Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Birdie's 2nd Birthday: A Puppy Parlor Party!

Awwwe... The Puppy Parlor Party... I've been waiting to show off these pics for a month, so please read this before looking at them...

Being a party planner has major ups and downs. There are literally times when I wonder, "Why do I love this job so much?" The pay sucks. The work load is crazy. The set up is so stressful there are times I have literally hoped I'd just fall off the ladder so I can get rushed to the ER. No, seriously... this has crossed my mind more than once.

The second time it crossed my mind was for my daughter's party earlier this month. I learned a lot of lessons this day... the two biggest had to do with timing.

Let me share them with you...

#1- Don't do a party at 2 p.m. [For me and my large set up] it's not enough time.

 Even though I had a team of 4 people helping me with icing cupcakes, setting up and last minute arranging- 2 p.m. was still too soon... when you're hanging signs and streamer chandeliers on fishing line- time is never on your side, no matter how many awesome people you have helping.

#2- Don't do a July party at 2 p.m. that is outdoors and in direct sun light. It will wreck your photos.

That second one is the biggest lesson I've learned in party planning yet. I thought my biggest lesson was not ironing my linens... and then seeing the wrinkles in the photos... well at least I could see those wrinkles... With direct sun light, most of my details were completely lost to either bright sun or shadows. Details I worked on for so long it hurts to mention it.

In case I haven't mentioned it... we have a small house and a big back yard. I am pretty much forced to host outdoor parties which is so much harder than an in door party- I don't care what anyone says. You have the elements you're working with (which where I live is WIND!) as well as backyard backdrops to deal with... like a chicken coop!

It is what it is. I'm not just a party stylist... I'm actually throwing my daughter a real life, real friends party... with a start time and food and- and- and.... STRESS, did I mention STRESS?

I'm pretty sure my photographer arrived and wanted to kill me for where I placed my main set up (the favor table/activity station). But knowing myself as well as I do... I HAD to learn this lesson the hard way. I have majorly lucked out with the sun up until now and even though Christina has told me how big a role it plays.... I obviously didn't listen well enough. She did what she could and then edited and edited... We both sighed when we saw the finished photos and then we moved on to our next party- my Favorite Things Party, which was at 7 p.m.... and has gorgeous pictures headed for a magazine feature. All I can do is learn.

Learn and pick myself to pieces because I'm a perfectionist and I can't let anything go. I'm still dwelling on her 1st Birthday so this sunlight issue is going to take some time to let go of...

Happy thoughts: I came up with this theme for Birdie after we got our puppy Mohawk earlier this year and Birdie immediately fell in love. She has such a love for animals... and it is definitely NOT from me, let me tell you...

So I began collecting puppy stuff in early February as I noticed a ton of Valentine's puppy stuff. I chose my color palette and filled our RV with bags and bags of puppy items from $1 isles and the Dollar Tree and a few bigger purchases like a white ceramic poodle from TJ Maxx that now sits sweetly on a shelf in her room...

I got the idea to make the party a Puppy Parlor when at Valentine's I saw so many dog graphics with bows and skirts on. I thought it would be so cute for the little girls to be able to take their puppies and decorate them at the "Sparkle Bar". I had a "Sparkle Up Your Pup!" cup with everything in it to decorate your puppy: rhinestones, bows, ruffles and more. The favor table revolved around pampering your puppy ("Give Puppy a Bath!", "Decorate a Dog House!") I had stuffed pups and graphic pups and both were adorable- I geared the stuffed puppies towards the toddlers and the laminated graphic ones towards the older kids. I even had a "Puppy Owner's ID Card" for each child to fill out- one of my favorite details!

I took one look at Elena of World Wide Party's puppy graphics and fell in love and knew they were "the ones". They were just the little adorable graphic puppies I was looking for. Elena did Cormac's Peter Pan party I knew I was so excited to start working with her again as she is so easy to collaborate with and has great ideas.

One thing I did LOVE about this party were the photos Christina got of Birdie by herself as well as the photos with both of us. They are pretty much to die for and I can't wait to get them on canvas, especially the black and white of us kissing. The Ice Cream Bar also has some great shots, so there are a few photos I'm oh-so-thankful to have, believe me!

Even though a lot of the favors I worked so hard on didn't photograph well... This party took me back to my days at Mattel designing dolls in terms of coming up with a design, concept and activity for the kids to do. Those puppies really stole my heart for a good week! There were points of total and utter bliss a few days before the party when I sat and did what I do best: create with my hands, a hot glue gun and yards and yards of trim... I wouldn't trade that for anything! And that is why I remember- I LOVE this job.

If you see something you love- (trust me it was even cuter and more detailed in person)... please just Pin It, will ya?

xo Party or Die xo

Event Styling: Miss Party Mom
Party Favors & Decor: Miss Party Mom (Etsy)
Desserts & Assistant Styling: Hannah's Cookies and Treats
Birdie's Custom Puppy Bow: Isabella's Boutique
Matching Mommy/Daughter Dress & Skirt: Miss Party Mom
Miss Party Mom Intern: Kristin Lethbridge

" "