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Planning Retirement Online

Let's Party!

July 2012  

Let's party in later life article series...

This series looks at some of the more unusual ideas to help you celebrate with style and panache – at affordable price levels, of course!

To see the full list of articles see the main Celebrating in Later Life page


Let's Party!  Special celebrations, this month:  Adding that personal touch.

by LaterLife features editor Sally Smith

personal touchesIt’s time to celebrate! At some time in our lives we will want to mark a landmark anniversary, birthday, or another occasion with a special event. In this month’s feature on entertaining and celebration, we look at adding very individual and personalised touches.

Small or large, whatever event you are planning, adding those little extras can make all the difference.

One idea which can make a celebration truly memorable is the personalised touch. Today you can find the widest range of products that can include personalized aspects to give an event a very individual feel.

For instance, balloons don’t just have to say Happy 60th or similar. Why not design your own with an actual name and message. Companies such as Partyrama offer a choice of colours and fonts as well as individual messages on balloons and will deliver within a week. Even more fun, they offer personalised sashes, ribbons, masks and even full size cardboard cut outs made from a photograph. That could really make a memorable centerpiece for a fun event.

personal namesFor something a tad more sophisticated than a full size cardboard cut out, personalised napkins could be a good answer. Just So Occasions offer a lovely range of sizes and colours plus the opportunity to add your own message with a variety of accompanying illustrations.


personal photosYou can even create napkins with photographs as well as personalised messages. Personalised Napkins will print your picture plus a message on good quality 40 cm square napkins.

One idea which can also last a lifetime is personalized placemats. Beautiful quality personalised mats are available from Scarlet Willow in a range of sizes and prices from coasters to serving mats. They are not cheap (£34 for 4 coasters), but on the other hand could add such fun to an event and be used for many years after.

Many other companies will create personalized placemats based on your own photo and text. For instance TShirt Studio offer placemats from £6 each and big companies such as Tesco and other photo product companies also offer very competitive pricing.

What about a personalized table cloth? One company, Promo Catering, will custom print tablecloths with no minimum order. They also offer a terrific variety from low cost paper table cloths to high quality cotton and polyester, or even linen runners to lay over your normal table cloth. These come in a range of colours and can be printed with a variety of messages and designs. Interestingly, this company will also prepare glass flower vases with individual details of celebrations or messages on them which could certainly provide a talking piece at a sit down or more formal event.

For another unusual idea, why not consider some personalized sweets? Yes, you can! M&Ms for instance are now offering to write short tiny messages on their very small colourful sweets. A jar of these each featuring something related to your celebration really is a talking point for any event!

ice sculptureIf you are really splashing out on a very special celebration, then a personalized ice sculpture could provide a talking point for every guest and for years to come! All About Ice provide a range of truly beautiful ice sculptures that will last much longer than you think. Even better, they are willing to individualise them to themes and also incorporate individual names or other requirements. They use computer etching to ensure a totally professional display. Much of their work is for corporate events, but they are doing increasing numbers of displays for special private parties.

Like so many aspects of planning an event, it is all about detail. If you widen your thoughts about adding a personal touch, you really will be able to create a sensational event for that very special celebration.

FA Cup ice carving

Ice Europe say lighting can be used to add special effects to their ice sculptures


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