Sweet Elle Turns Two!
Eloise James was born on February Fifth (one of the three ways Born on Fifth got its name). Having a winter baby, I realized that I was going to need to get creative on the birthday party front. Although it’s 70 degrees right now, it could also be snowing. Last year, we celebrated at our home and it was a fête full of flowers. You can see the party here, if you’d like.
This year, since the demographic was a bit more mobile, I decided to seek out a space. There’s a lovely store in Roswell that I was thinking about, but ended up choosing to host the party closer to where we live at Park Studios. Since I wanted a photo-worthy back drop, a photography studio seemed like (and was) the perfect place.
Planning The Swan Lake Party, Phase 1
The party planning came together in two stages. Conceptually I knew I wanted to have a ballerina, since Elle is all about the tutus (she was a ballerina for Halloween). I liked the synergy of the words two and tutu but decided to elevate the theme slightly. Loosely, my concept became A Swan Lake Second Birthday Party. As with last year, I wanted to use visual elements that could as easily work for a bridal or baby shower as a children’s birthday party.
After securing the space and doing a walk-through, I pulled together a vendor list. Mary Catherine and Heidi were the first ones on board! It was important to have them photograph again since they tag-teamed Elle’s party last year and I was so happy with the results. Brent of Dear Elouise pulled together a fabulous invitation and worked with my somehow always-behind timeline. I rented furniture from Collection Event Furnishings and children’s tables and chairs Sweet Seats. Sweetly Cheryl agreed to get chair cushions for the children’s Chiavari chairs to help bring my vision to life. Additionally, I went to Scott’s Antique Market with my friend Brooke to scour for a French-inspired mirror. We hit the nail on the head with our find.
I knew that I wanted Cafe at Pharr to cater, since Elle loves their chicken salad (who doesn’t)?! Alicia with Pum’s Sweets always does a nice job bringing all of my wild ideas to life on the dessert table. This year we added cake pops to the mix. I love following Mac Lab on Instagram so they were top of mind for macaroon and meringue towers. I had a last minute idea to have swan art lattes available on-site (since it was a Sunday morning birthday party, after all). My friends at Revelator Coffee made it happen!
Of course, since the whole concept centered around having a ballerina, I secured a talented Atlanta Ballet dancer.
Planning the Sawn Lake Party, Phase 2
The next phase of the planning was the decor layer. I became Insta (and instant) friends with the ladies of Beijos Events out of LA. Using their e-celebrate service helped me hone in on the children’s table decor/details and floral mood. It’s serendipitous that their mood board included floral wallpaper which was supposed to act as inspiration for placemats. I actually have the wallpaper in my powder room, so was able to use remnants to turn it into said placemats (Ellie Cashman is the best!). The Beijos gals also suggested having photos of Elle on display at the party. My original idea of having a photo book evolved as I’d rather make a book to recap the party anyhow! This tutorial is what I used to make the photo branch.
I thought a dress up corner would be sweet and the Beijos team pointed me in the direction of Rainey’s Closet. It’s my new obsession!
With the floral and styling direction in-hand, I collaborated with Alyssa of Ginger Rose Flowers to bring the vision to life. Alyssa knocked the flowers out of the park. She was also truly a partner during the very late night set up that took place pre-party.
The Styling Layer
If I’m being honest, pulling together a party like this as a team of one is a lot of work. I made countless trips to places like Target and Ikea and spent a lot of time on Etsy and Amazon to be sure that every last element was cohesive. The outfits we wore for these photos were important to me and I shopped around before settling on this dress for myself! Elle’s sweet friends loved getting to play dress up, too.
I’m certain that I’ve forgotten some tidbit so if you are curious about where an element came from, leave a comment below! Hope you enjoy the photos, if you care to take a look.