Monday, March 7, 2011

Anatomy of a Birthday Party: Part 2

Now it's time to delve deeper into the intricate inner workings of a child's birthday party. In part one we talked about establishing a theme. Now let's talk about taking that theme to the next level to make this party a step (several steps!) above a typical party. This step is really more of a honing in on the details and thinking about the guest list.

I'm going to just start with a few aspects of some of Homey's past parties. We are just going to look at a few details that help get the ball rolling.

I've gotten several great ideas from etsy shops. You can find almost anything on etsy. I get ridiculously specific with party detail, but you know what? It's never anything that etsy can't handle! For Homey's 4th birthday, I found this adorable t-shirt at Vintage Lucy's etsy shop. I don't personally know the seller for Vintage Lucy's, but I have the feeling we'd be fast friends. Please go through her can find the most adorable retro-inspired things there! Tell her I sent ya! Maybe she'll be my friend.

I never thought I'd be the person to do a western themed party. But that shirt was just adorable. And it wouldn't just be a cowboy/girl party it would be a vintage cowboy/girl party. Very reminiscent of this awesome pin up that Pioneer Woman uses on her site.

This is when I start getting giddy and over the top. It's okay to get giddy and over the top because you'll start to sort some of the details that get cluttered in your brain, and you'll eventually throttle it back to something manageable. It might still end up a little over the top. Whatever. It's a BIRTHDAY, for cryin' out loud.

Here are a couple of other etsy items that we've used:

Mermaid dress for Thing 1

Retro pirate dress for Thing 2
(and doesn't her cousin look perfect in her mermaid shirt?!)

Yes, I was able to type in a search for retro cowboy cupcake picks. Ta-da!!

The fact that there exists retro cowboy cupcake picks is proof that I am not as crazy as you people might think I am!! And that is great news.

So we've found a few items to get us started with the party planning. All you have to do for this next step is think about your guest list. You have to know who your guests are to plan anything else. It seems like to me there are three basic kinds of parties:

Equal-ish amounts of adults and children of various ages.

Just a few adults and children of various ages.

Just a few adults and children that are mostly the same age.

In order to think about food, cake, activities and favors, you absolutely have to know who will be there. Obviously, you can't know exactly how many will be there until you get RSVP's in, which won't be until a lot closer to your party date. But I have found that I can usually call it within 2 children. And you will obviously know the number of adults as well (really only important as far as logistics, space needed, and food amounts). Homey's parties have all been just as many adults as children. She has her grandmothers, aunts, and uncles there as well as the parents of all of her friends. If your child is older, you may not have the parents there for the whole party. You may have a separate gathering for family members. If this is the case, I do recommend that you have someone (or 2 someones) there for crowd control. Everyone should have a JMom. Like I said, I'm not about to throw a kids' party without JMom around.

So, wow. Part two is really easy, and pretty fun because it involves window shopping and making a list! In the next installment, we'll start talking more about decorations and food...this is where things start getting really fun!

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