I've shared a few sneak peeks and I'm excited to finally share the party details!
I designed the invitation and we embellished them with pink feathers and, in lieu of envelopes, we used small yellow polka dot bags with a blue feather glued on the outside. Aren't they cute?
I designed the invitation to match the movie title and, I LOVE it!
While at the gender reveal, Jay mentioned that she needed to pick up the toddler-sized tables and chairs the following morning (party day). When she said it, I didn't pay much attention but the next morning, I popped up out of my sleep and said, "SHE'S ON CRUTCHES!"
Jay had a sprained ankle (someone tell her volleyball in the country gets real - haha!). How was she going to move tables and such? I looked at the clock.
Go back to sleep, Tabitha. It's too early to call.
It was 6:30 a.m. I was asleep but still mentally running down my plan and my list of things to do. Doesn't everyone do that? Sleep and work at the same time? No? Just me? *shrugs*
It also hit me that the backdrop I ordered for the event had not yet arrived. It was going to be huge! 4' X 6' and its design had all of the movie's popular characters. I scrambled to check my email and learned the order was canceled because earlier in the week my debit card was deactivated due to suspicious account activity (thanks random gas and McDonald's charges in Miami!!!!UGH!!!!). I know what you're thinking and, yes, I had no car one week and no card the following. UGH!!!! What was I to do without the backdrop?
Here it was party day and I didn't have my WOW item!!! Add that to the list of challenges for this event. Oh, yes, there were other challenges:
- No birthday cake. SAY WHAAAAAT? Do you see that cake up there? Well that was the cake design I planned for this party. A few weeks before the party, Lea had an allergy test done and it was determined that she is allergic to egg. Jay made the executive decision, because this party was to be all about Lea, there is no sense providing cake for people when the guest of honor couldn't have any. I get it but, at this point... I mean, without the backdrop and the cake, how else would I bring the theme to life?
- The venue. Jay decided to host it from her home but wanted it to be in the garage and front yard. Garages are great and serve as large, open, blank canvases. The only challenge is covering the not-so-pretty walls with decor. Again, without my large backdrop, how was I ever going to cover the walls?!
I devised a plan then called Jay to see if I could help with tables. Together, we loaded the tables and chairs (time constraints made me move like a woman on a mission), we ran to Party City for my back-up plan for wall cover and I headed to their place to start set-up while Jay waited for balloons.
Party City has a large selection of solid wrapping paper and each roll is only $1! I decided to use the bright colored paper as wall cover AND to bring the space to life. I used entire rolls (no cutting at all) to create large blocks of color.
Can you see that palm tree in the corner? It's a drink cooler! While we were at Party City, I bought it for less than $20 and love how it served as a great piece of functional party decor.
I re-purposed some of Jay's luau decor alongside two rolls of our $1 wrapping paper to create the backdrop. I also decided to use 3 huge pallets she had propped up against the wall in their garage. Jay planned to move them out of the way but I had other plans. One pallet was placed on the table reserved for the sherbet buffet fixin's.
Those empty parfait dishes were for the chocolate chips; we kept them on ice until it was time to serve them. Can I just tell you, there's nothing cuter than sprinkles in a apothecary jars?
On the pallet, I had Jay make a quick feather monogram letter using a piece of foam core and a scrap piece of boa from the Masquerade Bridal Shower.
To recreate this look, cut the letter out of foam core board and glue the boa down. Nothing to it! At the end of the buffet line, I re-purposed one of Jay's spray paint projects, the yellow file cabinet. On it, I placed her drink dispensers. The colors just looked SO bright and pretty!
Once the party started, Jay used the sherbet buffet pallet as a catch-all for cards.
Oh, and here's a pic of the wall 'in action' after the party started:
Speaking of the pallets, I placed two side-by-side on top of spare end tables Jay had in the garage. The tables were awaiting their transformation before being placed somewhere in the house. They also hid some of Tony's old electronics and, on party day, they were used to create the feature wall (behind the birthday girl's seat). Islanders, this was our favor [feature] table.
It was HUGE! For the favor bags, Jay painted brown paper bags to resemble pineapples and we stuffed them with tambourines, maracas and crayons. You can see the wrapping paper blocks were used to anchor this wall too!
On the pallets, I used grass skirts and quick pennant banners to create a simple and bright focal point. Jay glued some of her handmade jungle leaves to the pallet and used some of her scrap craft feathers and the remaining piece of foam core board (from the feather monogram) to make the feather number. Isn't it super cute? It only took about 10 minutes to make!
I had a large roll of blue wrapping paper that I brought from home. Rather than use a tablecloth, I rolled the wrapping paper all the way down the kids' table and spread a yellow net down the center to create a table runner. The kids loved it!
Another fun decor element was the coat hanger turned lei holder.
I turned on the Rio2 soundtrack (free on youtube) and left. The space was all set up and looked awesome! As guests arrived, they could hear the movie jams blasting and knew it was going to be a great day! Here's the view from the street:
One of the common mistakes party hosts make is they focus on cute small decor items. You know those cute little favor labels, little name cards for food, tiny cupcake toppers and junk. While I can appreciate those items, they don't make an event memorable. By focusing our decor on large-scale wow-factor party elements, we were able to create a bright and cheery party space that made for the perfect backdrop at Lea's Rio2 party. Who needs a fancy backdrop? Not this girl or this party.
I can't wait to share the activities. These little people had a BLAST!