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Party Planner

[whitespace] Theme and Decor

Expert advice--If you call a party planner like Carol Reade, owner of the San Jose concierge service It's About Time, you don't necessarily have to know how you want your party to look, but it's best to at least know how you want it to feel. "What kind of tone do you want to set?" is the primary question Reade asks her clients.

"This question is really important," she says. "It saves an incredible amount of time and misunderstandings."

Expect to open your home beforehand: Reade says she likes to make site visits so she can see the space she'll be decorating and get an even better feel for it. And making these visits before or after working hours is not a problem.

DIY--If you're not looking for anything too elaborate or fancy, party-supply stores are good for one-stop shopping. Besides paper and plastic ware of all sizes and colors, these places offer a variety of theme-party items, from plastic dinosaurs and spinning-top spaceships for kids' party favors to those black "Over the Hill" balloons for those birthday boys and girls who are old enough to invite whoever they want to their party. These stores also carry holiday-specific decor for everything from Chanukah to St. Patrick's Day to Groundhog Day.

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From the March 5-11, 1998 issue of Metro.

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