women-owned businesses and see our work together featured on sites like Wedding Chicks. More than that, it was a chance to connect with each other, as both single and married gals, moms and more, to share our talents and just talk. All in all, together we were just girls having fun.
Happy Galentine’s Day!