With the Royal wedding just around the corner and street parties wetting our appetites for a good knees up. We decided to ask Katie Burnett from Les Enfants to give us some hints and tips on planning a party perfect for your own little Prince & Princesses…
We are here to help you plan the perfect party and that starts with deciding what is right for your child. It is important to take into consideration their favourite activities, themes, characters and their nature. Once you have decided upon an activity or entertainer, find a suitable venue and get the date booked as early as possible.
Venues should be easily accessible with good facilities such as parking, wash rooms and a small kitchen if food preparation is required. Also think about the weather, if holding an outdoor party, the addition of a marquee is always a safe option.
The time of the party is also important with the two hours between 2pm to 4pm being the most popular. However, 11am to 1pm is a good alternative as it leaves the rest of the day free, or even consider an after school party.
Good entertainment is essential so take recommendations from friends and follow up references or even see your entertainer in action and always make sure they are CRB checked.
With the basic details decided upon, the fun can begin and you can start creating your perfect party. We find that research is the key to a good party and there are plenty of inspirational party planning blogs and websites available to glean ideas. The US and Australian party markets are full of fantastic themes, designs and products and so why not use these images to create a mood board as inspiration for your party.
Begin with a colour scheme and your theme, for example we took a beautiful Dolly and Me design invitation as our starting point for this special third birthday party.
It is really fun to create something unique, we used guest stylists Fraser and Parsley to create this traditional party with beautiful details but why not do this yourself and add your own style to bring together a unique party for your child.
Start with the design of the invitations, etsy is a great place to find printables which you won’t see in the shops. You can then carry this theme onto other items such as napkin wraps, water bottle labels, party hats, all matching in with the dolly design. You can get great white tables and chairs from Ikea (a party planner’s favourite shop) which you can reuse or hire them in, and there is some very stylish wipeable oil cloth available now which can be used in the garden afterwards. Pretty melamine plates and cups are also a great alternative to paper and reusable for later parties.
Decking out your party space with bunting, balloons and ribbons all in the same colour scheme creates a fun environment and is not expensive. Also why not theme a couple of smaller areas for example we also set out a couple of areas where the dolls were having their own little tea party. You can even design costumes for your entertainers to match the theme and make sure you have a defined party entertainment space, this could be done with more oil cloth on the floor of in case the grass is damp.
If you are feeling very creative why not put together your own dessert table, the highlight of any party, a trend that has come over from the US. Visit the Amy Atlas blog for some amazing ideas. Your table can include a beautiful cake, pop corn, mini cupcakes, cake pops, biscuits, sweety treats and don’t forget some little take home bags to put the goodies in. Pom Poms and giant balloons are then a great way to frame the table and add a real wow factor.
There is often so much wasted food at children’s parties, so why not serve them pasta and crudités in little bowls, followed by cupcakes for dessert, and it is always nice to treat the adults to some nibbles.
Gone are the days of putting plastic items in party bags, why not give everyone a book or fill a white gift bag with lovely gifts, tie with a bow and add a personalised tag in your theme.
By doing it yourself and being creative you can keep the cost down and for a party to be perfect does not mean it has to have a big budget. Often the best party memories are those of children just having fun but if you are creative you will have lots of fun designing for your little ones and hold a party that is unique!
Katie Burnett is the Event Director at Les Enfants. For more information visit the Les Enfants website: www.lesenfants.co.uk