My novel Ditch Flowers was released on September 28th, 2015. It was an amazing milestone in my life, and one I planned on celebrating. I knew I wanted a book launch party. I had been to one years earlier for my friend Tara Meissner, and remembered how celebratory it was. Problem was, and it was a good problem, I had a major life event happen FOUR days after my book was released (um, being the birth of my third child, who happened to be stationed at my hip for most of the party). So there was not a chance I would be leaving my postpartum sweatpants and getting dolled up for a party. Not to mention all the other things that go into party planning! I knew I’d need some time to get through the sleep deprivation and the celebration would just have to wait.
And wait, it did. We had my book launch on Saturday. It was nice visiting with my friends, and family. And it was a very cool feeling knowing we were celebrating my debut novel. For those of you who’ve wandered over here for inspiration for your own affordable book launches, I’m including pretty much every detail for you! But, you know what stinks? I was so busy getting the party prepped, and so busy/distracted being at the actual party, I took only a few photos. I was so disappointed to realize that once I got home that evening! My friend sent me her fuzzy cell phone shots (thank you!), so I have those plus some I took myself. I didn’t even snap any pics with friends! None of my blown-up book cover on an easel! But, fret not. At least I got a few 🙂
With that, let me get started. First, the invites. Yes, I love paper invites. I actually get giddy over some paper products. Give me a brand new journal or pretty stationary and ::swoon::. But, I was on a tight budget and timeline. So, e-vite it was. There was no way I was dicking around with making invites, so my friend Megan from Chalkboards For Littles made this stunner, and I simply uploaded it to an e-vite site. Side note- only bad thing, I know for a fact a few people did not actually receive their email invites so make sure you double check your addresses. But, back to Megan, my invite wiz. She does a lot of cute stuff for kids birthdays also, and she takes custom orders. Visit her on Etsy!
So where did I end up having it? I had agonized over the location. Where could I hold the party without breaking the bank? Definite not outside because a.Wisconsin, and b. March. I was going to go with a cozy Irish bar or the yacht club (my friend is a member and could get a deal), but then my absolutely fabulous friend from book club offered to let us have it at her gorgeous home. Yay!!
So the time, date, invites were set. Then, I had a ton of planning. What would I do for giveaways? What about making a few things myself? Flowers were easy- purchased from the grocery store, three bundles for 12.99. I put them in my own vases. The purple are called wax flowers, the white of course, daisies, the green-ish yellow? No clue, however I loved that they looked like ditch flowers!
For giveaway items, and things to include on my book selling table, I ordered mugs from Vistaprint. I also wanted to sell and give candles, but it was so difficult to find plain Jasmine-scented candles to tie into the book, so I decided to make my own. Plus, I’m thrifty. I hand-poured these, ya’ll, and let them rest on my kitchen counter overnight.
Everything was set up just so, and I included a bowl for people to throw in their names to win. The perk to making a purchase (of signed book, book-related candle, or mug) was that the buyer received a bonus entry into the giveaways! There were three giveaways, plus I gave a gift for my friend who held the party. In total I handed out these prizes: 2 boxes of Café du Monde beignet mix (again, book-related), 2 candles, 2 adult floral coloring books with pencils, 1 journal, 1 mug, and 1 Florence + the Machine cd (Lungs, because I listened to a lot of Florence while writing the book!)
A bit more decor. I saw the book page candle idea on Pinterest, so I can’t take credit, but I wanted to share how cute! Plus, not too difficult at all. Scissors, tape, and a book set to discard.
What about the food and drinks, you say? Read on…
At my grocery store if you buy 6 bottles of wine you get a 10% discount. I took advantage of that deal and got mostly Matthew Fox wine, which is only 2.99 a bottle (and it’s good!), plus brought a few bottles of my dad’s homemade wine to tie into the wine business from Ditch Flowers. The biggest woops of the party? We ran out of red! But, guests were easy-going and switched to white wine, or beer. I also provided soda, water, and sparkling lemonade (Aldi). My mother-in-law brought a carafe of coffee, along with homemade chocolate cheesecakes (mini!). Sorry, no pic. My parents made the gorgeous fruit and veggie trays. My step-mother-in-law made a b.l.t.dip that was apparently to die for. Since I don’t eat bacon, I’ll have to take the guests word for it. But really, they were harassing me for the recipe it was THAT good! I also had a cheese plate, including gouda, cheddar, dill Havarti, and blueberry goat cheese (all but the Havarti were from Aldi), and a meat plate with prosciutto, salami, and things like that. In addition, there was chips, crackers, garlic-stuffed olives, which were incorrectly labeled as blue cheese stuffed (Aldi, my only complaint), smoked salmon dip, hummus, and nuts. So, lots of finger food. Napkins, plates, faux-silver silverware came from the dollar store.
Now, what’s left? The outfit, of course! I am a fashionista, and I planned for months. MONTHS, I TELL YOU. Let’s just say, I changed my mind about my first two options! A. was going to be a Japanese silk floral kimono over a white tank, black skinny pants, and a jeweled clutch. That changed to option B. a tulle maxi skirt from Lauren Conrad and a graphic tee, heels, and that same clutch. But when I tried it on, I felt like a huge, fluffy cupcake. SO not figure flattering for me! And my husband said I looked like I belonged in 50s. So…option C was thrown together (after ALL that planning of A or B!) literally two hours before we left! I went with black cigarette pants (Apt 9), a chartreuse paisley sheer blouse (Banana Republic, from Goodwill) with tank (Target) and a rich green velvet beaded jacket (again, Goodwill!). Topped the look off with Juicy Couture crown earrings (Kohls), a J. Crew rhinestone headband, and my old, wonderful, affectionately-named “cow shoes”. I did keep the jeweled clutch from Anthropologie 😉
Oh, and I would have loved to wear my hair down but thanks to hormones, it’s falling out terribly, and I didn’t think my guests would appreciate hair all over them! The headband made it more than okay, though!
Fashion details are fun!
Nail polish? O.P.I.Tickle my France-y! My all-time tie for favorite manicure color.
Check out that pretty bag! And who doesn’t love a patterned shoe?
It really was fun celebrating my book launch with a small party. Lots of work, but fun nonetheless. I hope you enjoyed seeing a bit (a lot?) of what went into it. Thanks for sharing with me in this very neat moment. Cheers!