We recently hosted a birthday party for our daughter who turned five. a fifth birthday is much like the first birthday, where there’s this insinuated idea of it being a milestone event in their little lives. When your little one turns 5 you feel the need to go all out, invite lots of people and show off your little preschool graduate, right? Possibly, but from what I’ve learned a party like this is easier to pull off with help, especially when you’re smack in the middle of a remodel that you’re desperately hoping will be done in time for the party. With the help of the team at Style it Pretty, I was able to pull together an amazing party to help Katelyn celebrate her 5th birthday.
Of course, I learned a few things long the way + thought I would share some tips with you.
All above pictures taken by Cristina Robeck Photography
Tip 1: Pick a Theme
I’ve learned that planning a party is so much easier when you pick a theme. I love simple themes that incorporate my kids favorite colors, toys, foods rather than focusing on Disney or Superheros. The simpler the theme the easier it is to make the decor to the dessert look incredible without going overboard or even breaking the bank. If you’re looking for great birthday party theme ideas I recommend checking out Pinterest because bloggers pin some amazing birthday party posts that can help with ideas from the theme to the decor and food.
Tip 2: Be Open to Help
When you’re throwing a party there’s no shame in bringing in help. I’m by far more of an executor than a designer, so I will be honest and say that I need help with the little details. This is not to say I don’t have creative ideas, I do, but I just don’t have the time or energy to always execute them. That’s where Style it Pretty came in. Monick, one of the wonderful ladies who owns Style it Pretty and I have known each other for a few years (in fact she helped me make a million pinwheels for Katelyn’s 3rd birthday before she began her business) and when I began talking about Katelyn’s 5th birthday I knew that she would help me make this event amazing! Style it Pretty is a local business in Orange County and they have everything from vintage to modern rentals and decor that will help take your party to the next level. They helped me layout everything from the dessert display to making the entrance to our home tie into the decor in the backyard. It was all beautiful!!
I also had the opportunity to work with Minted + they provided all the banners for the party and the flags in the dessert display. I love everything from their birthday invitations to their coordinating party decor + I was able to really add to the overall vintage feel of her party decor. I highly recommend checking them out.
Tip #3: Make Feeding Everyone Easy
A couple of years ago a friend introduced us to the most amazing Taco Man + it was love at first bite, for us and for our friends. We’ve had so many of our friends also use them for their birthday parties because his tacos are so good. The best part?! I don’t have to prep it, cook it or clean it. I get to enjoy it while having a conversation with a friend. When planning a party, serve foods that don’t require you to hover the buffet set up and make sure that you’re refilling everything as it disappears. Chances are the party will be over and you will have missed out on the fun.
Tip #4: Make the Dessert Memorable
I love dessert! For me, it’s the best part of any party + the part I look forward to the most. In year’s past I’ve gone as far as making my own Elmo faced cupcakes, to hiring the most amazing baker to make delicious, organic desserts for my parties. This year I wanted to do something fun and different. I had been hearing a lot about Sidecar Doughnuts, a local gourmet doughnut shop in my area and after trying their Maple Bacon Glazed doughnut I knew I had to have them at Katelyn’s party. And let me tell you, they were a HIT! I still have people texting me and telling me how much they’re craving Sidecar Doughnuts. Out of 6 dozen donuts + 16 dozen donut holes (from our local donut shop), we had nothing left!! Now that’s serving a memorable dessert.
Tip #5: Invite People who will Make it Memorable
My husband and I love meeting new people + even more than that we love finding ways to connect people we already know with the new people we meet. Often times when we throw a party we will invite people we know from church, our kids school, families our kids have grown up with + then we mix in new people we’ve met that we know would love our friends too. I really believe great friendships form over food and coffee and in the case of Katelyn’s birthday…. doughnuts! Don’t be afraid to mix different groups of friends you have together and take a few minutes to introduce them.
Tip #6: Be Flexible
This is a biggie! No matter how much planning I do, there’s always a snafu somewhere + in that moment I can stress about it or re-prioritze. At Katelyn’s party I knew the vintage Sidecar Doughnuts truck was arriving at noon to serve doughnuts till 1pm. The plan was to have the taco man ready to serve food at 11am when the party started, sing Happy Birthday to Katelyn at 12 and then invite people to the front of the house to grab a doughnut off the truck. Best laid plans! Our taco guy was 40 minutes late, so he didn’t serve the first taco till 11:50am! Before I knew it, it was noon and the Sidecar Doughnuts truck was pulling up ready to serve warm doughnuts. After a 15 second venting with my sweet friend, I kicked it into gear, got everyone out of the pool + we sung Happy Birthday and proceeded to eat doughnuts and then people ate tacos. Backwards? Yes! Stressful? Yes! But in the end it all turned out ok and no one knew the difference. Probably because they were on a doughnut high.
When you throw a party, always be ready to be flexible so that you can go with the flow when something unexpected happens.
Tip #7: Take the Time to Enjoy Yourself
When you throw a party you always want to play the best hostess anyone has ever seen and that’s great, but when the parties over, I promise you will be sad if you didn’t take a moment to even say hello + have a conversation with some of your friends. I’ve found that through finding ways to eliminate jobs for me to do during the party (i.e. prep and cook food) I allow myself some free time to enjoy my friends. Clean up can always wait + usually when it does there’s always a few extra hands on deck to help at the end. So kick your feet up, look around and take the time to enjoy all the hard work you put into planning such a great party.
What tips and tricks have helped you plan a great party?
Do you have any great parties you want to share? Be sure to leave them in the comments.