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    In just the space of just 2 years, party styling has quickly grown from a small trend into a full blown revolution. By now, you probably know somebody who has thrown a birthday party decorated by a party stylist. And what a party it was! All the amazing handmade crafts, the elaborate stage set-up, the furniture, and all those lanterns and pompoms!

    But what, exactly, does styling mean? How is it different from the typical balloon decoration? Is it really for you? And most importantly, how much will it set you back?

    What is party styling exactly?
    Nowadays, it is very easy to declare oneself a "party stylist", and any unsuspecting potential client would be none the wiser. But what is party styling, exactly? What can you expect from a styled party?

    If I were to describe party styling in one sentence, it would be this: If Martha Stewart had a 1-year old, the party that she would throw would be a styled party.

    A styled party has 3 general characteristics:

    1. It is thematic and non-character based.
    Themes will always be an important part of children's parties, as kids love to explore a world of fantasy and make-believe. The difference between a styled and a conventional party, though, is that the themes are more about general concepts (such as Garden, Princess, Candy, Robot, Monsters, etc.) rather than a specific character (such as Mickey Mouse, Cars, Hello Kitty, etc.)

    2. It applies new-age design philosophy.
    "New-age" is simply a single term I use to describe design principles such as typography, a cohesive and coordinated color scheme, and a well-thought-out concept.

    3. It employs materials more commonly used in production design and weddings.
    The typical kiddie party used to contain an explosion of rubber balloons and styrofoam characters and backdrops. Well, not anymore. Styled parties use paper crafts, floral arrangements, wooden material backdrops, furniture, lanterns, crystal chains, and practically any material that would achieve that perfectly chic and styled look.
    All of these characteristics explain why styling is more expensive than the typical balloon decoration. A good stylist has to be part interior designer, part graphic artist, part coordinator, part craft artist, part production designer, all at the same time!

    What is the difference between party styling and balloon decoration?
    Perhaps a better way of presenting the difference between styled and balloon decorated party is by presenting the table below:


    How much does a typical styled party cost?
    A styled party will cost you about P60,000 and upwards, with the P60,000 being the most basic, base price of a stylist's package. How high the price will go upwards for your specific party actually depends on 3 major factors - your requirements, your venue and guestlist, and the stylist that you will hire. It is important to realize that not all stylists are created equal - each stylist that their own taste, signature design, and their own interpretation of the theme. It is very important that at the onset you and your stylist will establish a strong rapport in terms of the execution of your ideas and concepts.
    If your heart suddenly leaped when you read the price tag, do not despair. There are stylists available that are more affordable than the price I mentioned. But be sure to adjust your expectations accordingly. A more affordable stylist will more likely use more paper crafts and DIY products rather than wooden materials and large-scale props, to save on costs and work within your budget.

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