Rue 1.0

Party Time: Valentine’s Day Bash

Kate Spade set the stage for this sparkly soirée with her quote "Playing dress up begins at age five and never truly ends." Get your party dress on for a girls night in!

Copy: Kelli Ryder, Stylist: Aaron Hartselle , Photography: Bess Friday

What do you get when you mix event-planning genius Aaron Hartselle, famed photographer Bess Friday, and a whole lot of confetti? The absolute perfect setting for a girly Valentine’s Day Bash, of course!

Aaron began his career at a young age- planning everything from school dances to his sister’s wedding. Through many years of hard work, he launched Aaron Hartselle Creative- a true labor of love. Bess began in advertising but quickly learned her knack for photography, making the transition to full-time photographer an easy decision. An even easier decision? Partnering together to create the ultimate dress-up party in San Francisco.

The inspiration for the shoot came from a simple Kate Spade quote: “Playing dress up begins at age five and never truly ends.” Aaron built off of that, mixing fashion and fantasy in the form of disco balls, beaded clutches, and glamorous glitter heels. Set against a muted palette, he had a flawless foundation to create this perfect party. And Bess’ unparalleled photography skills offer imagery that is as fun and carefree as the party itself. Talk about a creative match made in heaven!

So why is it important to never stop playing dress up? According to Bess, it gives you the opportunity to reinvent yourself- even if just for a night. And as Aaron says, adulthood is far too serious. We always need to search for occasions to release our inner kid!

Of course, creative forces like Aaron and Bess would never leave you without some entertaining tips for Valentine’s Day.

Bess’ Tips:
“Dine in! The most romantic evenings, in my opinion, include skipping the prix fixe menu and cooking dinner together instead (naturally, with dancing in the kitchen to follow).”

Aaron’s Tips:
“Greet your guests with some sparkling rose`, rim your glasses with sanding sugar for some extra shimmer and give them a dash of the unexpected using candies such as rosette meringues or gum drops as a garnish.”

“Purchase some chocolate jewel molds and give your guests something interactive with a DIY chocolate bauble bar.”

“Set the mood with an epic playlist. Incorporate multiple genres for your guests to enjoy- everything from the smooth groove of Marvin Gaye to the sultry sounds of Sade.”

And Rue’s tip?? We think this sophisticated (yet fun!!) party is the ideal occasion to put on your favorite red lipstick, sip bubbly with your best girlfriends, and enjoy the simple act of playing dress up.

Vendor Credits:
Rentals Classic Party Rentals // Linens La Tavola // Flowers Church Street Flowers // Accessories Lavish

*Read more Party Time stories over here!

  • Elizabeth

    This is just precious! Love the disco balls, and the idea of hanging up fun party dresses as decoration.

    • Rue Magazine

      So do we! :)

  • Camille Iman

    So I wan’t this for my 25th birthday!

    • Rue Magazine

      Happy Birthday!

  • Kathleen

    What is the raspberry looking thing clipped to the champagne flutes?

  • Franki

    I am SO doing this!!!! franki