I love parties!! More than attending them, I love planning them. My dream job would be to be a party/wedding planner and come up with themes and ideas to make special occasions that people will never forget! I’ve got plenty of parties coming up in the next few months so my mind will be working in overdrive.
In February, we had our youngest daughter (extra points if you can guess her name!), christened. Due to the breakdown in our relationship, we decided to keep the christening small and private – for close family and godparents only. For our eldest daugther we had thrown a huge party, with a buffet and all the trimmings, but the little one missed out on all of that.
I didn’t want her to grow up thinking she was treated any differently to her big sister, so I decided to host a small party for my side of the family. Everyone would get to see how beautiful she is (ok, so I’m biased), she might get a few nice little keepsakes, and we’d all be able to give her the celebration she deserved.
It took a few weeks to get it off the ground, but the party finally took place last weekend and it was a roaring success!
The theme was Poppies. (Have you guessed her name, yet?) Due to my reduced income as a new single parent, one of the main objectives was to have a beautiful party on a very tight budget. Usually we would buy lots of expensive decorations from the many party websites out there, but this time that wasn’t an option. Luckily, I found the fabulous Living Well, Spending Less blog which has many great (cost-effective) ideas for how to make great party decorations. (As well as lots of other fabulous ideas for how to save money in practically every situation.
I found this brilliant tutorial for how to make stunning banners out of scrap-booking paper and ribbon. It seemed easy enough so I want and picked up some supplies. I got the scrap-booking paper for £9.95 and the ribbon for a couple of quid. I didn’t need half as much for the banners as I thought I would, so I still have lots of ribbon and paper left for other projects in future. I would like to be able to take some of the credit for how brilliantly these turned out, but really my best friend was the creative genius behind them. She cut out the letters and sewed all of the banners together – all I did to assist was cut out the semi-circles.
The photos aren’t fantastic, but I was really happy with how they turned out. And the best part is; they can easily be used again in future parties!
Next, my sisters helped me to make some custom table centrepieces. We collected old bottles, of all shapes and sizes and wrapped them in wool (£1.99 from Dunelm Mill). A quick coat of spray paint (in assorted colours) and we had a collection of beautiful (bespoke) vases. I picked up some artificial poppy sprays (also from Dunelm Mill, 49p a time) and voila!
My sister also had over 100 photos of our baby Princess (from birth until the present day) printed – I have no idea how much that cost – and then hung them around the room using wool and paper clips. Everyone complimented us on the lovely banners and now my sister is using those photos to make a scrapbook.
All that was left to do was make the cake. Simple enough right? I do have a tendency to get carried away and this time was no different. It took me 4 nights, baking and decorating until midnight to get it all finished but I think the final product was worth it.
The cake had two tiers – one fruit and one lemon sponge. They were both covered with white fondant icing and the poppies were handmade from red sugar paste. I was very pleased with the end result. If I do say so myself, I’m getting quite good at this cake decorating thing.
We ate lots of yummy food from the buffet (caterers, paid for by my mummy – I can’t do everything!) and chatted to all of our guests and then it was time to pack up and go home. Poppy ( yes, you guessed it!) had lots of fun opening her presents and I’m sure she has some gifts she will treasure for a long time.
A particular favourite was the matching lockets for my two little girls, from their aunties (and godmothers).
Now I get a couple of days rest before I have to start frantically preparing for the next party – this time, a baby shower!
What about you? Do you like planning elaborate parties? Or do you prefer to leave that to someone else? Do you have any money-saving tips to share?