Local Influencers Share DIY Tips to Elevate Any Backyard Party

Make the most of any summer soiree with advice from these savvy decor gurus

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If you enjoy both sharing and being inspired by photos and videos, Instagram is the social network for you. Hashtags, while sometimes added as clever asides, are actually sorting tools used to categorize content that enable users to discover what they’re interested in quickly. It was likely #partydecor and #diyprojects that helped Alex Morse, Ingrid Brown, and Nicole Ketchum spot each other and connect. The best part? They’re all in the Ocean State. Morse owns The Creative Gene (@thecreativegeneri), a business focused on making things pretty with balloons, flowers, and food, and she appears weekly on NBC 10 WJAR’s lifestyle show Studio 10. Brown (@ingridbrown_) is an interior designer with over 55k IG followers; and Ketchum is the force behind Hey Girl Decor (@heygirldecor), a line of decorative-only chandeliers featured at Disney Springs. Recently, the group teamed up to throw a citrus-themed birthday party and we asked them to share three tips.

“First, pick a theme, and from there the decision helps to decide decor, colors, food, and fun add-ins,” says Morse. Brown landed on lemons and citrus because, as she says, “it screams summer.” Morse and Brown exchanged inspiration photos “and then the DIYing began!” says Morse.

“To keep calm before an event – is that even possible? – be sure to prep food,” advises Morse, who suggests slicing up items for charcuterie, chopping fruits and veggies, and prepping salads and marinades in advance. “Balloons can be done a few days ahead of time – just keep them out of the heat.” Flowers can also be prepped up to two days before an event as long as they’ve got plenty of water. “Keep florals indoors in the AC,” she adds. Then, Brown offers, “On the day of the party you can focus on getting ready and enjoy the arrival of your guests.”

“Chopping lemons in half and scattering them among the greenery and candles to create a tablescape is a great way to showcase a theme,” Morse says. She lined vases with lemon slices before adding flowers to cultivate the theme throughout. Also, farmers markets and farm stands are best bets for in-season produce and flowers at good prices.

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