Poppy recently turned 3. I wanted her to have a birthday party this year because it’s the first time she has had her own real little friends. They’re at such an adorable age and its also the first year she’s understood what’s going on- she was super excited in the lead up to her birthday.
Poppy chose a princess theme which was no surprise to anyone that knows her, as she is absolutely obsessed with Disney Princesses.
Poppy would probably have loved a purely ‘Frozen’ theme, as she’s beyond obsessed with Elsa, but I couldn’t handle bright blue all over the house so we kept things ‘princess’ in general. I showed Poppy some Instagram images of cakes, balloons etc, she was very decisive in what she liked (and would chose the same options over and over again at different times) which helped me select the details.
I started out wanting to keep things low-key and outsource as much as possible, but in the end, in my experience at least, everything snowballs and becomes way more work than you anticipated- the things we do for our kids!
I’m listing all of the suppliers and products I used below, so if you’re planning your own pink/princess party hopefully this gives you some inspiration. Even if you don’t want a princess theme, I hope you’ll find some ideas or inspiration below.
BALLOONS AND TABLEWEARI decided to have a go at creating a balloon garland. This was ambitious considering I had no idea which balloons I would need, how many would be required OR how to create one. I found the perfect solution which was a balloon garland kit from Parties Made Pretty. It contains all of the balloons you will need to make a beautiful balloon garland with a big impact. I also used fishing line, a blunt needle and command hooks in order to create mine and attach it to our windows. Our trusty friend google will bring up videos showing you the process of how to make them (just don’t trust the one which tells you to use a low temperature glue gun). I assembled our garland the day before the party. My hot tip is to be careful not to overinflate your balloons-they expand as they absorb heat and a couple that I overinflated popped as the temperature in our house fluctuated.
I ended up sourcing two giant white balloons from the same store store as well as pink floral garlands which were SO beautiful and will definitely be used again for future celebrations. I am a lover of these giant balloons- they make such a statement in and of themselves. I always get mine filled with helium at Spotlight the day before a party and these balloons are such good quality you could do it a couple of days beforehand if you wanted to. You will need to plan on how to get them home in your car. My lovely brother helped me get these babies home as they would not have fit in my own car with the kids’ car seats still inside.
Parties Made Pretty was a one-stop party shop for me as I also ended up choosing their napkins, a pastel pink foil 3 balloon, cups, plates, gold straws, and jumbo confetti all in one hit. They also stock the party crowns I ended up using.
CAKELisa from Little Whisk made the most beautiful Princess dolly varden cake for Poppy. She made a Minnie Mouse cake for us when Poppy turned 2 so we knew her cakes taste great. Her princess creation had a chocolate mud cake skirt which was covered in buttercream and tiny pink ombre meringues. She even detailed the waistband with little gold accents and placed tiny gold beads and across her head- this princess had it going on! Everyone loved this cake and I think this style brings back nice memories.
I actually went hunting for a princess Barbie to use in this cake and unfortunately there were no red heads around. In fact, the only doll I could find wearing a crown had a green bodice. We ended up taking the crown off one Barbie and Lisa styled it on the doll which was used in the cake.
This was a three year old little girl’s dream cake (and maybe my own).
ENTERTAINMENTGiven the absolute obsession Poppy has with princesses (especially Elsa and Anna from Frozen), I did an Insta-search for princess parties in Melbourne to get some ideas. Magical Princess Entertainment popped up in the search and, given Poppy had already asked me if she could invite ‘Elsa’ to her party, I decided to lock in ‘The Snow Queen’ (I’ll call her Elsa from here on out because that’s what Poppy called her).
Ben and I have both agreed this is some of the best money we have ever spent. This princess was wonderful and she absolutely delighted Poppy and the other kids.
I didn’t tell Poppy that Elsa was coming to her party as I wanted it to be a surprise. I gave other parents a heads up she was coming in case their kids hadn’t seen the movie and wanted to watch it beforehand. I couldn’t wait to see Poppy’s reaction when she opened the door on the day. In the end, her reaction was not what I expected. She answered the door and was totally cool and calm as she explained “I’m three!”…like she totally expected her dream to come true.
When you use this company you book the character, not a specific entertainer and they contact you a few days out to check in and reconfirm the details. Our entertainer was absolutely stellar. The children adored her and parents were also singing her praises. I fully expected to be helping her for the 1.5 hours she was at our house but from the time she walked in to the time she departed, she constantly entertained the kids solo without blinking an eye. Her voice was beautiful and she wasn’t phased by anything (cue random balloons popping mid-song!). She played pass the parcel, did storytelling, sang songs, played with a parachute, twisted balloons and painted faces. She was a woman of many talents!
That last photo makes me smile- Poppy is looking a bit overwhelmed at having her hero at our house, but is also loving the cuddles and attention.
The gorgeous Hayley from Hayley Mae Photography captured the day beautifully. You may wonder why I wanted a photographer at a kids birthday party but I really wanted to enjoy the day and not be spending the entire time looking through a camera/phone lens.
My parents and my nephew and niece were all going to be there as well so it was also a great opportunity to get some family photos before the guests arrived.
FOODGiven that the party only went for 2 hours, we wanted to have a nice mix of savoury and sweet food for the children without going overboard. My mum made tiny bite-sized sausage rolls and mini quiches for the kids and we also had plates of fruit and berries on the tables. Later on, each child had a cupcake, a small box of popcorn and a tiara-shaped cookie.
The cupcakes were a last minute addition from Burnt Butter Cakes and were delicious. Poppy and I made the cookies earlier in the week using this sugar cookie recipe. I then just rolled out ready-to-use fondant from Spotlight to place on top- very easy.
FLORALSI’m adding in this detail for anyone living in Melbourne who loves flowers as much as I do. I used to live near Nina’s Fresh Flowers in Ashburton and to this day have not found a florist in Melbourne (or anywhere for that matter) who is as afforable whilst still stocking super fresh, quality flowers. Whenever I need flowers I would rather make the trip back here to purchase than go anywhere else and pay more for blooms that will disappoint in comparison. My parents live 2.5 hours away and my mum complains she wishes she had access to this store.
The flower arrangements on the party tables were sitting in little acrylic popcorn tubs that I bought from the party section at KMart. They were inexpensive and obviously not a danger to children if they fell over or were pulled off the table.
TABLES AND CHAIRSI have long been an admirer of the little baby brentwood chairs that are available to hire from Mini Party People. I chose the pink (obviously) and also hired two of their mini tables and tablecloths.
Remembering this was a party for 3 year olds, there was no way I was going to be paying big bucks for a handful of invites which will all end up in the bin. I initially tried to find some ‘old school’ invitations on a pad where you fill in the blanks (the kind I had growing up as a kid in the 80s and 90s) but could only find the cartoony licensed kind- nothing cute or ‘princessy’.
I did a google search for princess invitations and found the perfect ones from LoveJK Australia. This was the first time I had purchased anything from this store but you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be using them for every future invitation we ever send out.
They were beautiful, inexpensive and I had the option of ordering them with envelopes and magnets (yes please!). I ordered enough for Poppy’s little friends and a few spares for us to give to our parents and for her own album.
Whilst buying the invitations, I noticed that they sold a myriad of other products for the princess theme and, once I knew which kids were coming, I ordered matching lunch boxes, water bottles, bunting for and thank you tags all from the same store. Wham, bam, thank you mam (or Jennifer, it would seem!). Too easy!
I ended up using the below little lunch boxes instead of lolly bags. I filled them with mini tubs of play dough, gold chocolate coins, bubble mixture, princess stickers and a few other small lollies.
I think that wraps it up! If you have any questions at all or if I’ve left out a detail you’d like to know about please leave a comment below.