One of the highlights of my social calendar each year is Miss Mess’s annual birthday party extravaganza. I absolutely LOVE party planning and it feels like each year gets bigger and better.
Miss Mess starts picking the theme for her next party almost as soon as the previous one has ended (she’s a little obsessed). I swear she tries to find increasingly obscure themes each year, just to challenge me. This year’s theme was Into The Woods, based on the musical of the same name which Miss Mess performed in last year. Think Red Riding Hood, Jack & The Beanstalk, Cinderella, Rapunzel and generally anything fairytale.
We decided to stick with our favourite venue the party – Teversal Manor Rooms. We used this venue for a few of our parties now and it really is a hidden gem. It is beautifully decorated in picturesque surroundings and is fully equipped with everything you could need. It was the ideal setting for our quaint, traditional children’s party.
As with last year’s Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, we decided to hire Kerry from High Jinks Pop Up Events to plan and cater the party for us. I literally don’t have words for how fabulous Kerry is and how much I recommend EVERYONE hire her to plan their parties. She arrived with her assistant, Emily about an hour before the party and like a fairy godmother created an enchanted fairytale woodland out of thin air.As well as catering the party with delicious homemade sandwiches and sweet treats, Kerry also provided the bulk of the decorations for the room and tea table. On top of that, she also provided a huge variety of games and activities for the children to participate in during the party. She would happily have done even more, but I couldn’t relinquish control completely so I provided my own plates, cups, napkins and party bags.From a brief of just three words, “Into The Woods”, Kerry managed to come up with exactly the atmosphere and style that I was hoping for. I’m pretty sure there must have been some kind of witchcraft involved as it seems like Kerry had read my mind. Everything I had hoped for – the lanterns, flowers, tree stumps – everything had been provided. Every minute detail had been planned to perfection and complemented the overall theme. I couldn’t have been happier.
I did provide a few of the decorations along with some help from my Dad. I made a range of photo booth props for the kids to play with and some little prints which I framed with quotes from the show, Into The Woods. I asked my Dad to make some signs to display around the room and he went so far above and beyond what I’d expected. The signs were beautifully designed and painted – you can see an example in the first photo at the beginning of this post. At the end of the party we donated the signs to Kerry in the hope that she can use them again for future parties.
I’d asked Kerry to come up with a few games or activities to keep the children entertained and she completely excelled herself in this area as well. To begin with, the children planted magic beans and decorated gingerbread men, both of which they got to take home with them at the end of the party.
Once the crafts were all packed away, it was time for the games! Kerry had come up with a great selection, all incorporating the theme including Pass Granny’s Basket, What’s The Time Mr Wolf? and a treasure hunt where the children had to find objects from fairy stories.
Before the party I had been worried that some of the kids might be getting a bit old and might think these party games were a bit babyish, but they all seemed to throw themselves into it and had a lovely time.
By now, the kids were all getting pretty hungry and were very eager to tuck into their delicious party tea. There was a great range of foods from sandwiches, party snacks, fruit and vegetable crudités and delicious home-baked cakes and biscuits. There was plenty to go around and even a little left over for the grown-ups to try.I especially loved these little biscuits with “Into The Woods” stamped on them. It was this kind of little extra touch that really made the party feel special.
The cake was another one of my “creations”. I tried to keep it as simple as possible (you should have seen Miss Mess’ original sketch). The bottom tier was a chocolate cake, the top was madeira and both were covered with purple fondant and black twisted vines/trees.
The tower is also completely made from sponge cake and the majority of the objects including the gold book were created from fondant. We cheated with the slipped and cloak and just used props from Miss Mess’s toy box. (Although the cape as read as blood kept falling off so you can’t see it in this photo.)
Overall, I think it was another resounding success of a party. I had so many compliments on how perfect the room looked and how smoothly the party ran and I know most of that is nothing to do with me. I have to give most of the credit to Kerry and Emily for doing such an amazing job. I’m sure this won’t be the last time we work together.
I’m clearly doing something wrong though as even though Kerry did most of the hard work I was still knackered from all the running around during the party. My back was killing me. I really need to learn to relinquish control a little bit. I think I’m going to need a good rest before we plan Mini Mess’ party in September. (Although I imagine Miss Mess is already coming up with ideas for her next birthday.
Is this your kind of birthday party? What would be your dream party theme? Do you love planning parties or would you rather pass it over to someone else?