I love a good party. Ok scratch that. I love to throw a good party. I'm ashamed to admit I haven't posted this sooner, but deal with it, ok? We can still be friends even if I'm a little slow, right? My friend had a baby. Well, at the time, she hadn't had the baby yet. But we did have a party. A little birdy themed party. It was so fun to host a party for such a fun friend ... with my other fun friends. Who doesn't love a fun party with fun friends? ... ... Exactly. That's what I thought.
This is the guest of honor, Ainsley Jane, who ended up being early and ten pounds. She's a fun little chunk who is going to be my daughter in law one day-- that is, if my son would stop stealing her pacifier all the dang time. He doesn't know that's not very gentlemanly. We're working on it.
When having a party with a theme, you want to include as many elements of the theme in as many places as possible. They don't have to all be large and in your face, but even quiet touches really link things together. We stuck with all things bird: birds, branches, nests, eggs, bird houses and bird cages. We also used the same color palette of turquoise, white, tan, and pink to keep things unified. The best place to start is with the invitation. If you're having a bird themed party, there should be some reference to that on the invite. Recently we had a Mad Hatter's Tea (post to come!) and the invite looked like the hat and actually said "Mad Hatter's Tea" which is helpful for guests.
Even the favors were linked to the theme. I kept baby food jars for months, washed them, painted the lids in one of our colors, and made a nest inside with jordan almonds (large eggs), or pink or turquoise jelly beans (small eggs) and tied them with twine. These were a ridiculously huge hit. I was surprised. They were also great because I could send them home with people to their children and they didn't get smooshed or broken like cupcakes or cookies.
We actually held the shower in a local cafe. I generally prefer using a home, and for reasons I cannot even remember, that was not going to happen with this bunch. It did make for a lovely change of pace with several intimate little tables. Again, the theme is everywhere. Each table had a birdhouse crafted to match the nursery as well as a table cloth that was actually a receiving blanket in the coordinating colors. These are great ideas because the expenses are also part of the gift. Mommy received seven birdhouses for the nursery wall and seven receiving blankets (after I took them back home, washed and ironed them again). Each place setting also had the nest favor and some roses cut from my freshly landscaped yard.
I think it's important to spread your decor around a bit, so you'll notice behind the massive amount of gifts more birdcages, super fun turquoise branches (that ended up free, instead of $7.98 a stem!), an owl chair (kinda hiding behind the presents on the right) and the baby's name on branchy balls orbs across the front of the table.
I realize that's a lot of info hidden in the text and fun pictures, so here's a handy dandy list:
How To Have a Great Theme Party
1. Pick a theme -- or even a color scheme. We've recently had a Mad Hatter's Tea (post to come) and are currently planning a Cowboy themed party for an 80 year old. Yep you read that right. A beautiful shower was held for me simply by using a lovely color scheme of green, black and white.
2. Use that theme throughout. If you're having a ducky shower, have ducks on the invites, duck cookies, or a duck cake. Add yellow (or whatever color) to your drinks -- lemonade, lemon sherbet punch (who doesn't love that punch?). Put it front and center with your table coverings, centerpieces, etc. If the theme calls for it, dress in the theme as well. I'm not saying full out costumes, but if you have an "April Showers Bring May Flowers" then march yourself to Target and get some cute rainboots to wear and have some umbrellas out. Wear a flower pin on your shirt, in your hair, or everywhere.
3. If at all possible, make the venue appeal to the theme. Make sure your decor reaches above the table. We had birdcages on walls. At the cowboy party you better believe there will be balloons wearing cowboy hats. If having the party at your home, sneak a bit of the decor into the powder room the attendants will be using.
4. Let your guests know. Themes are so much more fun when everyone is in on it. Things can still be a surprise for the guest of honor (that's the way I like to roll) and people are usually great about playing along. You could even have a little something extra for guests who miss the memo (there's almost always at least one, so have an extra flower, bandana, or tea hat available).
5. Go a tiny bit overboard. I know I'm losing some of you now, but it's so much fun. Just admit it. Just do one overboard thing, not all of them.
6. Have fun. It's still a party, and don't forget that parties are meant for fun. : )