Well it’s almost December and over here at The Good Party, we LOVE the holidays! The festive season means our studio is filled with colourful trees, neon snowflakes, and even a light-up flamingo?. We especially love giving gifts and this year, when everything feels a little different, we love that gifts can still make people feel special whether you are celebrating with them in person or from afar!
For our gift guide, we wanted to highlight a few Vancouver Island event vendors who are offering something special this holiday season! Our event industry has been hit so hard by COVID but our spirits are lifted when we see firsthand the resilience these small businesses have. So if you are trying to think of the perfect gift this year, and want to support local, check out a few options below!
(Photography by Kirsten Larsen // Bay Center Festival of Trees with Bespoke Blossoms)
Something truly unique!
We had the pleasure of working with photographer Chelsea Warren this summer – she even took some of our favourite photos of Sara and Chloe (see below!). We were so excited to see that she wrote and illustrated a children’s book just in time for the holidays. I Love You More is a children’s board book describing the incomparable love of a parent/guardian. The bold and bright artwork and large print is perfect for babies to toddlers. Head over to Chelsea’s Etsy page to order your copy – I Love You More by Chelsea Warren
(Photography by Chelsea Warren)
Melanie Anne Designs is one of our favourite local artists (we featured her in our Vendor Love series last December)! She is an extremely talented artist who can make any thing beautiful. She has a wide variety of unique prints up for sale on her website! Our current favourite has got the be the dog bone ornament, perfect for that little pooch in your life! Since she makes them all herself and is featured in many virtual craft fairs and markets this year, her art sells out fast so don’t wait too long before checking out her selection!
You can check out her shop here: Melanie Anne Designs
(Photos courtesy of Melanie Anne Designs)
Deck the halls with boughs of holly (or any pretty bloom!)
Victoria is known as the city of gardens, there are flowers everywhere! And florals can make the perfect gift no matter what season you’re in! We are so lucky to know so many talented florists and all of them have unique holiday offerings. From bouquets and wreaths to gift cards and stunning centrepieces, most florists have something great to offer!
Floral subscriptions can be a great way to keep the flowers coming all year long! Platinum Floral Designs offers both a one month weekly floral subscription or a three month weekly floral subscription! Tina’s designs are always beautiful so we can’t think of a better gift to brighten up someone’s home. Check out her online shop here and treat yourself to a stunning bouquet while you’re at it! Platinum Floral Designs Shop
(Photography courtesy of Platinum Floral Designs // KGoodPhoto)
We love the dried floral trend and Bespoke Blossoms hits it out of the park with their dried floral bouquets! The best thing about dried florals is that they last forever (or almost!) so your loved one can enjoy the bouquet for longer. Bespoke Blossoms also offers DIY kits which seem perfect for your crafty bestie! Check out their selection here: Bespoke Blossoms Shop
(Photography courtesy of Bespoke Blossoms)
It’s time for a drink!
This year, we have found that everything feels a little bit better with a cocktail. Specifically a Twist of Fate cocktail. They are once again offering Curbside Cocktails with delicious seasonal options – we heard there’s a nutmeg feature in the works for the month of December
! These cocktails are perfect for a cozy night by the fire, or your next Zoom games night. Twist is even offering to host Virtual Cocktail Parties this year. A Curbside Cocktail will be delivered to the virtual guests, and Twist will have you answering trivia, learning techniques, and of course, sipping cocktails! Check our their menu of Curbside Cocktails here: Twist of Fate Victoria
(Photography: Top Left + Center – Rivkah Photography // Top Right – Kim Jay // Bottom – Sewari Campillo)
You’ve stayed home and cooked for months, take a break!
Don’t feel like cooking this year? We don’t blame you! Let Toque Catering handle the hard stuff. They are offering Christmas To Go packages which cover all your bases. They even offer vegan/vegetarian options! They are also offering a customized local gift box that you can fill with amazing local products and treats!
Head over to their website to place your order now! Toque Catering
(Photography by Sewari Campillo)
Another one of our favourite chefs is Chef Castro. He is the owner and head chef at House of Boateng which is located in Langford. They have delicious food, amazing staff, and a great location on Peatt Road. They are offering holiday gift baskets filled with goodies! Maybe you have a friend who loves hot sauce? House of Boateng offers a Hot Sauce Basket filled with a variety of hot sauces all made in house. House of Boateng also offers gift cards so you can plan ahead for a brunch date at the cafe, or for a take & bake kit at home.
You can find their selection and menus here: House Of Boateng
(Photography: Left courtesy of House of Boateng, Centre by Taylor Roades, Right courtesy of House Of Boateng)
Truffles Catering is always impressing us with their delicious spreads and their Fall & Winter Family Dinner menu is no exception. There are some delicious menu items currently featured and their Turkey dinner sounds incredible. What’s better than Christmas Day without the dishes? Truly nothing.
(Photography: courtesy of Truffles Catering)
It was around this time last year that our team enjoyed our Christmas PJ party/movie night at the studio. One of the most memorable parts of the celebration was absolutely feasting on the most festive selection of Fat Macarons ever. We devoured a huge box featuring fun holiday inspired flavours and are so excited to see their Christmas selection boxes back this year.
Order online in advance, these will sell out quickly! They make beautiful gifts or honestly the perfect evening treat for you to enjoy in front of your favourite Hallmark holiday classic! All of their macarons are gluten free and boxes come gift giving ready – wrapped with twine and a sprig of cedar!
Fun fact! Did you know that macarons last beautifully in the freezer for up to 3 months… you know what this means? Christmas macarons in February, folks. Fat Macaron
(Photography: courtesy of Fat Macaron)
The Inn at Laurel Point has one of the best pastry teams in the city, and now you can take some of their creations home with you! The Inn at Laurel Point has set up an online shop where you can order your favourite treats on line. Inn-made chocolate bars, eggnog and ginger cookies, and even traditional Italian Panettone are all up for grabs! We wouldn’t blame you if you ordered one of everything.
(Photography: courtesy of Inn at Laurel Point)
Stay local & shop local – in person or online!
Bilston Creek is one of our favourite wedding venues! Not only do they host beautiful events, they also have a wide variety of beautiful products! This year we have used their lavender hand sanitizer more than anything else. If your loved one is a lavender fan, then basically anything in their stock is the perfect gift. Check out their online shop here: Bilston Gift Shop
(Photography: Left – The Toths, Right – Courtesy of Bilston Creek)
Looking for something up island? Party Mood has the most colourful, glittery (seriously, they have a pink glitter floor!), and fun shop located just off the highway south of Duncan. They have a floral bar that is ready for your bouquet needs as well as the best selection of party supplies. Banners, cards, paper plates, confetti cannons and more are all available in their store! We get seriously distracted in there anytime we visit because there are just SO many amazing products. Check out Party Mood’s Floral Bar and head into the shop for all the party goodies!
(Photography courtesy of Party Mood)
There are so many amazing event vendors that have a brick & mortar shop. Here are a few of our favourites that are worth checking out in person or online – whether it’s a gift card, a treat for yourself, or a surprise for a loved one, there’s some beautiful experiences, tasty treats, and curated gifts to be found at the spots below:
All of these businesses are just a small sampling of the larger event community who are doing amazing things and offering wonderful products. There are so many more local small businesses we could highlight and we encourage you to do some online browsing and support local whenever possible this holiday season! Think of all the beautiful gifts you could give and memories you could make for your loved ones with everything from supplies for a virtual cocktail party to a family photo session with your favourite wedding + lifestyle photographer!
(Photography by Kirsten Larsen)