Hosting Tips

An Italy Reunion Happy Hour

By Jenn Rose Smith
DIY Travel Gallery Wall

It’s hard to believe that already a month has passed since our epic team trip to Italy. It was such a special week for our team, and a time that really bonded us closer than we’ve ever been before. Travel has a way of doing that. There were so many inside jokes, funny moments, and secrets shared over dinner that I thought it would be fun to get the group back together to reminisce on the trip and take a closer look at Kristen‘s photos from our week there. So it really was perfect timing when Shutterfly knocked on our door wanting to collaborate with us on a fun party idea. I chose six of my favorite photos to create a gallery wall in my place, made custom luggage tag invites, and created plenty of fun custom favors for my happy hour, all with their help. It’s apertivo time!

photographed by buff strickland

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When I found these custom luggage tags, I knew they would make the cutest invites designed with one of Kristen’s beautiful photos from our trip.

When the framed pieces came in from Shutterfly, I couldn’t get over how good Kristen’s photos looked in print. It was fun using my floating shelves to create a unique display using all of the prints layered together.

I had smaller post-card sized prints made as party favors featuring a few of my favorite abstract photos Kristen took during our trip.

I was so excited to break in my new antique german biergarten table for the occasion — the narrow design is perfect for my small balcony.

Our team loved seeing the prints I chose to have framed. We’re even planning on using them in our new office space this fall.

The whole gallery wall came together to create a colorful tribute to our time in Tuscany.

I accessorized my shelves with a few items to compliment Kristen’s beachy photos, like these antique glass bottles.

We developed a real habit for “apertivo” time in Italy (that’s a pre-dinner drink, along with light snacks). So I broke out a simple cheese board and a few bottles of chilled wine.

Camille loved this lemon print tea towel from Shutterfly!

There were so many great photo moments that Kristen captured, but these two are my absolute favorites: Carmen in the gorgeous aqua Mediterranean water and a single cream moped parked against a textured wall.

I created party favors from the small 5 by 7 prints and each guest got to take a set home with them after the party.

We had a hard time choosing our favorites from Kristen’s photos, and everyone was excited about using their small prints in various ways at home.

As a thank you gift to Camille, I had this cute tote bag customized with her initials and filled it with a coordinating beach towel and bottle of rosé.

Last (but definitely not least) I used these photo candles to commemorate the funniest moments caught on film from our trip. Everyone died when I brought them out at the end of the party, and people were actually fighting over the one featuring Jerry, our yoga instructor in Tuscany. Fortunately for me, I got to keep the one with Luigi and Poopigi, the two kittens who joined our group in Florence. Oh, the memories!

Thanks Shutterfly for helping me make my Italy reunion happy hour a hit. Grazie!