If you and your girls are single this February 14th, there is nothing better than pulling off an amazing Galentine’s Day celebration as an opportunity to love on yourself and all your favorite ladies. I know throwing a party can be a drag for those who don’t consider themselves planning savvy, so I called on Branché Foston, wellness influencer and creative, to lend us a few tips on how to throw the perfect Valentine’s Day get together with your friends. Foston, who is a lifestyle aficionado and the founder of The Honey Block, has been cooking up Galentine’s Day parties for her tribe in LA for a few years now. She spills the tea on how to make your day memorable for you and your gals below:
We know for some people, Valentine’s Day can be a real drag. But Galentine’s parties definitely help to lift our spirits and are a perfect excuse for a fun girl’s night! What inspired you to get started?
Of course, all credit to the incredible character that is, Leslie Knope. Back in 2014, I finally had been introduced to ‘Parks and Rec,’ and as soon as I heard the word “Galentine” I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t thought of that already! I am always finding excuses for all of my different friends to come together, and I felt this was the perfect way to shower them all with love at once.
What are your plans for the party this year? How will it differ from the years before?
Every year I do a different theme! I know some people go ultra-chic, but for some reason, I love the aspect of traditional pinks, reds and hearts everywhere. While the decor is classic, every Galentine’s has a different angle. One year it was a sleepover, the next a “Drake and Cake” themed event (with bestie and foodie entrepreneur, Celeste Perez), one time an organic food market with local black businesses. This year is happening at the cusp of my completion of my 200 hr yoga teacher training. I am still in process (and recoup) mode from such an amazing experience. I wanted to lay low, but still incorporate much of my heart for my friendships.
How do you choose your themes? What is this year’s theme?
This year we are doing a saturday night wine down. A “low key but high vibe” night. I am blessed to know very intuitive wonderful healers. One will be providing readings! Each girl had the opportunity to sign up for one. We already have a waitlist! It was important for me to honor myself and show love for myself just as much as anyone else. I am also balancing healing from an injury, and doing a Fellowship at a University in LA. I still wanted to do Galentines, but I needed it to be in a way that felt like no stress.
For novices at this, what are some simple hacks to make them pull of a party in affordable (but not cheap) ways?
- Cheap Buys- SIIIISSSS! When I say you can upgrade your entire theme with like $20 at your local dollar store, I mean it! I always vote for glass vases or bowls. If you don’t have wine glasses you can even get them there. PRO TIP – if you need things in bulk, you can order them on the website and have them delivered for free a your nearest store. One year I also made a photobooth out of $1 wrapping paper.
- Meaning > Mess – The whole point is to bring your girls together and celebrate them. Keep a clear mantra in your mind that its more important for the night to be meaningful (and memorable) than decked out. What’s more important to you? Sweets? Brunch? Wine? Champagne? Focus on those things.
- Keep Your Eyes On The Prize – If you’re really in to decor, put most of your budget towards the room/area you’ll spend the most time in. Kitchen/bar? Family room?
- Handmade Goes A Long Way -Instead of buying everyone a mini (or regular) size bottle of champagne as a gift, why not write a letter of love or appreciation? One year, I made affirmation cards based off of metaphysical properties of different crystals. It took me maybe 1 – 2 hours, and cost me nothing.
- Simple touches- Baby’s Breath is an inexpensive delicate flower that goes a long way. You could put some in a few smaller vases (there goes Dollar tree again) just for a few sweet moments of decor.
(In 2017, Branché gifted attendees with their very own gem stone with a description of its meaning).
How do you choose the venue? What recommendations would you have for those who may be worried about where to hold the celebrations?
I personally love hosting at home because it gives that sisterhood vibe. If these are your favorite girls, its less about impression and more about authenticity. However, it really was such a blessing one year to shop the local black owned boutiques and partner with apothecary @lot_xii. My biggest tip – do what works for you (energy, BUDGET, vibe and again BUDGET). If you feel you have to “impress” someone, then maybe they aren’t your best gals in the first place?
How do you choose what goes into the gift bags? What are some of your fav products?
One year, we did an all natural beauty haul!! I am obsessed with clean beauty! I think its more important about the theme. For example, the reader will be the “gift” this year. But in years past I’ve had everything from beauty products to handmade letters. I am very passionate about holistic healing and wellness, so, all in all, if I was doing a traditional gift bag I would go with:
- At least (one) organic essential oil – I’d grab a variety and give each girl a different one. My favorites are rose, lavender, tea tree and eucalyptus
- I’d pair the essential oils with these glass Amber spray bottles – with a little recipe: 6-12 drops of your favorite oil, a splash of witch hazel and distilled (or Spring) water and you’ve got your own DIY all natural spray! Perfect for linens, or your body for a midday pick-me-up.
- My favorite rosewater spray is by Jurlique. This bottle is great if you have a much smaller group or even just one Gal. For more guests, there’s an $8 option here!
- Add 1 cup of Epsom salts with your a few drops of your favorite essential oil and you’ve now got a heavenly bath mix.
- Looking for a non-toxic face wash treat good for all skin types? I’ve started using Honest Beauty’s Gel Cleanser and it really is refreshing and gentle.
- I LOVE my himalayan salt candle holders. I use them daily. I love this pairing. Paired with a few tea lights, I think this is a really thoughtful gift.
- “What’s for you will not pass you” rose gold bracelet. One of my favorite phrases and jewelry companies, Alex and Ani never disappoints. I gifted this to one of my Galentine’s!
Share a memory from one of your Galentine’s Day’s that meant a lot to you?
So many are so so special to me. But one that stands out the most 2017 when we were at a mostly black shopping center of local millennial boutiques. I partnered with Krystyl from her apothecary and clothing store @Lot_XII. Bringing so many women I loved together to jump in a photobooth, patron small business, check our organic food by black woman organic farmer @dailyorganics and be introduced to amazing wellness brands from fresh juice to healthy coffee. It was so phenomenal. I teared up at how powerful one morning can be simply taking 2 hours of your day to bring 20 of your closest friends together. One of my best friends, @Eryne and I still have matching bracelets from that event to this day.
Why do you think it’s important to celebrate your girls during this time?
Sisterhood is oxygen. You can’t go without it. It’s easy to post a meme or a Story “celebrating it”. But that IRL, in person hug, affirmation, laughter, photo booth, those are the moments that matter. Those are the ways that we increase our frequencies. I am so honored to have an endless amount of divine feminine energy and support. My mom attends Galentines and so does my sister. If you have women in your life who will pray for you, encourage you, celebrate you, be the “plug” for you, hype up a post for you, read a book next to you, laugh till you cry with you, and cry til you laugh with you? Then that, my friend is the sweetness of life. A true blessing, and that is to be celebrated. Life is so precious and so short. Spend real moments together. They don’t have to be epic. Honestly, every day can be Galentine’s day. I mean that.