I Dream of Parties Blog

Life's little celebrations.

Weddings With Children in Mind June 21, 2010

Filed under: Brides & Babies — idreamofparties @ 10:07 am

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When my husband and I began planning our dream wedding we wanted to incorporate his daughter because she was such a big part of our relationship and the foundation of the family we were building together.  As I started planning the reception I decided a children’s area would be the best way to accommodate my step daughter and all of the other children in attendance.  The idea of a children’s area not only ended up being a great way to entertain the children but also save money!  How can you save money when planning a wedding?  Well, instead of lavish flower centerpieces, why not use candy?  Instead of gourmet appetizers and plated beef or chicken entrees, why not PBJ and Goldfish crackers?  For less than $10 per head my caterer agreed to pre set the children’s table with platters of mini sandwiches, crackers, and crudite for the little people in attendance.   Think of it as a classier version of the birthday party.

Decorations – Fill clear vases with solid colored candies in your wedding theme colors.  I used a light blue and sage green for my wedding based on the light blue hydrangeas that were in season at the time.  I filled the vases with Jelly Belly brand jelly beans in colors of blue, white and green and then found old fashioned suckers to stick in the vases for added height.  I also provided several boxes for fresh crayons and coloring books to keep the kids busy during the reception.  Each place setting also had a cellophane bag filled with bubbles, puppets, candy, stickers, and other random party store trinkets.  The cellophone tied with ribbon looked pretty on the table but also had a practical function – keep the kids busy!

Food – Mini PBJ sandwiches, crudite, fruit plate, Goldfish crackers were all set buffet style in the center of the children’s table.


Nancy Drew Party June 18, 2010

Filed under: Birthday Parties — idreamofparties @ 12:10 am

When my step daughter was 6 she started learning to read so I introduced her to the world of Nancy Drew.  Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys were my favorite books when I was young so I thought I could share this interest with my daughter.  She quickly became interested in the characters and so began the nightly ritual of my reading aloud a chapter a night from Nancy Drew Clue Crew book series.  When it came time to plan her 7th birthday party I was 8 months pregnant with twins and in no mood to plan a fabulous party.  I was able to pull together a few ideas to create a fun outdoor party for her and a few friends.

Decorations – Crime scene tape, chalk body outlines on the sidewalk outside of our home, black paper foot prints through the house, magnifying glasses and mini compasses were around too. 

Food – Make your own mini pizzas! After sleuthing the neighborhood I had the girls make their own mini pizzas for lunch.  I also set up the table movie theater style with movie snacks including popcorn, candy, and soda.  The girls received tickets during their scavenger hunt and used the tickets to trade for movie treats.  The girls snacked on their movie treats while watching the Nancy Drew movie.

Activity – Scavenger hunt through the neighborhood “sleuthing” for clues.  I created a list of about 50 items that the girls would hunt for throughout the neighborhood.  Items included a colored paperclip, postcard from somewhere outside the US, a golf ball etc.  I divided the girls into two teams, assigned my step daughter’s mom and her boyfriend to one team and my husband and I chaperoned the other team.  We gave each team 20 minutes to go out and collect the items and get back to the house.  The girls had a ball!  Prizes and tickets were awarded to the winning team.


Gingerbread & Santa June 17, 2010

Filed under: Holiday Celebrations — idreamofparties @ 5:01 pm

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The fact that my children’s birthdays all fall in the month of June is reason enough for me to throw a holiday party.  Last year I tossed around the idea of throwing a swanky cocktail party for our adult friends but then realized I could have more fun with a gingerbread party for our children and their friends.  Before Halloween I started pulling together ideas for decorations, invitations, activities, and anything else that caught my attention.  On the 20th of December my children hosted their first party!  Oh the excitement!  Our oldest daughter invited 10 of her friends and our 1 yr old twins invited their 2 playgroup friends Clara and Madyson. This was a wonderful day of candy, gingerbread house decorating, candy, Santa, cake, and more candy.

Decorations – Pick 2-3 color themes to carry throughout the event.  More than 3 and I think you risk losing the impact.  For this gingerbread party I used red, white, and green.  I purchased inexpensive red paper table clothes with a plastic liner to protect my dining table.  I also found some inexpensive place mats  in green.  Each place mat had gingerbread themed stickers on them as well as the child’s name written on it.  I added Kerr canning jars filled with small candies to be used for decorating.  The wide range of candy colors against the red tablecloth popped and created a festive table.  I also created height to my table using some vases wrapped in craft paper.  I used a hot glue gun, ribbon, and button embellishments to create Santa looking characters.  I placed them around the house, on the dining table, and on the buffet table to pull my theme together.

Food – This was an afternoon party so I didn’t really need to feed everyone.  I opted to serve small snacks like cheese and crackers, cookies, mini shaped cheese sandwiches, hot cocoa, spiced cranberry punch, and champagne for the adults.

Activity – Each of the children decorated their own mini gingerbread house to take home.  The kids spent about 45 minutes carefully placing each candy on their house.  Because of the wide range of ages we had some coloring projects and a short Christmas movie on hand to keep them busy while the older children finished up.