Movie Party – At the Theatre

Movie Party – At the Theatre

Plus a behind the “scenes” breakdown at budget!

Movie party table for online pic 2

A few weeks ago, I put a bit of décor together for a birthday party at a local movie theatre.  Overall, I would say that experience is a bit of a hectic one.  My recommendation is that you book the room for at least two bookings for this type setup and more for extended setup.  They charge $50 for an hour in the room.  Now, I was able to set this party up in about 15-20 minutes.  But that is only because we got lucky and the manager showed up a few minutes early and opened up early (this is what I had hoped for) and also we took a few minutes into the party for setup.  AND I had several hands to help out with this.  Overall it wasn’t bad though.  But everything had to be prepared to just slap on the main tables and the food table.  Had I had to do more extensive sweets setup – it just wouldn’t have been possible.  However, if you are hiring me to do this for you – the packages would not include the extra help and you would need to allot enough setup time and also photo shoot time.  When setup happens in a hurry – you don’t get the alignment and placement to everything for the photos as you wish (not to mention shooting around little heads and missing some items since you are in a hurry!).  We knew we wanted to budget this party for the smallest amount of setup time (one hour booking) and just a small amount of sweets and holders (for easy cleanup) so this package might be a little different than some packages but it shows how a party can be customized to fit the needs of the participants.

The party highlights:

Real, moving clapboard plates and boxes.  Personalized Popcorn boxes, A movie styled marquee backdrop, Sign-able star placemats and sign-able star water bottle wraps, movie reel centerpieces with actual photos.

Mini clapboard favor boxes movie reel mini centerpiece place setting2water bottle wrap and napkin wrapPopcorn boxesPopcorn box centerpieceCake and mini chocolate bars

Overall this was a simple party to style.  The work is really in the preparation.  It takes several hours to put together a party like this ahead of time.  There is the initial design.  But even if it is one that I currently already offer, you still have to spend the time printing, HAND CUTTING most items, HAND SCORING most items, hot gluing, labeling, wrapping, and more.  This can be time consuming.  My parties are hand crafted parties.  That means most items are not pre-fabricated – though some might be, but you still have some piece of it that will be “spruced” up by me – even if it is just labeled.

The other time consuming part of this party was the sweets.  Do you know how long it takes to pull and cut apart mini marshmallows to top the cupcakes, marshmallow pops, and cake pops so they look like popped kernels of corn? Or how long to draw those lines on the marshmallow pops along with the “POP”?  And how long it takes to make cake pops?  Let’s just say that I started on my sweet items at 11:30 the night before the party (yes, I know that is past bedtime – but there is no sleeping the night before a party – another reason you pay me… so you can sleep!) and I didn’t finish until almost 4:00 in the morning! And that is just for 20 cupcakes, 15 cake pops, and 12 marshmallow pops!!  I DO NOT envy those in the bakery dept!  There is a reason those decorative cake pops run $2.99 (plus shipping if ordered online!) a piece and up!!

marshmallow popsside view table

I have decided that every once in a while I will do a party breakdown to show certain costs involved.  That way readers and interested parties can understand exactly what goes into parties as far as cost and time. There are some who might wonder why packages can run (what some and maybe most might consider) high.  When in fact, most packages and pricing do not even cover the cost and time of what a party planner / stylist SHOULD charge.  The reason I would like to add this in sometimes is for this – perspective and appreciation.  There are some who might not even blink at pricing and then others who are frugal (and there is nothing wrong with that!) want to get an idea of just what all the pricing is about.  I cannot do this on all my parties.  Why?  Because it has taken me several hours just to detail out and price the items here and also write this blog!  I just do not have time for that for every blog!  But this can give you an idea for future reference!!

Here is what this party package included (these prices are figured individually and with what they would be if I had to order the food items (professional):

Sweets table Setup:

  • 24 mini chocolate wrapped candy bars. ($3.50 plus tax)
  • Mini Chocolate wraps – 2 pks of 15 ($8.00 basic standard)
  • Bowl of white sixlets ($5 plus tax)
  • Bowl of white gummy bears ($5 plus tax)
  • Dozen – Homemade marshmallow pops (professional online would be $40 & up for 12 qty)
  • Dozen – Homemade “popcorn-shaped” cake ball truffle pops (gourmet $47.50 & up for 12 qty)
  • Bling Sticks for popcorn pops ($2.99 +TAX)
  • 24 qty – Homemade “popcorn” themed cupcakes – (not sure exactly what they charge but probably around $1.50-$2 a piece for store bought)
  • 24 qty -Popcorn Cupcake wraps (standard) – ($14.00)
  • 24 qty – Movie style Cupcake toppers (standard personalized) – ($15.00)
  • 16 qty – Mini Popcorn boxes with personalized marquee thank you tag topper on back (Individually $2.50 each or 12 for $24 = $32)
  • Cake topper and mini laminated picture prints for cake (Starting at $10.00 & up)
  • Mini Happy Birthday Banner – Movie Theme ($18.00 + TAX)
  • Mini Name Banner – Movie Theme ($12.00 + TAX)
  • Movie Party Centerpieces ($15.00 per set X 2 sets = $30)
  • 16 qty – Personalized Clapboard favor boxes (Individually $2.50 each or 12 for $24= $32)
  • 2 qty Personalized Mini paper reel centerpieces with actual pics ($15 each x 2 = $30)
  • Straws ($4.50 plus tax)
  • Straw flags – pkg of 30 ($6.00)
  • 16 water bottles ($2.00 plus tax)
  • 16 Water bottle wraps ($12.00)
  • 7” Black Square Paper Plates ($3.50 +TAX)
  • 16 qty – 7” Plate Toppers ($13.00 + TAX)
  • 16 star placemats ($2.50 each or 12 for $20)
  • 24 napkins ($1.00)
  • 24 forks ($1.00)
  • 24 napkin wraps ($8.00)
  • Usage of two red satin runners (to purchase $8.50 each at least = $17.00)
  • Black Plastic Backer Board with Personalization on the Marquee, red satin drape, & star cutouts. (if you were to order just the marquee backer and then attach to a black backdrop (cloth) and get a red drape) $102.50 and that isn’t even a hard backer but one you would attach to a wall – hard backer would run 150.00-175.00
  • Usage of a few (minimal amount) of party sweets containers. (use your own holder or purchase some for about $30-$40)
  • Minimum art setup fee starts at $23.00

Minimum total without tax if you had to purchase most items – $579.15 (& up)

To style this party as a package would currently run (4-21-15) approximately $350.00 (& up depending on the cost of the popcorn cupcakes and if the cake pops and marshmallow pops stayed the same price.)

As you can see, it is cheaper on you to hire me to just set your party up than to order individual items from me.

 The reason you save?

Here are just a few:

  • You are borrowing certain pieces: Centerpiece holders & some picks & ribbon, sweet containers & platters, the back display pieces, tablecloths & runners,
  • You are getting a discount as a package (multiple ordering)
  • I throw some pieces in for free! (Cake topper, pics)
  • Your Design and some personalizations are included!

Plus, My styling services are included – You don’t have to setup the table or place settings!!

If you are wanting a designer / boutique party, it is really a no brainer to hire a stylist!  That is if you are wanting to put on a party such as this.

There ARE ways to still get this look and save and do-it-yourself.  I DO offer my art as printables online to purchase for printing and setup yourself at home.  I also can print the items for you and you can trim them out and craft them yourself which will save some.  So if you are a diy-er, then there are other options to throwing this party.  Please keep in mind though; my styling services are not free!  I do not give ideas, setup suggestions, vendor suggestions, etc. for free.  That is what I am hired for.  However, I also can make up a general Pinterest board with a small list of vendors for you as a package as well.  That starts at $50.00 for an idea board and list.  Keep in mind the items on the board will not be mine (at least most) but are to be used as inspiration for your own pieces.  You are not paying me for that as “my” ideas – you are paying for my time to look up, brainstorm ideas, and time in researching the ideas and vendors.

The other way to save is to make treats yourself.  Yes, they don’t always look “gourmet” or “professional”, but that is OK.  You can dress them up with a bit of sugar shimmer, or add on some candy embellishment.  Or put them into a box or wrap.  Another way to save is to order a few gourment, and then add in some homemade or simple store bought treats that are easy and simple, yet look nice on a table.  You don’t have to go broke dressing up your dessert table!  Although I am starting to use more professionally made items in my own parties, the only reason I do – because it is my business.  They need to look that way and also because I have setup a business that will pay for my special treats and favors!  However, If I think I can get away with making something at home (and not overstress myself in the process – which I usually do) – then I will!!

In the end, having a beautiful party can be simple and sweet!

Thanks again for reading!


Vendor Credits:

Printables by Shawna Fisher of Water Walker Designs

Vinyl Marquee sticker/decal print by Jason of Digital Prints Plus

Marquee Design & copyrighted by Shawna Fisher of Water Walker Designs

Cupcakes, Marshmallow pops, cake pops – Water Walker Designs

Tablecloths – Dollar Tree

Black Square Plates and napkins – Party City

Bling Sticks – Hobby Lobby

Real tablecloths and runners – Tableclothsfactory

Centerpiece popcorn holders – Dollar Tree

Water bottles – Walmart

Gummy Bears – Oriental Trading

Sixlets – Oriental Trading

Straws – The Shindiggity Shoppe


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