Here’s what Emily said about planning the party- “Ariella is our little winter baby, with her birthday falling in the first week of January. Even though we live in Los Angeles and it’s not technically freezing over here, I still loved the idea of making a ‘winter wonderland’ themed 1st birthday party for her. I’d seen quite a few winter wonderland parties floating around on the web, but I didn’t want recreate those typical winter parties with penguins, polar bears, and igloos. Instead, I had the idea in my head for a rustic/shabby chic winter wonderland party that still had the winter feel, but was a bit more girly & sophisticated. Just like our little girl! I was drawn to lots of burlap, lace, jute twine, and birch, and I mixed those elements with crocheted snowflakes, snow covered manzanita branches, and blush & cream colored roses.”
Here’s what Anfal had to say about planning the party- “The inspiration for my daughter Zaina’s 4th Birthday was my husband’s vintage car along with the fact that Zaina wanted to be a princess that day. I mixed those two elements and came up with a pretty vintage princess party theme!
We invited around 25 girls between the ages of 2-8. I wanted the party to be so girly so I used a lot of bird cages, flowers, lace and ruffles in pastel colors. Vintage lights and balloons were also used for decorating the party venue.
There were several activities during the party:
1. A dress up area and a photo booth that we called ‘The Royal Photo Booth’ where the little girls would dress up in feathers, princess tiaras, jewelry and wands in addition to other props and signs. The photo booth was set by a local company called Bonker Box.
2. Create your own princess frame workshop. Each girl was given a ceramic tile of a princess with a variety of paints and glitter glues. Each girl would decorate her own princess tile and frame and take it home as a gift.
3. Face painting; My daughter and her friends were enchanted when they got their faces painted with their favorite characters and beautiful fairytale designs and stick-on jewels.
4. “A princess tattoo parlor” where girls got their temporary glitter tattoos on their hands and bodies.
5. Princess and the pea puppet show; this was the main event and it was performed by Puppet Kingdom from Kuwait.
While the girls were enjoying the birthday activities, a DJ was playing kids music in the background and the moms were comfortably seated around the activity stations and were served throughout the party with vintage-inspired food on passing trays.
The menu included:
1. Tiny tomato soup shots topped with mini cheese sammies
2. Date salad and strawberry salad in mini cups
3. Portobello mushroom pizzas in mini plates
4. French fries dipped in home-made ketchup in shot glasses
5. Roasted cherry tomato and cheese skewers
6. Pumpkin seed tartlets in mini plates
7. Grilled polenta topped with muhammara
8. Macaroni and cheese in mini glass jars
As for the little girls, each was given a vintage looking meal box with chicken nuggets and french fries inside along with home-made ketchup and orange juice.
For the dessert table, we used vintage metal cake stands and plates to display the desserts and the dessert menu included:
1. Flower mini cupcakes
2. Lace butter biscuits
3. Bird cage sugar cookies
4. Ruffles and lace cake pops
5. Rice crispy pops
6. Strawberry trifle jars
7. Mommy’s ruffle cake (chocolate flavor)
8. Shabby chic princess birthday cake (red velvet, rose water and vanilla ombre cake from the inside)
9. Salted pecan turtles in cones
11. Pistachio pie
12. Mini pecan bites
13. Jars filled with candies
14. Drinks (mint water, strawberry water, pomegranate and apple juice)
I have to mention that we also set a beautiful white tent in the garden and decorated it with lanterns, cushions and hanging tissue pompoms and we called it ‘the princess hangout area’ the girls enjoyed watching the puppet show while seated inside this beautiful tent.
We also placed a big cabinet right next to the dessert table and we called it ‘the magical cabinet’ it was filled with gifts for the girls and their moms. Each girl got a gift bag filled with makeup, glitter nail polish, hair accessories and bangles and were wrapped with a beautiful lace ribbon. They also got a vintage mini gum ball machine. The moms were not forgotten, each got a mini cake as well as a shabby chic gift box with chocolate bites inside.”
Items used in this party available in Kara’s Party Ideas Shop: Honeycomb hanging lanterns (Tissue Balls) Glass Milk Bottles Pink, Green & Blue Striped Paper Straws Mini Gumball Machines Pennant Flag Banner Princess Crowns Berry Baskets Favor Cones Clear Plastic Boxes (holding mini cakes) White Paper Doilies Cupcake Wraps Ribbon Baker’s Twine To-Go Boxes Fry Boxes
Food and kids’ meals- catered by Chef Danah Al-Tourah of Crave Catering
Vintage roses tableware and decorations- Party Ark
Printables- Sunshine Parties
Cake and desserts- The November Company
Flower arrangements- Fleur and The November Company
Photography- Aziza Al-Ghunaim of Little Twinkles Photography
Ashley said this about planning the party- ”My daughter’s first birthday was my very first party to plan — and I have a new respect for party planners! Wow, they’re a lot of work! I have known since my daughter was born that I wanted her to have a vintage, ‘shabby chic’ themed first birthday party. I know this may be the only birthday where I have free reign (I’m sure it will be Minnie or Rapunzel in years to come) so I wanted something sweet, girly and simple.
I started out with a light pink, peach and mint green color scheme. I couldn’t get ANY of the green things to match that I ordered online, so I just did away with the green and replaced it with ivory. I made everything myself except for the cake and the catered BBQ. I made the fabric banner out of prints that I’ve been collecting here and there for the past few months. I made the ‘LILY KATE’ and ‘ONE’ banners from burlap, white craft paint and stencils made on my home printer. The antique scale, blue Mason jars, crocheted things and produce boxes were either borrowed from family or things I already owned.
My husband made the mason jar ‘sippy cups’. The guests loved these! I used ivory paper straws and attached pretty tags made from kraft cardstock and paper roses. Turns out, the guests wrote their names on the back of the tags, so I may just include a blank ‘name tag’ next time instead of something decorative. Also, many guests asked to take these home, so this would be a GREAT party favor!
We set tables up on our back porch with catered BBQ for lunch. (Sorry, I didn’t catch any decent pics.) We had the “dessert” table inside as well as the drink bar. The cake was made by a local bakery and my mom and I dipped strawberries, pretzel sticks, and marshmallows in pink and peach tinted chocolate. We used pretty pearl sprinkles as garnish. I also served fun pink candies and included a few things for the babies to snack on.
I loved making the favors for the guests. For the kids, I used small kraft paper bags and filled them with little goodies and candy. My husband has a friend in the carnival business and he provided us with 50 bags of pretty pink cotton candy. (How cool?!) We had enough for each guest and I attached a tag that said, “It was so SWEET of you to come!”
The custom invitations, wrap around mailing labels, birthday “chalkboard” poster, favor tags and framed birthday print were also designed and assembled myself. The digital files will be available soon for purchase in my Etsy shop.”
Items used in this party available in Kara’s Party Ideas Shop: Pom Poms Rock Candy Swizzle Sticks Kraft Paper Bags Candy Sticks Striped Paper Straws Jute Twine Burlap Balloons Clear Cellophane Bags