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Best Party Planning
Ellen Weldon Design
273 Church Street

To make your party spectacular from the first RSVP, celebrity-event designer Colin Cowie recommends invitations from Ellen Weldon Design. "She does the most beautiful calligraphy in the country," says Cowie. Weldon, who's been in the invitation business for twenty years, offers engraving, flat printing, and letterpress, along with detailing such as custom borders and beveling. A favorite among brides, including Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, Weldon also designs party and bar mitzvah invitations, place cards, and escort cards. Her invitations start at $25 each; Weldon is available by appointment only.

Party City
38 West 14th Street

For a fête that is more Elmo than elegance, Party City is a one-stop shop for everything from numeral-shaped piñatas to the stuff you need for that tropical fantasia, including pink flamingos, palm trees, and those all-important leis. This party superstore stocks paper plates in more than 200 patterns, Mylar balloons featuring everyone from Pokémon to Scooby-Doo, racks of confetti, and enough Pixy Stix to send an entire preschool into sugar shock. Open seven days a week, Party City also has multiple locations in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island.

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