Friday, October 22, 2010
A few friends have been asking me for more details about Hamish & Lachlan's first birthday party, so I thought I should oblige.
The first thing I did was choose the theme. I chose a kite party for a few reasons - partly because my babies have never suited traditional 'baby' things - they have way too much personality and zest!
I also didn't want a licensed character party. I am sure I'll have to sit through enough of those when they get old enough to fall in love with Thomas or whatever. Kites are old-fashioned kid fun. And while the boys were too young to fly them, I liked the concept of the freedom of looking upwards, dreaming big, and flying free.
The other obvious benefit was that the toddlers and children could fly kites in the park, entertaining them for hours on end without having to have a whole host of party games up my sleeve.
I chose the colour palette next. I think I always knew I was going to have red and sky blue. Red and blue is a traditional combination for boys, but the sky blue just gives it a bit more pop, and made it look like Spring.
T and I scouted parks for weeks. We drove all over the city trying to find a park that had enough tables, enough shade, a playground near to the party headquarters, toilets, and enough room for kite-flying. We looked at so many before we remembered about the park underneath the bridge. I don't know why we didn't think of it immediately - we have been there often enough! But as soon as we arrived for the reccy we knew we'd found the place. It was perfect.
The only concern was that the pavilions couldn't be reserved, so we knew we'd have to get there early to make sure we got them. In the morning when we arrived, a marquee wedding was setting up on the other side of the park, and they were in the loo block cleaning, changing the paper over for much nicer stuff, adding hand-towels, hand soap, and flowers!!!
I wanted a kite shaped invitation, and I wanted it double-sided, but I didn't want to pay lots extra for cutting, trimming and for special sized envelopes. I knew it was a bit beyond me to do it myself, so I set about finding a designer. Jennifer Birkhead was recommended to me by a friend, and she was amazing. She got it right first time. No changes. She's a star. I've recommended her to a couple of other friends recently too, and again, she has got it right for them first time too.
We had another stroke of luck. When Jen sent them to print, the printer accidentally printed the back upside down, making them un-useable. So another run was done to fix it, but Jen sent me the incorrect ones anyhow, with the fantastic idea that I could use them for party decorations.
15m of bunting made from the 'wrong' invitations, using old-fashioned twine and some gorgeous Michael Miller bias binding in the perfect red and blue tied in between for a nostalgic look.
Tissue paper pompoms over the pressie table (thanks Martha)
And some red and blue balloons.
All very simple :)
I knew I wanted the boys to have a cake each. I have twin sisters, and one of the first things they said to me when I told them I was pregnant with twins was they must have their own birthday cakes and their own 'happy birthday' singing session.
As detailed in a previous post, I am NOT a skilled cake decorator. But the thought of paying $100 for two small cakes that weren't even going to be eaten (whoops, I was wrong about that, actually...!!) made me feel a little sick to the stomach. So I determined to do them myself.
They weren't perfect, but they were delicious!!!
I also bought a cake knife that we will be able to use every year for birthdays and special occasions.
We also had cupcakes made by my mum's beautiful friend Margie, from Dellicious Cupcakes. They were so beautiful - almost too beautiful to eat :)
I wanted to keep it really simple because we were having to transport everything to the park. It was close to home, but we still had to load it and unload it all.
For the 'party table' we had cupcakes, jellies, vanilla bean sugar cookies, lollies, home-made marshmallows, little cases of popcorn, and fruit skewers.
We also had loads of lovely finger sandwiches and mini quiches for passing around. We also had fresh orange juice, champagne, and lots of little cute bottles of water.
We finished off with some slices of yummy cold watermelon.
The party favours
Instead of putting together a traditional lolly bag, I decided to give the kids something that they could keep and enjoy. We had "Kites for Kids" and "Bubbles for Bubs". Big hit :)
My friend, and fellow twin-mum, Katie Walker-Smith is a wonderful photographer. I asked her to come along to make sure we got beautiful pictures to remember the day. We think it was well worth it. She captured it beautifully. And we now have such beautiful candid joyful shots of us with our babies that we wouldn't have had otherwise. Thanks Katie xxx
I think that's it....? The weather was glorious, there was enough wind for kite-flying, and all the special people in our boys' lives came along. It was a perfect day.