Perhaps you think a group of professionals—some with husbands and/or children—may be too mature for such an event. But you'd be wrong. We plan to make a night of it with a staff sleepover at the Soho House in New York City. Chances are there won't be much sleeping—more likely lots of gossip, fashion critiquing, and general trash-talk. In other words, it will be a lot like the sleepovers we remember. And chances are someone's bra will end up in the fridge.
Our sleepover will involve hats to wear with our pajamas, some cool décor from event designer Sandra Downie, a customized British-themed menu, and goofy activities to keep ourselves occupied through the prattle of on-the-scene broadcasters. Yes, it's a school night, but we're not going to work on April 29th and we hereby grant you the day off to watch the Royal Wedding.
So as we're planning our Brides Royal Sleepover, we're sharing the ideas we come up with, in case you want to do the same. And if you do decide to throw your own Royal Sleepover, you can download our step-by-step Royal Sleepover How-To Kit here.
Take the Day Off
Kate and Will's wedding day has been declared an official holiday over in England, so Brits get to spend a work-free April 29th watching the Royal Wedding festivities. (Well, most of them, anyway.) But we're not as lucky over here in America. And if you're going to be staying up all night to catch the Royal Wedding when it airs live in the wee hours of the morning, then you're not going to want to head into work Friday morning.
Here at brides.com, our boss understands the staff's need to take the day off—but we're thinking your boss probably won't be as sympathetic. So we've drawn up an "official" excuse note that you can hand to your boss. (Hey, it's worth a try!) Download your brides.com-approved excuse note here.
We realized that this process of planning a Royal Sleepover is not unlike planning a wedding. Especially when it comes to a critical planning step: Finding a venue that's available, within your budget, and that has an aesthetic that suits your theme or style. And, of course, you want the folks who work there to seem just as excited about your event as you are. So for our Royal Sleepover, we were looking for a venue in New York City that fit our budget, could host a staff of 12 overnight, and was available the night of April 28. And since our "theme" was, obviously, all things British, we ideally wanted a venue that had some kind of connection to London. The Soho House, a private members' club and hotel in Manhattan's Meatpacking District, immediately came to mind. Not only do they have some roomy, incredibly chic penthouse suites for our all-nighter, they also have several event areas and bars that we thought would be perfect for our pre-viewing editors' cocktail party. Plus, the Soho House's original location is in London's Soho neighborhood—there's our British connection! Luckily, the Soho House was available, and they loved the idea of hosting our Royal Sleepover (after we promised to keep it classy). FYI: If you're in the New York City area and want to host your own viewing party at the Soho House, they still have rooms available that night (no membership required). Call 646-253-6122 for reservations.
After booking our venue, our next step was to find an event designer and start brainstorming décor ideas. Much like when planning a wedding, before moving forward with specific style ideas, we first had to decide how we wanted our event to feel. Since this was going to be a sleepover (and a potentially rowdy one at that), we decided it was best to avoid anything that felt too elegant or upscale. Clearly our sleepover needed to be a lighthearted, somewhat kitschy affair with lots of playful nods to all things British. We decided to reach out to Sandra Downie Event Designs, a boutique wedding and party design firm based in Connecticut. We'd seen photos of the whimsical stylized dessert tables and adorable party concepts Sandra had put together for previous clients, and we thought her creativity and ability to walk the line between cute and stylish seemed exactly right. Sandra was totally game to be our official Royal Sleepover event designer, and quickly got to work establishing a more specific design concept: A color scheme of navy blue and antique gold, with pops of bright red + a custom-designed tablescape featuring British-themed food arranged on a variety of vessels + simple arrangements of red tulips + red, blue and Union Jack bunting as a decoration throughout the space.
Sandra and her team at the Sandra Downie Paperie Studio also designed a complete set of coordinating custom printables, including a Royal Sleepover invitation, a "Royal Sleepover in Progress" door sign, bunting, cupcake toppers, food display tent cards, drink flags, and favor labels—which you can download to use at your own sleepover here.