Portia's Alice in Wonderland Tea Party
Over the weekend we hosted Portia’s 3rd Birthday Party, a super sweet Alice in Wonderland tea party! All of her little friends from school were there along with some close family friends we have had since Hermione was a baby. It was a truly WONDER-ful afternoon celebrating my baby girl!
I look forward to my girl’s birthdays all year and love planning them down to each little detail. People often ask me how I come up with and execute the girl’s parties so I thought I would share my tips and tricks!
Full disclosure, I work with an amazing party planner for the girl’s birthdays. Keren Precel of Simply Perfect Events is a true magic maker. We have been working together for years and there is no way I could do it without her. I explain my vision to her in detail and she fleshes it out in the most amazing way and does all the heavy lifting.
Keren and I always book the spaces for the girls’ April parties sometime in October. The theme can come later but you don’t want to be shut out of the space you want. Especially in NYC where places book up far in advance. Portia’s party was held at Freshmade NYC which is a beautiful kitchen studio in Soho that can be rented for parties.
Pick a Theme
Sometime around January I ask the girls what theme they want for their parties. Portia usually changes her mind ten times while Hermione always knows what she wants and sticks to it. Before committing to a theme I make sure to ask several times to make sure it is what they want.
Flesh Out Your Vision
Whether you work with a planner or do it yourself it is important to clearly communicate your vision. For Portia’s party I wanted the decor to be inspired by the original Alice in Wonderland illustrations and not the Disney film. I also wanted the colors to be pale pink, tiffany blue and white.
I always make sure the birthday girl has a special party dress that fits in with the theme and decor. Her sister also always has a coordinating (but not matching) dress. For myself I get a dress that works with the girls’ and ties into the theme. This year Aggie + Francois made Portia’s amazing Alice dress and Hermione’s coordinating pink dress. My dress was by one of my favorites, Doen
For younger children especially it is important to have structured (but not too structured) activities to keep them occupied. At Portia’s party we had (vegan) cupcake and cookie decorating as well as tea set painting. Easy for three year olds to do on their own and fun!
A Special Guest
Having an on theme “special guest” can really make a party magical. From the moment Alice walked into the party Portia would not leave her side! It was also wonderful to have Alice do a special story time while the party staff was changing the tables over for food and cake. I love using NY Princess Party for characters. I have worked with them several times and my girls are always thrilled!
I make sure our parties always have healthy, delicious (vegan) food that both the kids and adults can enjoy. You will never just find delivery pizza at one of our fetes! For Portia’s party Keren created a beautiful spread that included vegan tea sandwiches, vegan scones and jam, and crudite and crusty bread with a variety of dips and spreads.
Let Them Eat Cake
A beautiful birthday cake can serve not only as a tasty treat but as a decorative piece. The custom, vegan cake that Polkadot Cake Shop created was as delicious as it was gorgeous!
Instead of a grab bag of items kids will likely throw out I like to make sure our guests go home with something special to remember the party. Portia’s younger guests went home with this wooden tea set and this age appropriate version of Alice in Wonderland. Older siblings and Hermione’s friends went home with this beautifully illustrated copy of Alice.
Be in the Moment
Once the party starts it is very important to me to be in the moment and enjoy my girl’s special day. I put my cell phone away and leave the pictures to my friend and photographer Mia McDonald. If you do not plan on having a professional photographer consider leaving a family member in charge of the photos so you can enjoy yourself!