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COVER STORY | It's Porch Party Time

April 16, 2018



Warm weather puts party planners in their happy mode, as they start to plan, prepare and create beautiful celebrations for many different occasions. Porch parties are popular for many and with the help of these local party planning extraordinaires, you're sure to get some great ideas for your next celebration. You'll love what inspires them.....



Kristen Janes

Kristen Janes’s favorite part about being an event planner is using her creativity to design awesome décor for her clients.  She loves working with a theme to create a magical and unforgettable event.  Kristen’s event company, Kio Kreations, which just recently moved their office from Naperville to Plainfield, has designed several outdoor parties on her client’s patios and porches.  Most recently, she created a big backyard circus-themed first birthday.
“Often our yards can hold more people than our homes and offer more of a flow than what can be created in the home,” says Kristen.  She suggests thinking about the party setting and theme when figuring out your food and beverages and grilling is perfect for outdoor events.  “For a Hawaiaan party, maybe chicken, pork, and kabobs with pineapple,” proposes Kristen.  “Burgers and hot dogs are perfect for a sports themed party.”
One of the bigger trends she is seeing in her client’s outdoor parties is to hire a professional photographer to capture the memories.  The photographer will often do a private session with the client before the event and then do 2-3 hours of coverage during the event. Kristen believes, “it’s a perfect way to document a child’s first birthday, a baby shower or 50th anniversary party.”  Above Party Photo by Jennifer Kaye Photography






Nicole Wilson and Amanda Rooney


Amanda Rooney of Geneva likes to put a twist on her outdoor porch party, one that fills her friends with fine tasting wine, but also gives back to her favorite charity, GiGi’s Playhouse. She pairs up with her friend, Nicole Wilson, Senior Director and Founding Leader with viaONEHOPE, who brings a variety of ONEHOPE wines to the party for all to enjoy. Each bottle of wine purchased gives back a portion of the profits to a pre-selected ONEHOPE partner charity; however, alongside that, they will also give back 10% of the profits to the charity of the hostess’s choice. “I have met some of the strongest people,” says Nicole. “People fighting for a cure, fighting for their lives, and people standing up for what they believe in. I truly go home grateful, humbled and amazed after each event.”Nicole finds that as the weather starts getting better, many of her parties start moving outdoors. “I love doing a mimosa bar in the springtime!” she exclaims.Amanda also enjoys having her wine party outside. “ONEHOPE parties are perfect for a deck party,” says Amanda. “Drinking wine outdoors with your friends, giving back to a charity - it doesn’t get better than that!”




Holly Hu

Holly Hu, a party planner from Plainfield, think outdoor porch and patio parties are wonderful because you have the freedom of space, and it always feels fabulous to be closer to nature, which makes for a picturesque backdrop.  “I most recently planned an outdoor party for a 66th birthday celebration,” says Holly.  “We hired a DJ for the backyard, and the guests danced all night long.”
The biggest challenge for patio parties, Holly believes, is the weather.  She suggests to always be prepared to deal with those challenges.  “If the budget allows it, rent a cover tent, have plenty of seating and cool beverages nearby,” recommends Holly, “and NEVER skip the music.  Music always sets the ambiance and adds energy to any party.
Holly believes that a great new trend is having an intimate porch party for couples.  She suggests setting the tone with bright colors such as, tangerine, lime green or lemon yellow, instead of the basic pastels.  “The bright colors are a way of welcoming summer and bringing pizazz to your outdoor gathering. 




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