I am totally late to the party on this one… I wish I’d realized forever ago that this was actually published here (it was, back in April!). But I just discovered yesterday that The Amazing Desmond’s First Birthday Party was featured on Apartment Therapy’s blog!
I just happened to look at my blog’s stats yesterday… And noticed a new referrer. And clicked through. And realized that Kara’s Party Ideas – one of my favorite party planning blogs – featured Desmond’s Circus-Themed 1st Birthday Party!!! I just submitted it earlier this month and thought, “Well, it’s worth a shot!” And they obviously liked it!!! I.am.so.excited!!!! Go check it out and leave us some love in the comments!!! 😉
Thank you so much, Kara, for the awesome feature!!!
I created this “Under the Sea” baby shower theme for a very special momma – my cousin Natalie! She wanted a big affair – 70 people, including kids and men – so it had to be anything but ordinary!
This shower was originally scheduled – and styled – for outdoors in a pretty, terraced backyard. But a week before the shower was to take place, we found out that our Southern California sun wasn’t going to behave. Instead of having a beautiful relaxing sun-soaked November day, we’d have soaking of a different sort. Rain. Buckets of rain.
I can’t lie – it was a bit of a shocker, since no one counted on rain during what was supposed to be a very dry November in San Diego. What was worse was that the home where we’d planned to hold the shower couldn’t accommodate 70 people indoors. So, thanks to a very generous coworker, we moved on to Plan B: the gourmet kitchen and bar areas of a private clubhouse (the rest of which was already rented out that day for a bridal shower!).
Luckily it was an absolutely gorgeous venue, and luckily even the rain didn’t keep away the throngs of guests. We showered this Mama in style!
We created some really fun touches, from GORGEOUS sea urchin vases custom made by the insanely creative Desiree of Penny Blooms to cascading bubble chandeliers made from clear glass ornaments provided by the mom-to-be to a wishing tree made from driftwood.
Natalie and Tony decided that they didn’t want to know the gender of their unborn baby, so we threw a completely gender-neutral party (complete with coloring pages asking if the kids in attendance thought the baby was a Stella – girl – or Brayden – boy, and a single game asking adults in attendance to fill in their guesses for birth stats and gender). I have to admit, it was kind of tough staying firmly in the “cute and gender neutral” category, but it was helpful that Natalie chose such an adorable “Under the Sea” theme, inspired by a set of scrapbooking stickers she found when she found out she was first pregnant!
I created a set of printed pieces including an invitation featuring original artwork (inspired by the stickers) an original poem by Practically Perfect Poetry, Prose, and Proofreading – I just love how much personality there was in that sweet little turtle!
Then of course there was my personal favorite feature of the party – a huge ocean-themed sweets buffet featuring a gorgeous “wave” backdrop of fabric that my amazing assistant found at Joann’s Fabric, hand-assembled clamshell cookies (made by me!), a sculpted sandcastle cake by Hey There, Cupcake!, and the most adorable sea creature cake pops by Calculated Whisk! The “sand” was actually brown sugar, and the rocks and shells were candy – and every kid there (and some of the adults) loved that they could eat every bit they wanted! Plus brown sugar was inexpensive, non-toxic, and looked and smelled amazing!
I can’t help but throw in one extra shot of those cookies… I just love them so much!
And of course I’m happy to report that Natalie gave birth to Baby Boy Brayden last month and he’s beautiful!
Natalie’s Under the Sea Baby Shower 11*12*2011 Party Details:
Sometimes you meet people and you just know you’re going to be excellent friends with them. It was that way the first time I met Desiree of Penny Blooms Floral Design. I can hardly believe it was just two months before this incredible party! This is a very photo-heavy post… But it’s worth it because these photos by Lindsey Gage of Eyelet Images are totally worth drooling over!!!!
Desiree’s son Desmond celebrated his first birthday at the end of August. When you’re the son of an event professional, your birthday party is sure to be a blast! Sure enough, Desiree’s amazing creativity shone through each and every bit of this gorgeously styled outdoor event, from the handpainted circus elephant cupcake tower topper to the multicolored fabric streamers decorating the tents to the popcorn box “vases.” I was honored to be print materials designer and to assist Desiree with setup, coordination, and styling!
It all started with the circus idea. When Desiree approached me about doing invitations for the party, I asked her if she’d rather have a cutesy or modern/edgy vibe. She chose modern/edgy, so I worked on a text-heavy invitation that captured perfectly the whimsy and creativity we were going for (if I do say so myself!). Designers are always cautioned to stick to no more than 2 to 3 fonts in a single page, but I had far too much fun mixing and matching, and threw caution to the wind. I love it!
Of course the party wouldn’t have been as stunning without thoughtful details provided by Penny Blooms Floral Design! She even had a ball pit and a mini big top, along with a photo booth area for the grownups!
I couldn’t resist bringing along a few of my favorite items too:
The food was provided by the incredible Jason. He’s currently working on his catering business name (I’ll post it when it’s official!) but I’ve got to tell you that this guy is worth checking out. I can’t wait to share when he’s ready to take on clients, because in addition to being a really nice guy, his food was fabulous!
Cupcakes and cake pops were provided by Nikki at Calculated Whisk. She even made gluten-free flourless cupcakes (which totally made my day)! And they were soooo good.
Nicki also made a spectacular smash cake just for Desmond!
In addition to designing the invitations, I designed a bunch of additional signage for the party. Like these:
And this was probably my favorite sign to design:
Of course I can’t have a first birthday post without some cake smashing photos!
THANK YOU Desiree for letting me be a part of your handsome son’s special day, and thank you to all the amazing vendors we worked with!